Report Card: Navy vs. Maryland

Every Navy fan can agree with head coach Ken Niumatalolo's post game assessment that this is one of the hardest losses he's ever been associated with. Navy offense moved the ball all day, dominating time of possession as they failed to convert five times inside the red zone. Navy's Ricky Dobbs was stopped short on what would have been a game winning score on fourth-and-goal with 34 seconds left






Ricky Dobbs completed 6 of 10 attempts for 73 yards. He missed a wide open John Howell in second quarter for what would have been a big gain inside the 10-yard line. Dobbs was sacked twice. Dobbs biggest mistake in passing game was not throwing the ball away with only 12 seconds left before halftime and choosing to run with no timeouts left. It cost Navy a sure three points. Gee Gee Greene had 4 catches for 59 yards including a nice over the shoulder grab where he did a terrific job of keeping his feet inbounds.
It's difficult for a team to not earn an A+ when they produce 429 yards and average 5.7 yards a carry but the Mids managed to do it on Monday. Five fumbles, four by Ricky Dobbs, including losing two inside the five by Ricky doomed the Mids chances. It ended any Heisman hopes Dobbs may have had. Dobb's ball security was virtually nonexistent. "B" backs Murray and Teich combined for 134 yard rushing. Gee Gee Greene looked terrific rushing for 74 yards. Andre Byrd scored his first career touchdown and averaged six yards on 9 carries. The line blocked well. Maryland won the game with turnovers and making the one stop on Navy's last play.
Jamarr Robinson completed only 2 of 5 passes for 11 yards. Robinson was sacked once. Emmett Merchant's pickoff of Robinson in the Terps third series, after the first two series produced touchdowns, seemed to settle the defense down. The Mids defense allowed only a field goal the rest of the game. Wyatt Middleton, who played very well, did have a costly third down pass interference penalty that set up a Maryland touchdown run.
Maryland ran the ball 34 times for 261 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Terps ran all over the Mids in the first half. Except for Tyler Simmons the new Navy linebackers seemed glued to Maryland blockers. The Mids gave up an average of 7.7 yards per carry. Only a few defensive stops in second half kept this grade from being an F.
Alex Teich did a terrific job returning four kickoffs for 107 yards. Now the bad news. Joe Buckley's 32 yard field goal attempt hit the upright and proved costly. Kyle Delahooke had a miserable game averaging only 29.5 on his 2 punts. One was returned 57 yards with only De'Von Richardson speed stopping a sure touchdown. In an effort to avoid kicking off to All-ACC kick returner Torrey Smith Navy's pooch kicks handed the Terps excellent field position. Gary Myers dropped his first punt return but recovered it
Ken Niumatalolo's clock management can be questioned at end of half but to me blame falls on Ricky Dobbs decision to run rather than throw pass away. Ivan Jasper offensive game plan and play calling was excellent most of game. I have no problem with going for win or play call. This is Navy and that's the way they play. I do think it was a mistake to insert blocking back John McCauley cold off the bench with game on line. McCauley's false start made it third-and goal-from the 8 rather than from the 3-yard line. Why take away triple option on last two plays? Buddy Green and the defensive staff did a good job of settling down defense. They looked like they were going to be run out of building after yielding 2 touchdowns the first 2 times Maryland had the ball.

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