Navy vs. Towson: Swezey's take

Football season is rapidly approaching and GoMids.com will keep Navy fans informed for the entire season. Today veteran Navy sports journalist Chris Swezey gives his thoughts on the Mids' home opener against Towson.

TOWSON vs. NAVY

Sat., Aug. 30
Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Tickets: $32, 20.
TV: CBS College Sports

WHAT TO EXPECT: Warm weather. This is likely to be Navy's warmest home game, temperature wise, since the VMI season opener in 2003. Remember, Navy's early-season home games in 2004 (Duke), 2005 (Stanford), 2006 (ECU) and last year (Ball State) started in the evening.

The afternoon start is mandated by TV. But please do not take it as even a mild rebuke of CBS College Sports's coverage of Navy football. I love that deal so much that, if I could, I'd buy it an engagement ring. And anyway, the warm weather should favor the team that is better conditioned. My money is on Navy in that one.

NUTS AND BOLTS: This is the sort of game that Navy desperately needed a year ago and did not get, at least not until it faced Army. That's not to say it's an easy game, because it's not.

But it is a game where the potential exists for backups to get playing time if everything goes well. And that is crucial for team morale. Especially so at a place like Navy, where there is so much going on other than football. The Temple opener last year wound up being much more competitive than I thought it would.

The second game, against Rutgers, marked the end of Navy's defense as we knew it with the injuries to Deliz and Sovie. And after that, the offense never got enough breathing room to bring in reserves, at least not until the Army game.

That every game was so close really hurt all the reserves, but especially Shinego, Doyle and the offensive linemen. Those guys needed to play during games.

BEST-CASE SCENARIO: Navy's senior-heavy offensive backfield hits the ground running, so to speak. The defense plays with confidence and aggression. And guys like Dobbs, Doyle, Devan Clark, Mario Washington and others get a ton of plays in the fourth quarter.

WORST-CASE SCENARIO: It is a one-possession game into the final 5-6 minutes. That keeps the reserves on the bench and forces the starters to exert themselves in the heat, and with a short week ahead; the next game, against Ball State, is on Friday night.

PREDICTION: Nah.

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