Navy cruised to a 52-16 victory over Fordham on Saturday afternoon. The Mids basically did what they wanted on offense, while the defense allowed just six points over the final three-quarters of the contest. The win wasn't without its costs (more later) but Navy did what it was supposed to do in beating an overmatched FCS opponent.
Here is a look back at the three keys to see how Navy beat the Rams:
1) Pound away with the option - Pass
Any day that the Navy offense rushes for 427 yards the triple-option is going to have been working well. The Mids may well have found their go to fullback for the season in junior Chris High who rushed for 176 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. Eleven players carried the ball and the Mids were in front of the chains all day long. Add in some long touchdown runs and an average of 8.1 yards per carry as a team and there is very little to complain about here
2) Safe play from Tago Smith - Push
So this is where the story takes an unfortunate, and quite honestly heartbreaking, turn. Navy quarterback Tago Smith sat patiently behind Keenan Reynolds waiting for his turn to shine. Smith could have transferred, but he believed in the program and he believed that he would have the chance to lead Navy to great things in 2016. All that changed, however, on a second quarter play where Smith ended up crumpled on the ground with a torn ACL. Smith may have a chance to take a medical redshirt and be back in 2017, but it is still a bitter pill to swallow for such a likable young player.
3) Stop Chase Edmonds - Pass
The Navy defense knew coming into the game that if they were able to contain Fordham running back Chase Edmonds then the Rams would find it difficult to put points on the board. Edmonds rushed 18 times for just 70 yards and, most importantly, zero touchdowns. A year ago in the opener, he had three scores against Army, but the speed and sure tackling of the Navy linebackers stopped Edmonds from having that kind of game again. The Preseason FCS First-Team All-American will have many banner days in 2016, but Navy made sure they wouldn't be the first victim of his rushing talents.