Head-to-head: Navy vs. Central Michigan

Navy returns home after its blowout win over East Carolina to face the Central Michigan Chippewas in Annapolis. Navy scored the most points in a game since 1919 as they turned a close game into a second half rout of East Carolina 76-35 last Saturday. Central Michigan scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to beat in state rival Western Michigan and break its six-game losing streak.

These two teams met only once before in 2003 with Navy beating Central Michigan 63-34 in Annapolis.

Central Michigan
Navy rushing offense
Central Michigan rushing defense
Navy produced a stunning 521yards rushing, scored eight rushing touchdowns and averaged 8.4 per carry against East Carolina. Fullback Alexander Teich led the Mids with 157 yards against the Pirates. Fellow "B" back Vince Murray, returning from an injury, ran eight times for 68 yards and two touchdowns .Quarterback Ricky Dobbs leads the team in rushing with 652 yards and has scored ten touchdowns. Ricky did a terrific job reading the hapless Pirates defense. Slot back Gee Gee Greene, who has 386 yards rushing this year, scored on a pitch for his fourth touchdown run this year. The offensive line dominated ECU's young defense which has struggled all year. Central Michigan's rushing defense is ranked 66th in the nation in run defense allowing over 154 rushing yards a game. Due to injuries along on their defensive line Central Michigan now plays a 3-4 defense. John Williams is their best player up front. Williams is an active nose tackle with 32 tackles to his credit. The strength of the Chippewas defense is their senior linebackers led by Matt Berning and Nick Bellore. Berning leads the team in tackles with 85, tackles for loss with 13 and sacks with four. Nick Bellore is a two time All-MAC selection who has started 51 consecutive games. Bellore has recorded eighty tackles this year.  
Navy passing offense
Central Michigan passing defense
Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs has thrown a touchdown pass in five consecutive games. He's thrown the ball very well the last month.. On the season Dobbs has passed for 1,030 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions. He has a chance to tie or pass Alton Grizzard for Navy's single season touchdown passing record. Greg Jones scored on his third touchdown reception this year against East Carolina. Jones has emerged as Dobbs favorite receiver with 23 catches for 418 yards. Aaron Santiago has had a huge impact in the passing game since his return from his hamstring injury. Santiago caught a 29-yard touchdown pass on a play action pass from Dobbs against the Pirates. Santiago has caught eight passes for 144 yards and three touchdowns this year. Central Michigan allows over 209 passing yards a game and is ranked 51st in the nation in pass defense. The Chippewas have recorded 20 sacks this year led by linebacker Matt Berning. Cornerback Avery Cunningham has posted 41 tackles and returned a interception 63 yards for a touchdown. Fellow cornerback Vince Agnew has 62 tackles, an interception and has knocked down six passes.  
Central Michigan rushing offense
Navy rushing defense
Central Michigan runs a three receiver offensive set with a tight end and a single back. Carl Volny and Parrs Cotton have split time at running back. Volny has rushed for 347 yards averaging 5.2 yards a carry and four touchdowns. Paris Cotton leads the Chippewas with 627 yards and six rushing touchdowns. Central Michigan averages only 110 rushing yards a game. Navy ranks 65th in the nation against the run. Inside linebacker Tyler Simmons has recorded a career high 17 tackles two consecutive games. Jubaree Tuani had four tackles and forced two fumbles against the Pirates. Nose tackle Chase Burge had two tackles and recovered a fumble last weekend. Outside linebacker Jerry Haubuger has lifted his play the last month.  
Central Michigan passing offense
Navy passing defense
Central Michigan's passing offense is averaging 269 yards a game. Chippewas are ranked 24th in nation in passing. Quarterback Ryan Radcliffe has thrown for 2,642 yards this season, completing 59.1 percent of his passes for 14 touchdown passes against 16 interceptions. Radcliffe has a strong arm but has been plagued by turnovers. Radcliffe has thrown at least one interception in seven straight games. Senior wide receiver Kito Poblah has caught a pass in 33 consecutive games. Poblah has 34 catches for 432 yards and five touchdowns this year. With star receivers Antonio Brown and Bryan Anderson gone, Cody Wilson has emerged as the new big play receiver. Wilson has caught 60 passes for 902 yards and has scored four touchdowns. Wilson set career highs last weekend with 12 receptions for 185 yards. Central Michigan misses former quarterback Dan LeFevour's mobility. The Chippewas are currently ranked 108th in the nation in sacks allowed. Navy struggled at times against East Carolina, especially early, when it looked like the Duke game redux as they allowed touchdown passes on the first two possessions. For the game the Pirates completed 43 of 65 passes for 413 yards and five touchdown passes. Cornerbacks Kwesi Mitchell, 5 tackles and Kevin Edwards, 2 tackles and a pass knockdown, once again had some trouble in coverage but did a nice job keeping the play in front of them. Wyatt Middleton had six tackles and forced a fumble with a huge hit on an East Carolina receiver. Navy didn't generate a lot of consistent pressure as Buddy Green chose to drop more players into coverage.  
Special Teams
The Chippewas kicker David Harman has hit 7-of-9 field goal attempts this year after replacing Dave Mudgett and Richie Hogan who struggled. Punter Brett Hartmann averages 40.3 yards a punt and gets good hang time forcing 12 fair catches. Central Michigan's return teams are pedestrian. They struggle covering punts as opponents are averaging 12.3 yards a punt returns and they have allowed an 80-yard punt return touchdown. Central Michigan has done a better job covering on kickoffs allowing just 19.6 yards per kickoff return Navy punter Kyle Delahooke has been inconsistent this year and averages 38.4 yards per punt. Kicker Jon Teague had a touchback on a kickoff against the Pirates and hit his first two field goal attempts this year from 38 and 20 yards out. Marcus Thomas nearly broke the second kickoff for a touchdown but fumbled after a 31-yard return. Thomas returned five kickoffs for 126 yards. The kickoff coverage unit looks to be reborn after struggling earlier in year. They allowed only 16.5 yards a return on 12 kickoff returns. Punt returner Gary Myers hasn't offered much in the return game averaging only 5.6 yards on 12 punt returns this year.  
Central Michigan under first year coach Dan Enos is in rebuilding mode after the Chippewas appeared in four straight bowl games. Star quarterback Dan Le Fevour and his big play receivers Bryan Anderson and Antonio Brown are gone. Enos had to overhaul the receivers, running back, quarterback and the secondary. Ken Niumatalolo is now 10-1 after a loss as head coach at Navy. He always seems to get the team to respond to any adversity. Ivin Jasper had a dream game for an offensive coordinator last week as everything worked and the Pirates had no answers. Buddy Green's defense struggled with East Carolina's passing game at times but were able to generate turnovers and a number of stops especially in the second half that turned last weekends game into a blowout.  
Navy's played a near perfect game on offense last weekend. After the disappointment over the last home loss against Duke I don't think the Mids will experience a letdown. CMU finally broke a six game losing streak with a victory over in state rival Western Michigan last weekend and are feeling better about themselves coming into this game.  

PREDICTION: Navy 41-24. Navy should be able to run the ball on Central Michigan which hasn't faced a triple option team since it last played Navy in 2003. Central Michigan can move the ball but Navy should roll.

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