Navy should be 2-0 for first time in 5 years

If Navy beats Western Kentucky as expected on Saturday, it will be their first 2-0 start since 2006. Win or lose the road after the Hilltoppers gets much more difficult with South Carolina, Air Force and Southern Miss on deck. If the Midshipmen have any thoughts of a special season they would be wise to take care of business in the Bluegrass state this weekend.

Before I get to my prognostication, let's revisit last week's prediction by yours truly. First the good news – I guessed that there would be 58 points scored when in reality Navy and Delaware put up a combined 57 points.

Unfortunately the bad news is that I picked Delaware – who I thought should have been favored in the first place – to win the game 34-24. Of course we all know that Navy not only beat the Blue Hens 40-17, they did so rather easily. In fact back-up quarterback Trey Miller, along with several of his teammates, saw their first-ever action at the FBS level.

Last week I based my prediction on what was available on paper – and on paper Delaware was the more veteran team, bigger in the trenches (as usual), and their defense had a ton of time to prepare for Navy's triple option attack. In addition, in the past two seasons at least, Navy has had a tough time getting out of the gate – failing to put together complete games in their openers. So picking the Blue Hens made sense…and so too does picking Navy to beat Western Kentucky this Saturday. True the Hilltoppers played on Thursday which gave them a few extra days to prepare for the Mids offense and to rest from their loss to Kentucky. And even though a win over the Wildcats would have given them a lot of confidence going into this game, I expect their home opener will make up for the 11-point defeats.

As usual Navy's game plan will be to stop their opponent's running game…which for the second week in a row features a running back who amassed over 1,600 yards on the ground the previous season. The Mids should get a boost in that department with the return of senior nose guard Jared Marks who is back after serving a one-game suspension. With the emergence last week of sophomore Jamel Dobbs, Navy's defensive line, which I thought might be a weakness this season, could actually turn into a strength.

Then again I remember last year's defense being woefully inconsistent, so one game definitely doesn't make for a trend just yet.

On offense, Navy's line opened some gaping holes against the Blue Hens, but they will face a stiffer test this week – just ask Kentucky's senior laden line which struggled mightily against the Hilltoppers last week. Fortunately for the Mids, Delaware's defense couldn't stop Navy's rushing attack which meant that Kriss Proctor wasn't put in a position where he had to throw the ball to keep the opponent off-balance. Even with putting 8 defenders in the box, the Blue Hens weren't able to contain the Mids on the ground.

I would be shocked in Navy is able to put up the same type of rushing numbers this week, which means once again, I'm predicting that Proctor will have to hit some key passes early in order for the Mids to have success. I also think the Mids might regress a little bit on defense which I will attribute to a tick-up in competition along with the fact that there is no way Navy will go two games in a row without a penalty.

Score: Navy 31, Western Kentucky 23 MVP: Gee Gee Greene (2 TDs and over 130 all-purpose yards)

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