Report Card: Navy vs. Arkansas State

Navy senior captains Ricky Dobbs and Wyatt Middleton led the way as Navy defeated the Arkansas State Red Wolves, 35-19. Dobbs accounted for 318 total yards and four touchdowns. The Mids started strong jumping to a 21-3 lead before a few turnovers and a scoreless third quarter allowed the Red Wolves to get back into the game.

Navy produced an 80-yard drive that ended with a Dobbs touchdown run to take control early in the fourth quarter. Navy's record improves to (8-3) with the victory.




Arkansas State


Ricky Dobbs completed 8-of-9 passes for 164 yards and one touchdowns. Greg Jones had four receptions for 129 yards and one touchdown. Jones' 85-yard touchdown reception was set up by having Greg starting as an ineligible receiver then resetting to making himself eligible. It was a beautiful throw by Dobbs. Aaron Santiago had an 11-yard catch. Gee Gee Greene had a 15-yard catch for a first down. Bo Snelson and Alexander Teich each had a catch. Navy's pass protection was once again excellent allowing no sacks.
Navy rushed for 301 yards, four touchdowns and averaged five yards per carry. Senior quarterback Ricky Dobbs ran for a season high 154 yards on 31 carries and scored three touchdowns. In his final appearance at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, it was the Ricky Dobbs show as he accounted for 318 total yards. Ricky did have a fumble on a mesh handoff which ended a scoring drive and missed some reads but it was his day. Fullback Alexander Teich carried the ball 12 times for 86 yards and a 64-yard touchdown run. Fellow "B" back Vince Murray ran three times for 10 yards. Slotback Bo Snelson, who has seen his role increased the past few weeks, ran three times for 25 yards. Gee Gee Greene had an uncharacteristically quiet day as he rushed twice for just six yards. Aaron Santiago had three carries for 15 yards. Wide out Greg Jones allowed Santiago to get hammered for a two yard loss when he missed a cut block. John Howell had a feast and famine day. On his first carry he rushed 12 yards for a touchdown. On his next pitch Howell dropped the ball and ended a Mids drive when Arkansas State recovered the fumble and returned it 17 yards which set up a field goal. The offensive line once again played well and created holes.
Navy's bend but don't break defense worked as it held Arkansas State spread passing attack to 178 passing yards which is 94 yards under their average. Ryan Alpin completed a high percentage hitting 22-of-30 passes but virtually everything was underneath. Defensive end Billy Yarborough had a career day with five tackles and three sacks. Defensive back Tra'ves Bush played linebacker and had a great game with nine tackles and an interception return for 32 yards. Wyatt Middleton had 7 tackles, a fumble recovery and defended two pass. Cornerbacks Kwesi Mitchell, 2 tackles and Kevin Edwards, 5 tackles, did a better job in coverage not allowing much yardage after the catch. Jordan Fraser played linebacker and impressed in his first significant game action with 7 tackles and a pass defensed.
The Red Wolves had success running at Navy which was playing two defensive backs at linebacker to defend against ASU's wide open spread passing attack. Navy allowed 187 yards rushing and gave up 4.9 yards a carry. As usual Tyler Simmons was active with nine tackles. Nose tackle Chase Burge had six stops. Jerry Haubuger made five tackles and Jabaree Tuani made four tackles.
Kyle Delahooke's up and down season continued as he hit a 27-yard punt off the side of his foot on his first punt to give the Red Wolves a short field that led to a field goal. He later nailed a 48 yard punt. Marcus Thomas returned three kickoffs for 70 yards. Punt returner Gary Myers had a return for three yards. The special teams kickoff coverage after playing well the past few games gave up an 81-yard kickoff return to R.J. Fleming which set up an ASU touchdown.
Many opposing fans felt that the program would take a step back after Ken Niumatalolo took over. While Navy celebrates this terrific senior class, young talent like Tra'ves Bush, Jordan Fraser, Bo Snelson and Brandon Turner emerges as the next generation. Ivin Jasper used a play similar to the one he ran last year at Notre Dame when he had receiver Greg Jones reset from being an ineligible receiver to being eligible. The deception worked as the Red Wolves left Jones uncovered for an 85-yard touchdown bomb. Buddy Green once again decided to use two defensive backs in the mix at linebacker and it made Navy more athletic and allowed them to get deeper and quicker drops. Navy was able to keep every receiver in front of them and denied the big play.
At times an uneven performance, where two fumbles kept the Red Wolves in the game, but it was a convincing win.. While it was sad to see Navy captains Ricky Dobbs and Wyatt Middleton make their last appearance at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial stadium, it was great that they both finish their last games at Annapolis with terrific performances.

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