Three Keys Navy at Texas State

After a down to the wire win last time out in Philadelphia the Mids are on the road again this weekend as they travel to San Marcos, Texas to take on the Bobcats of Texas State. Thankfully for Navy fans it appears that Keenan Reynolds is going to be healthy to play after taking a cheap shot to the side of the knee late in last week’s victory.

After pacing the Mids to 487 yards on the ground against Temple it is obvious that Reynolds is, more than ever, the key to this squad’s chances of success. Here are the three keys.

1) No more fumbles

The Mids allowed Temple to stay in the game for longer than they should have last Saturday. The reason for that was simple enough; Navy just turned the ball over too many times. There fumbles recovered by the defense, including one in the end zone for a touchdown is just not good enough. This Navy team has plenty of depth and experience at the ball handling positions, so it is a little perplexing that this fumble issue has cropped up.

It all starts with Reynolds. We all know what a devastating runner he can be and that when he has it going the option has become frighteningly difficult to stop. The problem is that sometimes Reynolds tries to do just a little too much. He must stop those mental errors if Navy are to dominate games like they should be doing. Maybe the tempo needs to be slowed just a touch and the ball exchanges firmed up. One this that is for certain is that Ken Niumatalolo will not accept another three turnover day any time soon.

2) Slow down Texas State

Any guesses as to which school leads the nation (FBS) in yards per game right now?

If you said Oregon you would be wrong. Nope, it is not Kenny Trill and Texas A&M either. Nor is it the air raid system used at Baylor. The correct answer, and the fact Navy are playing Texas State on Saturday may give this away, is indeed the Bobcats. Texas State has only played one game this fall, but they absolutely laid it on their opponent to the tune of 697 yards of total offense in a 65-0 beat down where the score was actually kind to the losing side.

Now, it is certainly worth noting that the team which the Bobcats blew out was Arkansas Pine-Bluff out of the SWAC in the FCS. The Mids, however, should certainly not take any opponent lightly who is averaging almost nine yards per play, not matter the level of competition they have played thus far. Quarterback Tyler Jones did what he wanted to the Golden Lions defense in completing 21-of-25 passes for 278 yards with four touchdowns. The Bobcats were just as effective on the ground and they will try to use this balanced attack to overwhelm the Mids on Saturday.

3) Rush for 375 yards

Last week we set the goal for the Mids at 350 on the ground. This was surpassed easily as Reynolds took over the game and the Mids broke multiple of the 10-20 yard dagger plays this running attack calls for. With that in mind we are upping the ante this weekend and feel that if the Mids can go for 375 on the ground against a defense which allowed just 214 total yards last week then Navy will be a fair chance to win. This number will get adjusted slightly if Reynolds does not play, or if he is half speed, but with the combination of fullbacks and slot backs that the Mids will be able to throw against an undersized by FBS standard defensive front then there should be no problems.

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