Three Keys – Navy at UConn

Navy adapted to conference life with a bang last weekend when the Mids took down East Carolina 45-21 in Annapolis. The game was everything the Mids needed it to be as the beat the Pirates in all phases of the game and in a dominant fashion.

It was also yet another showcase game for Keenan Reynolds, with the quarterback rolling in for another five rushing touchdowns to add to his remarkable Navy career. Now Navy travels to East Hartford to take on UConn in the Mids first ever road conference game with a spring in their step. Here are the three keys for Saturday.

1) Run the ball effectively

UConn has been surprisingly good defensively to open the year. The Huskies are giving up just 13.7 points again, with the nine points given up to Missouri last weekend being a real eye opener. UConn also has experience this year defending the option and the team was able to hold Army to just 3.1 yards per carry when they played each other in week two. The Navy option is far superior to the Army brand of the offense at this point however and if the Navy fullbacks can continue to rumble like they have to this point in the year the Navy should be able to run the ball effectively. This will be a very interesting matchup to watch though as it is the first time in 2015 that the option has gone up against a statistically legitimate defense.

2) Secure a key turnover

This game is likely to be something of a grind. Unless the Navy offense is just lights out there will probably be plenty of punting on Saturday. It is hard to see how UConn will move the ball consistently against Navy, but the UConn D cannot be underestimated either. With all that said it may be a defensive play which sets the Mids up in position to win the game. An interception or a fumble recovery at the right time to swing the momentum in the Mids favor would be huge, so look for a big play or two on defense to break the game open.

3) Win the time of possession battle

For the second week in a row the time of possession battle will be crucial in this game, but this time for a different reason. While ECU wanted to hold the ball as much as Navy did, albeit with the pass and not the run, UConn is simply having problems holding onto the ball at all and putting sustained drives together. The Mids were able to keep the ball away from the Pirates for 36 minutes last Saturday, wearing down the defense. The ball-control attack Navy uses will exacerbate the offensive shortcomings of UConn in this one if Navy plays smart offensive football. Top Stories