View From The Booth

Pete Medhurst offers his views on Navy and the rest of the college football landscape for the weekend of November 5th

When you chat with college football coaches, the first thing they usually talk about when recruiting players is how well they run.

Navy's opposition this week, the Tulane Green Wave, can do just that. The fact that Tulane is even playing this fall is a miracle in itself, having been reduced to the Nomad of the College Football Gridiron this season due to Hurricane Katrina damage inflicted on New Orleans.

The fact that they have been as competitive as they are is a tremendous testament to coach Chris Scelfo and his staff.

"It is truly remarkable what they have been able to do. Chris (Scelfo) and the whole staff have to be commended for what they have been able to do under incredible circumstances,'' Navy Defensive Coordinator Buddy Green said.

Tulane comes to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and hopes to repeat last year's win in New Orleans, one of only two losses Navy suffered last year.

"Offensively we're not firing on all cylinders right now," Scelfo said. "It would be nice to get a couple of plays from our defense and against a good team like Navy we're going to need that.''

Green is quite aware of the problems the Tulane offense presents, despite the fact that Tulane blew a 20-7 halftime lead against Marshall last Saturday.

"They can flat out run and Lester Ricard is a terrific quarterback. He does so many things to put pressure on the defense. He has a strong arm but then can make plays running if he has too,'' Green said.

Tulane is averaging 328 yards a game which is only good for tenth in C-USA, and they are last against the run. Of course for Navy, playing well on offense could help the defense on Saturday.

For Navy, simply, they must stop turning the ball over. Few football teams win when they lose the turnover battle, especially when you need to score 20 points a game or more to win.

Judging by some of his comments this week, Navy head coach Paul Johnson's players are going to have to perform very well in practice to please him. He seems though to have his pulse on his team and push the right buttons when needed. Last year, this team had no trouble recovering from the rubble of a 42-10 thrashing at the hands of the Green Wave, they just hope another one isn't in store on Saturday.

This week's fact and opinion:

Fact: Navy is spending upwards of $175,000 to get Tulane here, hoteled and to the field.
Opinion: To say that this is a classy gesture doesn't do it justice. Kudos to the Navy Administration for making this happen.
Fact: This past week college games were played on Wednesday and Tuesday.
Opinion: I hate it. Sure kids will be able to go home this weekend, but there is just something about college football and Saturdays.

Fact: Miami wore uniforms that had Hurricane Warning Flags on them last week against North Carolina.
Opinion: The equipment manager should burn them. I thought I was watching UAB or Baylor.

Fact: There is no doubt that Matt Leinhart of USC is the nation's number one senior quarterback and best QB period.
Opinion: Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler is #2. I have had three scouts tell me so, and I believe them.

Fact: South Carolina had never won at Tennessee until last weekend.
Opinion: Steve Spurrier is Phil Fulmer's Daddy! Top Stories