Three Keys Revisited: Navy vs. VMI

There is nothing quite like a victory Monday on campus. With losses to a couple of BCS stalwarts in the rear view mirror it was imperative that the Midshipmen turned their season around in Annapolis on Saturday. Let's see if the 41-3 victory was set up by meeting the keys outlined last week.

1) Get Trey Miller going

Well, it almost didn't happen, but eventually Trey Miller overcame his early mistakes and put together the kind of game which Navy need him to have for the team to be successful. After losing two early fumbles, and with the Mids down 3-0, Miller was given an ultimatum by head coach Ken Niumatalolo. Simply put, if there were any more turnovers Miller was done. Thankfully for Navy Miller took the talk to heart and then took off.

After surviving a fumble early in the second quarter (recovered by a teammate) Miller put together a 17 carry, 116 yard performance on the ground which continually befuddled the VMI defense. Miller scored three rushing touchdowns himself and led a ground game which amassed over 400 yards in the victory. If Miller can cut out his mistakes the Navy ground game will be dominant the rest of the season.

2) Improve on the offensive line

Though the Navy offensive line is still something of a work in progress there was a definite improvement in the play of the unit this weekend. The team's rushing total of 403 yards was more than in the two previous games combined, while the insertion of center Tanner Fleming midway through the second quarter seemed to allow the blocking scheme to gel almost instantly. Navy was also a very solid four of five in red zone efficiency. If the line can make strides like this as the season progresses then the yards will continue to pile up.

3) Make plays on defense

The most pleasing aspect of the game for all involved will certainly have been the play of the defense. Navy held VMI to just 222 yards of total offense while picking up three sacks along the way. The Navy pass rush was as relentless as it has been all year and the front seven were able to get constant pressure on the quarterback with a variety of blitzes and straight up pass rush schemes. Navy knocked first string quarterback Eric Korndenbrock out of the game in the first quarter with a series of punishing hits. The defense was rewarded late in the 4th quarter with a Matt Warrick 7 yard interception return for a touchdown.

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