Swezey's thoughts on Ball State

The founder of PapaJohn's pizza went to Ball State. PapaJohn's is well-known in the area for offering discounts based on how many touchdowns teams like Maryland and the Redskins score in a game. No word yet if such a deal exists for Navy touchdowns on Saturday against the guy's alma mater!

But there should be some offensive fireworks, on both ends. Navy will make mistakes on defense. Even new starting linebacker Ross Pospisil's father is expecting his son to make a few. It's a tough situation for Pospisil and freshman Wyatt Middleton--but at least it's a home game, and any crowd noise will be helpful to the defense (hint, hint).

Pospisil seems to have the great intangible--leadership--and I think he will do fine. I hope Middleton plays a lot, because I think he will be fine, too. He played linebacker at Marist School near Atlanta and had more than 80 tackles as a senior. That experience will come in handy if the Cardinals try to run out of 3- and 4-wide receiver sets.

Navy's offense barely got out of second gear against Rutgers yet finished with 254 yards rushing and, almost more incredibly, survived two interceptions. The game wasn't truly over until the third one.

I know people are blaming Kaipo for all three; I blame him for 1.5 or 1.75. The first interception was all him--that was a poor read. The second one, he was hit as he released. So many coaches tell QBs to "eat the ball" in those situations, but I could see what Kaipo was trying to do--throw the ball away.

The third interception was a future late-first or early-second round NFL draft pick making a phenomenal play.

The Rutgers game showed us snippets of what to expect this season. The QB depth I worried about appears to be okay after all--other than a fumble, Bryant looked more than efficient in his one late appearance and if Navy can ever get a little distance between itself and an opponent I'd like to see Dobbs play.

The offensive line depth appears good, too. I think Navy scored a TD on a drive where Bridgers and Bass were in the game for Gaskins and Gabbard in the second quarter.

Now to see if Doyle and Shinego and Oswald get more playing time than in the first two games and, if they do, what they do with it.

On an aside, I hope Navy does not play a Friday night game anytime soon (other than a bowl game or a home game). I think it's too much to ask. The Mids looked not very sharp in either game and I thought in the Temple game in particular they looked tired after a very strong start. The academy stops for no one and somehow I felt the guys looked out-of-kilter, possibly because they knew how much schoolwork was piling up while they were on the road!

Let's keep it to Saturdays, TV or no TV. ESPN did Navy no favors on its "SportsCenter" highlights anyway; all they showed was two Ray Rice TDs, one of the interceptions and the bomb to Underwood. Anyone who hadnt watched the game would have thought Rutgers won by a ton and Navy scored garbage points. This from the same network that didn't show Bullen's game-winning FG against AF in 2005 because it was on CSTV.

Anyway, the Midshipmen are five wins from San Diego--and forcing ESPN to deal with them again. Let's hope that a long preseason and two tough road games will be topped off by a home win. To paraphrase the PapaJohn's guy, all the ingredients are there.

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