Report Card: Navy vs. SMU

Navy kept its bowl hopes alive with a 24-17 victory over the SMU Mustangs in Dallas, Texas. Navy rushed for 335 yards and played its best defensive games this season to limit the high powered Mustang Run and Shoot Passing attack. Quarterback Kriss Proctor led the team with 107 rushing yards as Navy attempted just two passes all day long. The victory improves Navy's record to 4-6.






It's a little hard to grade a team's passing when they attempt only two passes and complete none. Kriss Proctor first pass attempt was a careless throw into coverage on third down. Proctor threw under pressure while being chased to the sideline. Instead of throwing the ball away, Kriss tried to hit Matt Aiken who wasn't open and was short of the first down marker. The pass was picked off by SMU cornerback Kenneth Acker. Proctor's next pass attempt to Gee Gee Greene was under thrown and fell incomplete but SMU was called for pass interference, setting up the Mids first touchdown. Kriss tried to hit fullback Alexander Teich on his last pass off play action but it fell incomplete. Offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper called no pass plays in the second half.
Navy rushed for 335 yards and averaged 5.2 yards per carry. Kriss Proctor led the Mids with 107 rushing yards on 17 carries. Proctor continues to miss too many option reads. While he's played well, his ability to make decisions in the option game was been more inconsistent than expected entering this season. Fullback Alexander Teich grinded out 90 yards on 21 carries. Fellow B back Delvin Diggs (31 yards, 5.2 avg.) played well in relief of Teich. The Mustang defense gave the Mids the perimeter most of the game. Gee Gee Greene ran eight times for 67 yards and scored a touchdown. Greene played great; he made a terrific block on Stukel's touchdown run and had a number of key runs. The most important was when Navy was trying to run out the clock on their final possession. Gee Gee converted a third-and-six with a nice catch of a tough pitch, made a hard cut and finished with a dive for an eight yard gain and a huge first down. Aaron Santiago (18 yards), Mike Stukel (11 yards, 1 TD) and John Howell (15 yards, 1 TD) all contributed at A-Back. The offensive line, with sophomore Graham Vickers starting at right tackle, played very well against SMU's huge defensive front.
SMU quarterback McDermott completed 26 of 36 passes for 249 yards with a touchdown. Like last week the Mids secondary allowed SMU the underneath patterns but tackled well and created turnovers to end drives. The Mids sacked McDermott twice. Jabaree Tuani (4 tackles), who has battled injuries and a bad back this year, was in top form with a sack, three tackles for loss and a pass knocked down. Tuani dominated all game. Bryce French made six tackles and had another sack. French made a number of solid open field tackles and has emerged as the Mids best outside linebacker. David Sperry (6 tackles) had an end zone interception on a under thrown fade pattern to end a drive. After the catch Sperry knelled down for the touchback. When he looks at the film he'll kick himself since SMU was in a trips formation to the other side and he probably could have returned it for a touchdown since no one was in front of him. Chris Ferguson had a key interception after Proctor was picked off the play before.
SMU ran for 137 yards and averaged 4.7 yards a carry with a touchdown. Matt Brewer (9 tackles, 1 pass defensed) provides a physical presence that the Mids lacked inside when he's was out. Tra'ves Bush made nine tackles and had one for a loss. Matt Warrick made seven tackles and had a key pass breakup on fourth down. Kwesi Mitchell was nearly run over once by SMU's Zach Line on one of his five tackles. Defensive end Joshua Jones made five tackles and knocked down a pass. Plebe cornerback Parrish Gaines (3 tackles) continues to miss open field tackles.
Jon Teague made a 39 yard field goal on the opening drive and had two touchbacks on his kickoffs. Matt Aiken (4 punt returns 10 yards) dropped a fair catch attempt that SMU recovered but it didn't hurt the team when SMU went for it on 4th-and-five and the defense held. Marcus Thomas had a nice 26 yard returns but a Mid holding penalty pushed it back ten yards. Pablo Beltran, back home in Texas, had a terrific day averaging 41.7 yards on his three punts with all of them landing inside the 20-yard line. He made an excellent punt under duress just before the end of the half. For a change the Mid punt and kickoff coverage teams had an excellent game covering kicks.
Ken Niumatalolo's team played a complete game on the road against a quality opponent. It was a great win. Offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper proved once again that he believes in sticking with what works and had no trouble not attempting a pass in the second half. Navy was once again perfect in the red zone converting each trip. Defensive coordinator Buddy Green and his staff deserve credit for the improved performance of his unit the last two weeks.
Looks like the Mids are finally back on track. After a nightmarish six game losing streak, Navy won its second game in a row with a terrific all round effort. This was an impressive road win and a very good performance against the 15th ranked passing team in the nation.

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