Report Card: Navy vs. Army

For the tenth consecutive year the Navy Midshipmen defeated the Army Black Knights in football's greatest rivalry in front of a crowd of 80,789 fans at FEDEX Field in Maryland. Navy kicker Jon Teague hit two field goals in the final quarter and the Mids' held off Army, 27-21.

Navy took a 14-0 lead but Army twice battled back to tie the score. Navy converted three costly Army turnovers into 17 points. The Mids' 10-game winning streak is the longest in series history by either team. Navy now holds a 56-49-7 series lead. The Midshipmen ended the season with a disappointing 5-7 record.


Navy

27

__


Army

21

AREA
GRADE
COMMENTS
PASSING OFFENSE
D
Kriss Proctor hit just 1 of 3 passes for 13 yards and was sacked twice. He didn't attempt a pass till the third quarter. Kriss threw an incompletion to Casey Bolena on a go route on his first attempt. Proctor threw a completion on the next play hitting Gee Gee Greene on a 13 yard pass for a first down. Navy eventually kicked the game winning field goal on that drive. The offensive line had difficulty pass blocking Army's flex front. Alexander Teich was knocked aside by Army's Nate Combs on a blitz and sacked Proctor just before the end of the first half. Proctor's last pass was a third and long attempt for Matt Aiken which fell incomplete.
RUSHING OFFENSE
B+
Navy used it interior size to rush for 296 yards, 4.5 yards per carry and three touchdowns. It was a very physical game inside. The Mids' benefited from three Army turnovers that gave them a short field and produced 17 points. Kriss Proctor called his own number often as he grinded away for 97 yards on 32 carries while scoring two touchdowns.

Proctor's run of the day was when he used his speed on a 32 yard run that set up Navy's second touchdown. Proctor lost two fumbles but Army wasn't able to capitalize. Alexander Teich pounded inside 18 times for 93 yards and scored a touchdown on a ten yard run. Gee Greene (46 yards, 6.6 avg.) was able to turn the corner and make people miss. He fumbled once but his teammates recovered. Aaron Santiago ran four times for 27 yards. Backup B-back Delvin Diggs (25 yards) had a big 15 yard carry to open the third quarter and set up a Mids' touchdown.
PASSING DEFENSE
D
Army didn't pass much but the Mids' didn't do a good job in coverage on the few occasions they threw the ball. Trent Steelman played after missing time with an injury and completed 4-of-6 pass attempts for 77 yards and a touchdown. After cornerback Sperry froze in coverage, Bush rolled to cover the wide receiver on a go route which left Malcolm Brown open for a touchdown catch. Chris Ferguson (2 tackles) had the deep middle covered and was late coming to help. Freshman Parrish Gaines (1 tackle) has ability but struggled in pass coverage this year. Matt Warrick (9 tackles, 2 TFL) recorded a sack on Steelman that killed Army's momentum on a key drive that fell short late in the fourth quarter.
RUSHING DEFENSE
C
It wasn't pretty but Navy's ability to force fumbles made the difference. The Mids' allowed 298 yards, six yards a carry and two rushing touchdowns. Army's had good success running inside at Navy's inside linebacker Matt Warrick and Caleb King (6 tackles) who were often slow to fit and disengage from blocks. Tra'ves Bush made nine tackles but was slow to react on Trent Steelman's 34 yard touchdown run. Jared Marks (4 tackles) had trouble with Army star freshman center Ryan Powis. Jabaree Tuani (6 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery) was unblockable for the fourth straight year.
SPECIAL TEAMS
A
After struggling all year the Mids' special teams played well in the most important game of the year. Jon Teague banged his first extra-point attempt off the upright but it was good. It was a positive omen for the rest of the game as Teague hit 23 and 44 yard field goals in the fourth quarter to secure the win. It was a clutch performance by the kicker. Alexander Teich (2 KR, 71 yards) had a huge 48 yard kickoff return to open the second half and it swung the momentum back towards Navy. Marcus Thomas had a nice 36 yard return late in the first half. Punter Pablo Beltran's late season slide continued as he averaged 35.3 yards on three punts. On the positive side none were returned and he placed one inside the 20 late in the game. Noah Copeland had four special team tackles and forced a fumble that set up Navy's final field goal. The kickoff coverage which had struggled most of the season was excellent as they allowed just 17.7 per kickoff return.
COACHING
A
Ken Niumatalolo is now 4-0 in his career against Army. His decision to try to draw the opponent offside on fourth and short has been derided but it worked in the biggest game.

Offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper had a rare size advantage up front and proceeded to pound the ball at Army running 66 times. Buddy Green's defense was lucky it had Jabaree Tuani. This unit needs a lot of work next year.
OVERALL GRADE
B
Army has closed the gap but the Mids' refuse to lose approach was led by captains Alexander Teich and Jabaree Tuani. They played great and provided on the field leadership in their final game at Navy.


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