Three Keys Revisited Navy vs VMI

Sometimes you are the wrong opponent at the wrong time. That is exactly the situation VMI walked into last weekend as the Keydets got run through by a Navy team angry that their 2-4 record wasn’t far closer to 6-0. The Mids had been in every game they had lost to this point and the intensity showed from the start as Navy got scoring from all parts of the team to race out to a 37-7 half time lead.

By the end the score was 51-14 and the Mids head into their bye week feeling a whole lot better about where the season goes from here. This is a look back at the three keys.

1) Don’t play Keenan Reynolds - Pass

Reynolds just wasn’t ready to play and Tago Smith played very admirably in his stead. Navy rushed for 352 yards, Smith passed for 82 yards and a touchdown, and the whole game was played at the Mids tempo. There is no quarterback controversy here. Reynolds will be back in, and back making plays, as soon as he is healthy. It is however always good to have a trusted backup who can come in and keep the offense rolling while making the right decisions, putting the team in position to win. That is exactly what Smith was on Saturday.

2) Commit zero turnovers – Fail

There were two Navy turnovers on the day and yet again one was returned for a score against the Mids. In the second quarter the line missed a blocking assignment which resulted in Tago Smith fumbling the ball into the end zone (eventually) where the ball was jumped on for a VMI touchdown. At the time this score cut the Mids lead in half, down to 14-7, before a run of big Navy plays at the end of the half turned the tide. The fourth quarter interception thrown by third stringer Will Worth was of no significance to the game, but I am sure Ken Niumatalolo would have been much happier if there had been a zero in the turnover column, big win or no big win.

3) Bedding in a new kicker – N/A

One way to make sure a new kicker has no nerves on his first day is to make sure every drive you push into scoring range results in a touchdown. We have no idea at this point if Austin Grebe can kick a field goal in a game situation or not, but we do know that he can be counting on to crush those extra point opportunities. Grebe was a perfect 7-of-7 on point after tries and was probably needing an ice bath for that kicking leg after the game as he was called upon so often to slot the ball through the uprights for the gimme point.

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