Head-to-head: Navy vs. Georgia Southern

This game was scheduled at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium when Paul Johnson was still coaching Navy. Johnson introduced the spread option to both schools as offensive coordinator and then returned years later as the head coach. It was at Georgia Southern in 1985 with Tracy Ham at quarterback that the spread option was created.

The FCS Georgia Southern Eagles return this year to their spread option roots this year under new coach and former Navy slot back coach Jeff Monken. Navy fell in their opener in a frustrating loss to Maryland, 17-14. Georgia Southern romped over Savannah State 48-3 in its opener.

Georgia Southern
Navy rushing offense
Georgia Southern rushing defense
Navy needs Ricky Dobbs to retake the five points of ball security class. Dobbs has fumbled nine times in the last three games losing the ball an unacceptable four times. His inability to hold onto the ball cost Navy the game Monday. Navy produced 429 yards and averaged 5.7 yards a carry against Maryland. "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 6 yards on 9 carries. The line blocked well. Perimeter blocking also did a very good job. The Eagles best player is sophomore nose tackle Brent Russell. As a freshman last year Russell finished among the conference leaders in tackles for loss, sacks, and forced fumbles. Russell recorded five tackles, three for a loss, in the opener. The Eagles defense is very solid and should be one of the better units in Southern Conference with its top eight tacklers returning from last season  
Navy passing offense
Georgia Southern passing defense
Ricky Dobbs completed 6 of 10 attempts for 73 yards. Dobbs was sacked twice. Gee Gee Greene looks to have replaced Marcus Curry as Dobbs favorite target. 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. Georgia Southern overwhelmed Savannah State in their opener. They had four sacks and held them to just 80 yards passing with only 8 completions in 23 attempts. Cornerback Laron Scott, who intercepted 3 passes last year, is the best defensive back on the Eagles. Scott was named second team preseason All-Southern Conference.  
Georgia Southern rushing offense
Navy rushing defense
Georgia Southern returns to its spread option roots that produced six Division 1-AA championships in the first 20 years of the programs existence. Jeff Monken, a former Navy and Georgia Tech slot back coach, is the new head coach that brings the Eagle offense back to the future. Monken was joined by former Georgia Tech quarterback Jaybo Shaw to run the offense. Shaw who saw time playing time as a freshman at Georgia Tech understands the offense and how to run it. Freshman fullback Robert Brown rushed for 122 yards in the Eagles opener. Against Savannah State Georgia Southern ran for 434 yards and six touchdowns. The Navy defense had a rough first half against Maryland allowing touchdowns on the first two series. Navy's inexperienced linebackers failed to maintain their gap assignments and other than Tyler Simmons seemed stuck on blocks. Georgia Southern's offensive line is undersized even by option standards and should have trouble handled Navy's front especially Jabaree Tuani.  
Georgia Southern passing offense
Navy passing defense
Jaybo Shaw has a good arm for an option quarterback. In the opener he completed 7 of 10 passes for 109 yards. Interestingly he completed his seven passes to seven different receivers. Navy held the Terps Jamarr Robinson to only 2 of 5 pass completions for just 11 yards. Robinson was sacked once. Emmett Merchant had a key interception. Navy's front should create pressure when Georgia Southern line if forced to pass protect..  
Special Teams
Other than Alex Teich on kickoff returns Navy special teams struggled against the Terps. 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 two punts. One was returned 57 yards and nearly for a touchdown. New punt returner Gary Myers dropped his first punt return but recovered it. Navy kicking game was outstanding last year hopefully it was first game jitters. Georgia Southern has a very good place kicker in Adrian Mora who was named Southern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week. Kickoff specialist Billy Greer has a strong leg and averaged 63 yards on his 9 kickoffs in the opening game. Charlie Edwards is a good punter who pinned 18 punts inside the 20-yard line last year. Scott is returning kickoffs this year and has good speed.  
Two disciples from Paul Johnson coaching tree square off in their first meeting.  
Ken Niumatalolo's said it best that the lost to Maryland was 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 and was stopped short on what would have been a game winning score on fourth-and-goal with 34 seconds left. Any chance of the Mids overlooking the Eagles even with a short work week is gone.  

PREDICTION: Navy's will take out their frustration on the Eagles. Navy 41-17

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