With Keenan Reynolds sidelined after a shot to the knee last weekend, sophomore Tago Smith steps in admirably and provided all the spark the Mids needed to outlast the Bobcats. Here is a look back at the three keys.
1) No more fumbles - Pass
Navy ran 57 rushing plays against Texas State and did not lose a fumble on any one of them. With Smith running the offense there was a worry that the timing and connections would be off, but this fear was calmed as the Mids rumbled off to an easy 28-0 lead and never really looked back. The one turnover that Navy had was courtesy of an underthrown Smith pass, but he more than made up for this mistake by throwing for 117 yards including a 67 yard score which was the Mids longest since 2010. If Navy can keep the turnovers down to one a game then they will do some serious damage to the rest of this schedule.
2) Slow down Texas State - Pass
Texas State put up 442 of total offense against the Mids one week after blowing up for 697 yards against Arkansas Pine-Bluff. Though 442 yards may look bad on paper it is worth noting that it is less than the 469 Navy put up themselves.
It is also interesting how the flow of the game played out. In the first half the Bobcats went three and out, had a long drive resulting in a missed field goal, ran six plays then punted, and ran five plays before throwing an interception. At the end of that series of drives Navy was up 28-0 and the game was over as a contest. It took Texas State until 6:46 was left in the first half to get their first truly significant drive of the game going and even at that point it took them almost the entirety of what was left in the half to get the ball into the end zone. All said the Mids defense can be very happy with how they played against an offense which is much more potent than most outsiders would expect.
3) Rush for 375 yards – Fail
High level mitigating circumstances here as Keenan Reynolds did not take a single snap. Obviously, he is the Mids most dynamic players and the one who makes the option run at such a high level. It has to be a pleasant surprise then that without Reynolds in the game Smith was still able to push the attack to a total of 352 yards on the ground.
This was a big day for the inside runners as fullbacks Noah Copeland (11 carries for 116 yards) and Chris Swain (10 carries for 68 yards) were just too big and too powerful for the Bobcats linemen and linebackers to handle. Though the slot backs made the most of their limited opportunities there was obviously a tweak in the game plan to take some of the decision making out of Smith’s hands and rely on the power to get the victory. This was a smart move which limited the chances for mistakes and allowed Navy to control the tempo of the game from the first kickoff to the final whistle.
Three Keys Revisited Navy at Texas State
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