The Navy Midshipmen (2-0) crushed the Delaware Blue Hens (2-1) from the FCS 51-7 in their home opener in front of a crowd of 36,208 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Mids dominated as they racked up 589 yards of offense. Navy has scored 92 points in its first two games. That is the most since the opening of the 1975 season.
PASSING OFFENSE: A
Keenan Reynolds completed 10 of 13 passes for a career high 233 passing yards and two touchdowns. Reynolds started the game in uneventful fashion as he hit Navy wide receiver Casey Bolena (3 Rec., 27 yards) a few times to help move the chains.
DeBrandon Sanders (3 rec., 85 yards, 1 TD) caught a 63-yard touchdown pass from Reynolds which blew the game wide open.
Navy slotback Geoffrey Whiteside (2 rec., 65 yards) caught two consecutive passes to set up Chris Swain's touchdown run. Keenan did a great job of avoiding pressure as he stepped up into the pocket and hit Whiteside in stride over the middle for an eventual 61-yard gain down to the 4-yard line. Reynolds hit Shawn Lynch for a 29-yard touchdown reception to open the scoring in the third quarter. Darius Staten helped start a touchdown drive with a 26-yard reception that he made a nice adjustment to catch the ball. Watching Reynolds operate out of the spread passing formation so efficiently, he continues to show he's much more than an option quarterback. Navy's offensive line allowed no sacks. Backup quarterback John Hendrick completed one of two passes for 4 yards.
RUSHING OFFENSE: A
Navy ran for 352 rushing yards, a 6.3 average and scored five touchdowns on the ground. Keenan Reynolds was very effective running the Navy triple option offense out of the spread passing formation. He ran 15 times for 109 yards. Geoffrey Whiteside made the most of his opportunities as he carries the ball 3 times for 30 yards and two scores. Slotback darius Staten (2 for 24, 1TD) opened the scoring with a 10-yard touchdown run. DeBrandon Sanders, in addition to his pass receiving exploits, ran two times for 19 yards. Starting B-back Chris Swain had 13 attempts for 49 yards and a touchdown as Delaware defense tried to focus on limiting the fullback. It was the only limited success they had on defense. Fellow B-back Noah Copeland ran 4 times for 14 yards. It was nice to see some of Navy's fullbacks Quentin Ezell and Quentin Singleton who are buried on the depth chart get some playing time. Backup quarterback John Hendrick struggled with ball security but ran 8 times for 51 yards and scored a touchdown. In all, Navy had eleven different runners produce over 10 rushing yards in the game.
PASSING DEFENSE: A
Navy's secondary had a very solid outing. They did a much better job of jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage than they did in the opener against Indiana. For the game Navy allowed the Delaware quarterbacks to complete 19-of-32 passes for 179 yards, one touchdown while picking off two passes. Inside linebacker D.J. Sargenti (8 tackles) intercepted a pass and returned it to the Delaware 44 at the beginning of the second quarter to start the rout. Brandon Clements was beat for the only touchdown pass from Trent Hurley to Ryan Cobb with 4:27 left in the second quarter when he bit on play action. Other than that play Clements (5 tackles, 1 int., 1 pass def.) played well. He jumped a route to pick off a pass in the second quarter. Parrish Gaines (3 tackles) played well and had his usual good game. Direct admit linebacker William Tuider (7 tackles) is superfast and made an impact rushing off the edge with three quarterback hurries. Tuider provided the pressure on Clements interception. Lonnie Richardson (3 tackles) forced a fumble which was recovered by Shelley White.
RUSHING DEFENSE: A
The Mids allowed 157 rushing yards and the Blue Hens averaged 4.6 yards a carry. All-American Andrew Pierce was kept in check as he ran for 87 yards. Inside linebacker Cody Peterson (12 tackles) did an excellent job filling quickly. Delaware had trouble sustaining any drives. I told Navy fans about William Anthony last year during our Meet the new Mids feature. Anthony isn't very big but is strong as an ox. He uses his hands well to disengage from blockers. William has good speed and a non-stop motor. He posted five tackles against the Blue Hens. Defensive end Paul Quessenberry (5 tackles) played a lot better this week. Chris Johnson also had five tackles and broke up a pass. Navy has more speed and depth at linebacker than at any time I can remember. Sargenti and Tuider teamed up for a big stop of Pierce short of the first down on a fourth-and-2 in the first quarter.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B
Pablo Beltran wasn't exactly rusty when finally called upon. He boomed his only punt 53 yards which was downed at the 3-yard line. Nick Sloan missed one of his seven extra points. It was his first miss in 49 career attempts. Sloan hit a 24-yard field goal on the second drive. Shawn Lynch (2 returns for 28 yards) had two nice punt returns. Marcus Thomas returned a kickoff 26 yards. Thomas passed the great Reggie Campbell as the all-time Navy leader in kickoff returns. Navy has done a nice job on kickoff coverage this season although Michael Johnson did have one 37 yard return.
Offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper did a tremendous job incorporating the spread passing formations into Navy's offense. With Reynolds at the helm this will be a difficult offense to stop. Buddy Green had a terrific game plan this week. The cornerbacks and the linebackers did a much better job of jamming receivers and keeping them from getting into their routes cleanly. Ken Niumatalolo has recruited a terrific team that looks like it can have a special season.
OVERALL GRADE: A
Delaware had posted some impressive offensive numbers their first two games but Navy just dominated the FCS program which has a number of talented former FBS scholarship players on both sides of the ball. Delaware had beat Navy twice when Paul Johnson was the head coach. Navy has recruited so well under Niumatalolo that the two programs now look miles apart.
Navy Report Card: Delaware
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