Academy Review: Week Twelve

Hello, Armed Forces Bowl! Navy can make reservations for Fort Worth, Texas in late December after polishing off South Alabama. The next goal for the Midshipmen: clinch a winning season this Friday in San Jose, Calif.


THE CHARGE OF THE RIGHT BRIGADE:

NAVY CONTINUES TO SHOW THE RIGHT STUFF


Three straight games with more than 300 rushing yards. Three straight games with at least 34 points. Three straight games in which one side of the ball (the offense) has left close to nothing on the field in terms of wasted possessions or unclaimed points.

The Navy football team certainly encountered bad luck against Western Kentucky. It obviously fell short against Duke, and it clearly kicked itself against a good Toledo team. Yet, this surge of excellence is making the Mids forget those events.

Or is it?

The happy reality that emerges from Navy's 42-14 thumping of the South Alabama Jaguars on Saturday in Annapolis is rooted in an understanding of the past. Wise people learn from history instead of repeating the same old mistakes. This convincing display against South Alabama is so important and encouraging for the 2013 Midshipmen because it shows this team remembered the moments when it left points unclaimed. Navy has remembered its failures, but in the right way – by adjusting and improving, not by sliding into a funk. The ability to continue to pursue perfection, even in the face of past failures, marks this team's most admirable characteristic. It's nothing less than what Navy fans have come to expect from a Ken Niumatalolo-coached team. This is why Annapolis football has enjoyed such an enduring revival on the gridiron… and is poised to maintain its place as the premier FBS service academy program in the United States.

The challenge of flying across the country and playing on a short week can wait for a day. For now, Navy and its fans should savor another bowl trip and another non-losing regular season. It's all part of the Navy way in the 21st century. Talent is the main part of the equation in sports, but attitude is a very close second, and Navy's approach to competition has been second to none in the realm of academy football over the past 10 years. Midshipmen fans saw why on Saturday against South Alabama.

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