Navy Report Card: VMI

Navy routed VMI 41-3 on Saturday in Annapolis. GoMids.com grades ever aspect of the Mids performance versus the Keydets.

Passing Offense: C

Quarterback Trey Miller was 7 for 13 for 107 yards; the junior signal caller completed his first pass of the night to fullback Noah Copeland for a first down. A "roughing the passer penalty" added on brought the Mids into Keydet territory. With a 10-point lead in the second half, Navy benefited from a personal foul penalty added to a Miller 15-yard completion to junior Shawn Lynch.

On the Mids first drive of the fourth quarter, Miller completed a 27-yard pass to senior Gee Gee Greene. On the next play the signal caller completed a pass to Brandon Turner for 7 yards before taking off on a 40-yard touchdown scamper to take a 27-3 lead.

A sack caused Miller's third fumble of the day, that was recovered by senior Midshipman guard Josh Cabral. Turner led the Mids with 3 receptions for 35 yards and Greene added 2 catches, leading Navy with 46 receiving yards.

Rushing Offense: B+

On The Opening drive Greene and Copeland combined for 40 yards on four carries to bring the Mids into Keydet territory. Trey Miller would cough up one of his three fumbles of the day and VMI responded with a field goal. Navy put together a 10 play, 82 yard drive that included four runs by Miller, Copeland, and Darius Staten of 10 yards or more.

On the Mids next scoring drive, Greene broke a 36-yard before being pushed out of bounds at the Keydet 7-yard line. Miller capped the drive off with a 7-yard touchdown run to give the Mids a 10-3 lead.

At the start of the fourth quarter Miller reacted to pressure on an option by cutting it straight up the middle. The junior signal caller dodged and jumped over Keydet defenders for a 40-yard touchdown run that gave Navy 27-3 lead.

Copeland had an excellent day, running for 126 yards rushing and a 6.3 yard per rush average. Miller led the team with 3 rushing touchdowns and 125 yards rushing. He ran for 54 yards and a touchdown in the first half, but also had a pair of habitual fumbles.

Passing Defense: B+

After the turnover on the opening drive, Kordenbrock completed a string of passes to march the Keydets down for a 42-yard field goal. Sophomore linebacker Jordan Drake halted VMI momentum on the drive with a 12-yard sack to push the Keydets back to the 41-yard line. On the next play Kordenbrock completed a 17-yard pass to Aaron Lewis to set up the field goal.

The Mids knocked starting VMI quarterback Eric Kordenbrock out of the game on their second drive; redshirt junior A.J. Augustine replaced Kordenbrock and was able to complete a few passes for first downs.

The Keydets were only able to cross into Navy territory twice the rest of the game.

On their opening drive of the second half, Augustine completed a 20-yard pass to Stefawn Ross to cross midfield. After a 22-yard run by Augustine that brought the Keydets within field goal range, Keegan Wetzel came through with a sack that pushed VMI back to the 32-yard line. On fourth-and-13 after a two-yard completion, Augustine's next pass to Jabari Turner fell incomplete and the Mids got the ball on downs.

Kordenbrock returned on the next drive and the Keydets would enter Navy territory only once more. After a 9-yard pass Keydet completion, freshman Quincy Adams dazzled fans when he pulled in an interception with one hand.

The Mids got their third interception of the year on the next drive when linebacker Matt Warrick intercepted a Eric Kordenbrock pass and returned it 7 yards for a touchdown--giving the Mids a 34-3 lead and their first defensive touchdown of the season.

Navy held the Keydet starter Eric Kordenbrock to 9 for 16 for 78 yards, with 2 interceptions. Augustine did not do too much better, completing 7 for 15 passes for 54 yards passing.

Rushing Defense: B

The Midshipmen had an excellent first half, holding the Keydets to 36 yards rushing on 14 carries. Over the course of the day Navy tallied 7 tackles for a loss and 3 sacks, for a loss of -39 yards.

The longest play the Mids gave up was the 22-yard scamper by Augustine to start the second half. Keydet running back Jabari Turner had a little success on a the 2nd quarter with rushes of 15, 5, and 3 yards. Senior safety Tra'ves Bush put a stop to it and forced a punt on third-and-2 to give the Mids excellent field position.

Turner led the Keydets with 67 yards on 16 carries. As a team VMI was held to a 2.8 yards per rush average and 129 yards rushing. With seconds left in the fourth quarter, VMI running back Deon Watts took advantage of the Navy playing prevent defense; the sophomore ended the day second on the team with 24 yards rushing on 4 carries.

Special Teams: B

Punter Pablo Beltran had a solid day with 2 punts inside the 20-yard line with one that pinned the Keydets on their own 2-yard line; the punt would lead to Warrick's 7-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Shawn Lynch returned a punt 40 yards to give the Mids superb field position inside the VMI 15-yard line. Navy was unable to capitalize as Miller lost his second fumble of the day two plays later.

Placekicker Nick Sloan kicked a pair of field goals in the first half from 19 and 35 yards to keep him a perfect 3-3 on the season. Slotback Marcus Thomas returned kicks for the Mids with a long return 26 yards. Navy special teams had an outstanding day and did not give up a return for more than 19 yards.

Coaching: B-

After fumbles by Miller on two of Navy's first three drives, coach Ken Niumatalolo was close to calling someone elses name.

''I told Trey, 'One more turnover and we have to move on,'" Niumatalolo said. ''We couldn't have that.''

Miller calmed down in the second half and did not cough the ball up the remainder of the game. Without the all too familiar mental mistakes, this victory could have been even more lopsided than it already was. The Midshipmen were also penalized 7 times for 52 yards and the Keydets were outmatched but managed to keep things close in the first half. The margin for error will not be close to as high against a tough San Jose State team next week.

Overall: B

It took a while for things to get rolling and it wasn't always pretty but it was nice to see the Mids put up 510 total yards of offense, including 403 yards rushing. Navy gained 27 first downs while holding the Keydets to 12. The Mids were 5 of 9 on third-down conversions and held the Keydets to 5 of 15.

Navy held VMI to 222 total yards of offense, buckling down after VMI put the first points on the board with a field goal. Navy was able to keep its undefeated streak against the Keydets, a Spartan team that nearly beat Stanford in the opener.

Just like the first two games, the mental mistakes can't continue for Navy to have a successful season. They've played the tough and the not-so tough, and now the next question lies ahead: How will the Mids fare in a visit from San Jose State next week?

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