1. Brian in charge
He sounds ready and, more inportantly,
looks ready. But the true test for new quarterback Brian Hampton comes against
He's seen game action, but has never started. Hampton follows
Craig Candeto, Aaron Polanco and Lamar Owens as Navy's starter. All three were
Now, it's Hampton's turn.
Navy junior slot back Reggie Campbell could be the most
dangerous player on the field.
You figure he's primed for a big game after
what he did in last year's Poinsettia Bowl. Campbell torched Colorado State for
290 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns in a 51-30 Navy win.
numbers like that from Campbell against East Carolina, but he still could go
3. Going deep
Speaking of dangerous, East
Carolina quarterback James Pinkey and wide receiver Aundrae Allison could be one
of the best 1-2 combos in the nation.
A JUCO transfer, Allison caught 83
passes for 1,024 yards last season and seven touchdowns. Pinkney threw for 14
touchdowns and eight interceptions. Both are improved players.
If Pinkney has a weakness, it's his mobility. He
was one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the nation last season.
defense, led by linebackers Tyler Tidwell, David Mahoney and Rob Caldwell, is
looking to improve this season. Sacking Pinkney a few times would make for a
5. Stopping the option
option, come on? Nobody stops Navy's option. But East Carolina's success will
depend on how it deals with the Midshipmen's well-oiled scheme. How the machines
runs depends on Hampton.
6. Hall of a back
Matt Hall returns after suffering a horrific knee injury against Notre Dame last
Hall was in the midst of a strong junior season, rushing for 493
yards and six touchdowns, when he
tore the anterior cruciate and medial cruciate ligaments in his left leg on his
first carry against the Fighting Irish last November. He missed the rest of the
They don't make them much tougher than Hall. Here's to him
running over East Carolina.
7. Stay out of his
Navy's toughest assignment could be stopping East Carolina
junior defensive end Marcus Hands.
Hands, who is 6-foot-5, 270 pounds, had 21
tackles, 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles last season. He missed part of last
season after sustaining a shoulder injury in November.
You figure Navy linebacker Rob Caldwell is
good for at least 10, 11 tackles against East Carolina.
He went for 140 last
season. Expect Caldwell to be all over the place again this season, starting
with East Carolina. With Navy's defense improved, East Carolina can't just key
9. Just win, baby!
There's no shame in
the fact that Navy opened the season with a 23-20 loss to Maryland in
But this season is different. There are even higher expectations for
Navy with some picking a 10-win season. If that's going to happen, Navy has to
beat East Carolina, which they wil.
10. The final
Mr. Reliable, A.K.A. Navy kicker Joey Bullen, kicks three
field goals. He was the sprint team kicker just two years ago.
some early nerves and wins 30-21.
Ten things to watch Navy-East Carolina
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