Before the season even began, head coach Ken Niumatalolo adopted the motto "no excuses" for his team, hoping to instill in them a sense of urgency and purpose. It's now time for that phrase to apply to both Niumatalolo and offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper as they prepare the game plan for Navy's match-up with
This season, when Jarod Bryant has been under center, a lot of the true triple option plays were taken out of the game plan, and so too it seems was any desire to include a few pre-planned passing plays in non-throwing situations or even a trick play or two. And so far, the strategy has not backfired for the most part. Against Air Force, with a scaled back playbook, the Mids leaned heavily on its defense and special teams to emerge with a victory. Against
Believe it or not, I actually thought about writing this column last week, prior to the SMU game, because against the Mustangs, I figured there might be an opportunity to experiment a bit offensively against a very susceptible defense. However, I was not sure if Navy's defense would have been able to stop June Jones' offense to the degree necessary for Jasper to feel comfortable with expanding the offense. To explain, I thought that every possession may have been critical in the outcome of the game, and that Navy would have no problem running the ball. Therefore, throwing the ball would not only have been risky, but it could have proved disastrous if it led to a turnover that gave the Mustangs another possession to chuck the ball around with.
As fate would have it three things happened that led the Navy coaching staff to once again limit the game plan. First and foremost, a mini monsoon hit
However, this week, Navy will not be throwing an untested quarterback into the mix and the weather is going to be perfect – or so I hear. Therefore, regardless of who is at quarterback, there is a good chance that an opportunity will present itself for Navy to expand its playbook as it has in past seasons with so much success.
That chance comes mainly due to the fact that the opponent is a
Fans have waited all season to see Navy's offense open it up and here's hoping that the Owls cooperate this Saturday. I mean how nice would it be to see one of Navy's top playmakers, Tyree Barnes, get a few opportunities to touch the ball? How nice would it be to see if Dobbs can hit Shun White on a wheel route on a first down? How nice would it be to see if Bobby Doyle can still throw the ball? I'm sure any one of those plays, if successful, will help keep Navy's last three opponents a bit more honest, and it will also give the Mids offense confidence that if the time comes when they need to hit a big, non-conventional play that they can actually do it.
Of course having said all of this, I'd still be thrilled if Navy doesn't throw the ball once for the second time in two weeks - because if that happens again, the Mids will be going bowling again.
If you have a comment for David, send him an email.