Report Card: Navy vs. Western Kentucky

The Navy Midshipmen defeated Western Kentucky 40-14. Navy overcame the miserable rainy conditions in Kentucky and a number of mistakes to record 510 yards of offense. The Mids produced four scoring plays over 40 yards.




Western Kentucky


Kriss Proctor completed 3-of-7 passes for 100 yards and threw two touchdown passes. Proctor's first pass of the game to wide receiver Brandon Turner fell incomplete. On third down his pass to Alexander Teich was a little off the mark but Teich, who normally catches that pass, dropped it. Teich might have had trouble catching the ball in the rain as he dropped a pass on the next series as well.

Proctor completed his first pass of the game to slotback Aaron Santiago on a wheel route for a 29 yard gain. Three plays later Proctor used a play action pass on third-and-3 to hit a wide open Matt Aiken for a 44-yard touchdown. It was Aikens first career touchdown catch. In second quarter with WKU's secondary selling out to stop the run, Proctor faked a handoff to the fullback on the mesh then hit a wide open Brandon Turner on a post pattern for a 27-yard touchdown. Proctor just missed a potential third touchdown pass when his throw to Turner was broken up by Cam Thomas. Kriss was sacked for a nine-yard loss on his final pass attempt of the night.
It wasn't as pretty as it seems. Navy did rush for 410 yards, averaged 7.2 yards a carry, and scored three touchdowns. Despite the gaudy numbers and big plays there were a number of breakdowns and Navy fumbled four times losing two.

With WKU star Mike linebacker Andrew Jackson (10 tackles, 1 forced fumble) keying on the quarterback, Kriss Proctor (16 carries, 23 net yards, 0 TDs) found little running room. WKU's over emphasis on putting the safety in the box and firing their cornerbacks left plenty of room for the A backs and when the B backs broke the line of scrimmage they were able to produce a number of long runs.

B-back Alexander Teich carried 15 times for 102 yards. His backup Mike Patrick, filling in for the injured Delvin Diggs, rushed six times for 62 yards. He nearly took a 46-yard run the distance. Patrick's return to fullback from the overcrowded A back position was a smart move by the staff. He was the NAPS offensive MVP in 2009 playing fullback. John Howell carried three times for 113 yards. Howell opened the scoring with a 50-yard touchdown run when he burst through a hole off a terrific Bo Snelson block to score untouched. In the third period he cut back and dived into the end zone on a long 57-yard touchdown run.

Aaron Santiago ran 5 times for 19 yards and scored a touchdown before suffering a serious fracture to his arm which may end his career. Gee Gee Greene (4 carries, 50 yards) took a pitchout and made a nice stutter step move for a 23-yard run helped set up a touchdown. Bo Snelson (4 carries, 32 yards) ran and blocked well but lost a fumble. Wide Receiver Doug Furman had a tremendous night blocking on the perimeter.
Navy held WKU to 153 passing yards allowed no touchdown passes and intercepted two throws. While the quality of WKU's quarterback play left a lot to be desired, don't forget the Mids the last few years had a habit of making every quarterback look like Peyton Manning. In fact, when WKU's starting quarterback Jakes was a redshirt freshman in 2009 he made his first start against Navy in Annapolis and had the best game of his career throwing for 276 yards and two touchdowns. On Saturday night Navy's defense drove him to the bench. To be fair Jakes's own receivers hurt him by dropping a number of catchable passes.

Navy did a nice job of generating some pressure especially from Jabaree Tuani and Jamal Dobbs. Dobbs teamed up with Wes Henderson (3 tackles, fumble recovery) for Navy's only sack. David Sperry (7 tackles, 1 pass defense) lost his footing in coverage on one play in second half but other than that had a solid game. Shawn Lynch played with more confidence and had a career high six tackles. Tra'ves Bush made six tackles and intercepted a pass, returning it 49 yards for a touchdown. Kwesi Mitchell played well again at rover making five tackles.
Similar to last week, the Mids gave up some yards to a talented halfback (this week Bobby Rainey; 131 yards, 2 TDs), but limited any big plays (longest run 20 yards) while keeping the rest of the team in check. WKU ran for a net 124 yards and averaged just 3.9 yards a carry.

Jared Marks returned to nose tackle and played well recording three tackles while playing two gap and leaving the inside linebackers to roam free. Inside linebacker Matt Warrick had a tremendous game with 12 tackles, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup. Matt Brewer is proving to be an explosive hitter at inside linebacker. He posted nine tackles and forced a fumble. Keegan Wetzel replaced an injured Jared Shannon and did a solid job in his first start making six tackles. Mason Graham made two tackles before leaving the game with an injury to his knee.
The Mids special teams struggled in the rain. Pablo Beltran struggled punting most of the night. His longest punt was 40 yards as he averaged just 34.6 yards per punt. He placed just one punt inside the 20-yard line. Kick coverage had a terrible night allowing an average of 32.7 yards per kickoff return including 75-yard kickoff return where David Wright ran down Andrews and saved a touchdown.

Navy botched two extra point attempts. A poor snap by Brian Ackerman prevented kicker Teague from attempting the extra point after the Mids first touchdown. Teague later missed another extra point kick in the third quarter. Punt returner Gary Myers fumbled a punt early and was tentative fielding punts after that mistake. Only kick returner Marcus Thomas, who returned three kickoffs 65 yards, had a decent game.
Offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper did a tremendous job in matching up against the WKU defense. WKU often fired its corners and rolled its safety into the box. Jasper called a play action pass against this defense and Matt Aiken was wide open for a 44-yard touchdown. Jasper made WKU pay for their aggressive but unsound scheme almost all night. Ken Niumatalolo showed his emotional side discussing the serious injury to Aaron Santiago. It's easy to see why his players play so hard for him.
There were far too many mistakes to earn an 'A' grade but the Mids offense consistently made WKU pay for their aggressive scheme. Defensively it was a very solid performance.

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