Report Card: Navy vs. Air Force

Air Force ended its seven game losing streak against Navy. Tim Jefferson, the Air Force quarterback, ran for both of the Falcon touchdowns. The Mids had defeated their fellow service academies fifteen consecutive times before Saturday's loss.




Air Force


Ricky Dobbs completed just 6 of 18 pass attempts for 103 yards with two interceptions. Greg Jones had two catches for 40 yards. Jones made some nice cuts to pick up extra yards on a 21-yard catch in first quarter. Dobbs missed an open Jones deep on the last Mid drive of game. Gee Gee Greene had two catches for 30 yards. Navy's offensive line allowed only one sack. Dobbs interception after Jefferson's first touchdown was thrown into double coverage and had no chance. Dobbs missed several open receivers and wasn't able to hit anyone in stride.
Navy ran for 209 and averaged 4.2 yards per carry. Dobbs ankle and groin injuries have seemed to sap his burst. Ricky was never the fastest quarterback but isn't breaking tackles and making people miss like in previous years. Dobbs' 18 carries produced only 67 yards. Dobbs' streak of scoring in every game he started came to an end. The "B" backs didn't have a lot of room inside as they rushed for only 83 yards. .Gee Gee Greene (31 yards) and Andre Byrd (50 yards) showed good speed outside. Missed assignments by the offensive line and slot backs continue to be a source of frustration. It's amazing how much the Mids have struggled in the redzone.
Air Force quarterback Tim Jefferson completed 5 of 7 passes for 83 yards. Aaron McCauley showed excellent speed off the edge in sacking Jefferson. Jefferson kept a few drives alive with some nice throws but the Falcon passing game didn't figure in either touchdown. Emmett Merchant suffered his second concussion in three games.
The Mids allowed 292 yards rushing and two touchdowns to the nation's leading rushing attack. Air Force ran for 131 yards on their first 6 carries but only averaged 3.4 yards a carry the rest of the game. Air Force only had nine first downs rushing. Inside linebacker Max Blue had an impressive first start recording 15 tackles. Fellow inside linebacker Tyler Simmons was in on eleven tackles. Kevin Edwards showed great closing speed in running down Jared Tew and forcing a fumble on the Falcons first possession. After missing way too many tackles the first two Air Force offensive series the defense settled down and kept Navy in the game.
The special teams may have cost Navy the game. Kyle Delahooke struggled continued as he averaged only 37.6 yards on this five punts. His slow delivery was blocked by the Falcons Jamil Cooks and set up the Falcons' last 15-yard touchdown drive. Joe Buckley's first 21-yard field goal attempt missed as it was also deflected by Cooks. Buckley later hit field goals from 25 yards and 32 yards. Gary Myers returned two punts for 15 yards. Alex Teich averaged 26.5 yards on his two kickoff returns.
Redzone offense continues to be a problem. Ivan Jasper's play calling remains predictable and uninspired in redzone. What worked so well the last few years isn't getting the job right now. Great job of adjustments by Buddy Green after it looked like the Falcons were going to run Navy out of the building early. Clock management continues to be an issue for head coach Ken Niumatalolo.
For the first time since 1976 the Mids failed to score a touchdown against Air Force. Navy drove inside the 14-yard-line three times but only scored six points. The team played hard but the inability to score in the redzone is a reason for two losses this season.

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