Three Keys - Navy at Toledo

Navy will travel to the Glass Bowl to take on Toledo this Saturday in a clash between two teams who are looking to get closer to a postseason berth. After the let down that was the Duke game (more on that later) the Mids hit the road again to face a team coming off of a bye week.

Navy will travel to the Glass Bowl to take on Toledo this Saturday in a clash between two teams who are looking to get closer to a postseason berth. After the let down that was the Duke game (more on that later) the Mids hit the road again to face a team coming off of a bye week. Whether that is mere coincidence or coaches realizing they need more time to prepare for the triple option attack is up to you to decide, but either way the extra rest for the Rockets players is certainly something to consider when looking ahead.

Here are the three keys. 1) Play with better intensity

The Duke game was a disaster on many levels, but the one that left the sour taste in the mouth was the seeming lack of intensity and desire to play in the second half. Navy has had far more good years than bad over the last decade, but even in those years they have been games where the Mids have been on the wrong end of a blowout score line. Never, though, in those games have you seen such a passive performance as the one that took place in North Carolina last Saturday. This year's Mids are a maddening and confusing bunch who can't seem to find the same level of intensity on a play by play basis, let alone week to week. It will be very interesting to see how Navy comes out of the blocks on Saturday and also how the players react if things start to go wrong.

2) Improved offensive scoring numbers

This is pretty simple really. In the Mids three wins they have averaged 40 points while in the two losses they have averaged just seven points. The offense has to do a better job of not committing turnovers and finishing drives with touchdowns. Clearly there are issues in the kicking game and the best way to nullify that is by hammering the ball into the end zone. Navy has the perfect package to be an ultra efficient red zone team and that is what we need to see this weekend.

3) Stop David Fluellen

Fluellen is one of the best running backs in the entire country. In the Rocket's last game against an admittedly overmatched Western Michigan squad he had 23 carries for 220 yards and four touchdowns. That is a season's worth of production for some of the complimentary backs out there. He has four 200 yard rushing games for his career and has had a week of rest and film study to prepare his skills for the Navy defense. With quarterback Terrence Owens struggling (four touchdowns to five interceptions) the offensive load is squarely on Fluellen's shoulders. If Navy can stop him by keeping him under his 6.6 yard per carry and 141 yard per game averages then they will be in a good position to win.

GoMids.com Top Stories