The Navy Midshipmen (1-0) took care of business on Saturday afternoon with a dominating 52-16 win over Fordham. Navy dealt efficiently with an FCS school that was supposed to cause some problems, holding the Rams to six points over the final three-quarters.Navy now moves on to play its first AAC game of the season against Connecticut (1-0).
Season so far
The Huskies also faced an FCS foe on opening day, but their game against Maine was far from the walk in the park that Navy enjoyed with Fordham. It took a 37-yard Bobby Puyol field goal for UConn to get the better of the Black Bears and avoid the upset in a game played on Thursday night in East Hartford.
It could have been so much worse for UConn as Maine threatened to take the lead with just 1:18 left on the clock. The Huskies blushes were saved by defensive Tackle Mike Myers as he blocked a 47-yard field goal that would have given Maine a three-point lead to defend for the final minutes. Instead, UConn drove 50 yards in nine plays to hit the game winner.
Injuries and Suspensions
The biggest injury concerns for UConn are at the linebacker position coming into the clash with Navy. Connor Freeborn was ruled out for the season before a snap had been taken, while Jon Hicks is also questionable with an injury he has been carrying through the summer. Against a team that runs the option like Navy, UConn would love to have all their linebacker depth available.
The other injury the Huskies are dealing with is to starting left guard Tommy Hopkins. Hopkins sustained a lower leg injury in the game against Maine and head coach Bob Diaco said he would be out "for a few weeks". It is a blow for Connecticut as Hopkins has made that spot his own after also starting all 13 games last season.
Navy has one very obvious challenge this weekend. Tago Smith was looked at as the starter after Keenan Reynolds left the program for over three seasons. He was groomed to replace Reynolds with a smooth transition that would keep the Mids offense moving. Then, early in the second quarter against Fordham, all best-laid plans fell apart when Smith went down with a torn ACL and his season ended.
Navy pulled the fourth string quarterback out of the stands to play after Smith went down, but the next man up in the starting role will be senior Will Worth. Worth is not the elusive, athletic quarterback that Smith is, but he is bigger and can run the ball with more power. It will be interesting to see how the offense is tweaked from what we have seen over the last few years to give Worth his best chance at success.