Three Keys Navy vs San Jose State

Rested and revitalized, the Mids welcome San Jose State to Annapolis this weekend fresh off of a bye week. Standing at 3-4, and with honest chances to win every one of those games, Navy will be looking to come out strong on Saturday and push toward six wins and a bowl bid this December.

With Keenan Reynolds back heathy, and back on the field, this Navy team should look more like the one we expected to see from the start of the season. Here are the three keys to victory.

1) Keenan Reynolds needs to make plays

Reynolds is back. More importantly he is back without the clunky knee brace slowing him down, making him rethink his cuts, and generally making him be less of a football player than he has ever been before. Though Tago Smith played admirably in relief two weeks ago, the Mids are clearly at their very best when Reynolds is fully functioning and able to make this offense purr. The junior is so good at prepping for games, and has looked so good in practice this week, that it is not unreasonable to think he can take this game over. Watch for him to come out strong and make three or four big plays which will alter the flow of the game.

2) Don’t let the ball touch the ground

One of the biggest problems the Mids have had in 2014 is with fumbling the ball. Be it an errant pitch, a defender stripping the ball, or a wide receiver dropping a pass, there have just been far too many mistakes on offense for coach Ken Niumatalolo’s liking. You have to imagine some of the bye week has been spent working on these issues and preaching the importance of ball security. The turnovers have cost Navy in all their losses, but just as annoying have been the drive killing plays where a pitch is dropped, then recovered, for a big loss. Reynolds and his backs need to make every pitch and handoff stick in this game.

3) Bedding in a new kicker

We know Austin Grebe can kick extra points. The new kicker went 7-for-7 on point after attempts in his first game against VMI. We still have no idea, however, if he can kick anything longer than that in a game situation. Practices again have looked good, but nothing can replicate the pressure of kicking when the points actually matter. With any luck Grebe will get a field goal attempt early and this game will be over as a contest without him having to attempt anything tricky with the game on the line.

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