WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED IN NAVY'S WIN

Navy fans know the final score. And they know all about Navy senior slot back Shun White's record breaking day against Towson. However, I'm guessing there are a few aspects of Navy's victory that you may have missed if you happened to be at home watching or listening to the game. Don't worry, I've got you covered.

PLENTY OF SEATS AVAILABLE ON NAVY SIDELINE

 

The Navy coaching staff knows that one way to equalize a larger, more physical opponent is to out-condition them.  It is something the staff and the team alike takes great pride in.  Sometimes during a game it is tough to know which team is in better shape than the other.  On Saturday, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, it was obvious.  During the end of the third quarter and for most of the fourth quarter, nearly all of Towson's players who were not in the game were sitting down on the sidelines.  Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the field, the majority of the Navy team, even most of their starters were roaming the sidelines.  On an extremely hot and muggy day in Annapolis, and with the game still competitive in the third quarter, the sideline activity suggested to me that the Midshipmen were in better shape.

 

PAGING COACH NIUMATALOLO…

 

Last season, it was always easy to find Navy head coach Paul Johnson when the Mids had the football.  He was always standing next to the offensive player who was about to enter the game with his play call.  After one game this season, it was a little more difficult to locate the Navy head coach when their offense was on the field.  It turns out first-year head coach Ken Niumatalolo rarely watches an offensive play near the line of scrimmage.  Instead, he usually takes a position about 30 or 40 yards behind the play.  I was told by members of the Navy staff that he does this as an old creature of habit.  As a former offensive line coach, Niumatalolo can get a better perspective of his line play from that perspective.   At one point during the game, he was a good 60 yards away from where the ball was being snapped.  I actually thought he was headed to the locker room at one point.

 

KAIPO'S ENERGY IS CONTAGIOUS

 

After Shun White broke the all-time single game rushing record, the entire Navy football team swarmed him as he tried to catch his breath on the bench.  One of the first players to salute his record-breaking day was senior quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada.  Although Kaipo was not voted a captain by his teammates, it was very obvious that his leadership, on and off-the-field is a critical element to this team; and moreover, his energy is contagious. Kaipo may not have been ‘in' the game on Saturday due to a hamstring injury, but he was definitely into it.

 

 

TALK ABOUT GOOD LEADERSHIP…

 

This summer, I had a chance to interview Navy senior cornerback Rashawn King while he was a squad leader for plebe summer.  I made note of the fact that two of his plebes were football players – Jabaree Tuani and Alexander Teich.  King, who had an interception in the game, was probably pretty proud of his two squad members yesterday – especially Tuani.  The 6'1", 242 pound defensive end from Madison, Tenn. was in on two tackles and also accounted for 1.5 sacks.  Meanwhile, Teich, who was originally recruited to be a slot back, had three carries for nine yards in the fourth quarter as the third-string fullback.

 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

 

- 63 different Midshipmen played in Navy's 41-13 victory of Towson.  Only 49 played in last season's opening game 30-19 victory over Temple.

 

-  ESPN lists the top 120 rushing leaders in NCAA on their web site.  Navy's got both ends of the list covered. Shun White is on the top of the list, leading the nation with 348 yards, and sophomore quarterback Ricky Dobbs is number 120.  Dobbs, rushed for 56 yards on 5 carries.  Coming in at number 66 on the list is senior quarterback Jarod Bryant, who had 75 yards on 17 carries.

 

- Navy fullback Eric Kettani lost yardage only once last season.  Looks like he got his negative carry out of the way for the season.  Towson's coaching staff came into the game looking to stop Kettani, and they did just that.  Kettani only had 33 yards, including one play in which he lost a yard.

 

- Navy only punted once against Towson which is par for the course for the Mids.  Last year, Navy punted only 24 times in 13 games.

 

 


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