Navy Report Card: Arizona State

Navy suffered a 62-28 loss to Arizona State in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on Saturday. GoMids.com's D.T. Yates grades the Mids' performance in several key areas.

Passing Offense: D
In his first bowl appearance, freshman Keenan Reynolds completed 5 for 11 pass attempts for 14 yards passing. The signal caller did an excellent job of avoiding heavy pressure to find junior receiver Matt Aiken for a 3-yard touchdown.

Junior quarterback Trey Miller found senior receiver Brandon Turner for a 23-yard touchdown strike; it was Miller's only pass attempt of the day. Turner caught two passes for 24 yards receiving and a score. Sophomore fullback Noah Copeland also caught two passes, gaining 4 yards receiving.

Rushing Offense: B
Fullback Chris Swain found room down the right sideline for a 36-yard gain. The freshman had four carries for 93 yards rushing. Near the start of the fourth quarter, he broke free for a 46-yard scoring romp and averaged 23.2 yards per carry.

Senior slotback Gee Gee Greene led the rushing attack with 112 yards rushing averaging 9.3 yards per gain. Sophomore slotback Geoffrey Whiteside added 23 yards rushing on four carries, including a 16-yard run in the second quarter. Copeland added 10 rushes for 47 yards rushing. Navy had trouble running between the tackles early and responded by running to the outside with sweeps and tosses.

Passing Defense: F
The Midshipmen had trouble stopping Arizona State sophomore quarterback Taylor Kelly, who completed 17 for 19 pass attempts for 268 yards passing and four touchdowns. Sun Devil senior receiver Rashad Ross went out with a bang with four catches for 139 yards receiving and three scores. His 52-yard touchdown reception at the end of the first half was his longest of the season and the tied the season long for any ASU player this season.

Navy was unable to get pressure on Kelly who did not suffer a sack or tackle for a loss. Senior safety Tra'ves Bush led the secondary with six tackles, including five solo stops. Sophomore cornerback Parrish Gaines tied Bush's effort with six tackles.

Rushing Defense: D
Navy did not have an answer for Arizona State junior running back Marion Grice who ran for 159 yards rushing and two scores. Taylor Kelly was the second leading rusher for the Sun Devils and added 81 yards rushing and a score on seven carries. Senior running back Cameron Marshall ran for 58 yards rushing and two scores and averaged 6.4 yards per carry.

Senior linebacker Matt Warrick led the team in his last contest with a team high nine tackles for loss, including five solo tackles. Sophomore outside linebacker Jordan Drake had an excellent day with six tackles, including one for a loss, and a forced fumble. The Navy defense allowed the Sun Devils to 380 yards rushing and five touchdowns, while averaging 7.8 yards per rush.

Special Teams: B
Senior punter Pablo Beltran averaged 41 yards per punt and had a long punt of 48 yards. Senior slotback Gee Gee Greene returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Sophomore slotback Geoffrey Whiteside returned three kickoffs for a total of 64 yards and had a long kickoff return of 26 yards.

The Midshipmen kickoff team gave the Sun Devils a short field after Navy's first score of the day. Sun Devil receiver Jamal Miles' returned a kickoff 41 yards and ASU scored five plays later.

Freshman kicker Nick Sloan missed his only field goal attempt of the day from 33 yards out.

Coaching: C
Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo and the Midshipmen were unable to get things going early. The Navy offense had chances to keep up with a seemingly unstoppable Arizona State offense.

Navy went for it on fourth down three times and converted two of the three attempts.

The Navy coaches did not have a response for Arizona State, who was not forced to punt during the game.

The Navy rushing offense racked up 357 yards rushing but got going too slow to keep up with the Sun Devils who stuffed the box early.

Overall: C-
It took the Mids some time to get rolling after going negative on their first drive and coming up short on their second. The third time around Navy put together a 10-play, 86-yard drive to put their first points on the board. Early drives that stalled would prove too costly as the Sun Devils came out with their offense rolling.

Navy allowed the Sun Devils to set 20 Kraft Bowl records--the 62 points scored were the most in the Kraft Bowl history. The previous record was 44 by Florida State in 2006. The Sun Devils averaged 9.4 yards per play and racked up 648 total yards of offense against the Midshipmen. The bowl appearance was a definite upgrade from 2011 when the Mids finished 5-7 and were forced to stay home for the postseason festivities.

Navy has a lot to look forward to with the emergence of freshman quarterback Keenan Reynolds who had a surprising season. Navy also reclaimed the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy from Air Force for the first time in two seasons.

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