Head to head: Navy vs. Delaware

Next up for Navy is Delaware. GoMids.com compares different critical team areas of Navy and Delaware and indicates which team has the edge.

Navy rushing offense
Delaware rushing defense
In his first start since the SMU game October 17, Ricky Dobbs directed the Midshipmen offense to 348 yards on the ground against the Irish. Dobbs ran for 102 yards on 31 carries with a touchdown and Vince Murray had 14 carries for 158 yards and a touchdown. Delaware Safety Anthony Bratton (6-2, 196, Jr.) is questionable for Saturday's game with an ankle injury. He was instrumental in the Blue Hens' 2007 victory over the Midshipmen. Delaware holds their opponents to an average of 110.8 rushing yards per game.  
Navy passing offense
Delaware passing defense
Dobbs only threw 3 passes against Notre Dame, but he made them count. A 52 yard touchdown pass to Greg Jones quickly answered the Irish's first scoring drive. The Blue Hen's have struggled to stop opponents' passing attack. Delaware gives up an average of 225.3 yards through the air.  
Delaware rushing offense
Navy rushing defense
The Blue Hen's are primary a passing offense. Their leading rusher David Hayes (5-9, 180, R-Fr.) has only 323 yards and 2 touchdowns on 83 carries. Their second leading rusher Leon Jackson (6-1, 185, Fr.) is questionable with a knee injury. Jackson leads the team with 6 rushing touchdowns. The Midshipmen held Notre Dame to 60 yards rushing.  
Delaware passing offense
Navy passing defense
Penn State transfer Pat Devlin (6-4, 220, Jr.) leads a Blue Hen passing attack that averages 230.7 yards per game. He is completing 61.9% of his passes. He has 2,063 yards and 15 touchdowns in his first season in Newark. Devlin leads his conference, the CAA, in total offense and passing. His two favorite targets, Mark Duncan (5-11, 190, Sr.) and Mark Mackey (6-4, 220, Jr.) have 32 receptions for 507 yards and 6 touchdowns, and 30 receptions for 322 yards and a touchdown respectively. Along with the size of Mackey, Delaware has size in fellow receiver Tommy Crosby (6-5, 200, Jr.) and tight end Trevor Mooney (6-6, 244, Jr.) One of the reasons the Midshipmen held the Irish to 60 yards rushing was the fact that Notre Dame threw the ball 51 times for 452 yards.  
Special Teams
The Blue Hens' leader in all purpose yards is reserve running back Jerry Butler (5-9, 185, Sr.). Because of injuries and ineffectiveness, Butler is starting to see more time with the offense, but continues his role as the primary kickoff returner. Butler averages 24.7 yards per return and has an 89 yard touchdown return o the year. The Blue Hens' have used several punt returners, with little effectiveness. Kicker Jon Striefsky (6-1, 205, Sr.) is 7 of 8 on field goal attempts the year with a long of 34. His only miss was blocked. Ed Wagner (6-5, 225, Jr.) is a solid punter with a 40.2 yard average. Joe Buckley continues to be clutch, despite his miss against Notre Dame, Kyle Delahooke is continuing his record setting season and Alex Teich has replaced Gee Gee Greene as the primary kickoff returner. Teich had a 20 yard return against Notre Dame. That was the second longest return by Navy this season.  
Delaware Head Coach K.C. Keeler is 61-37 in his 8 seasons at his Alma Mater and 149-58-1 overall as a head coach. Coach Ken Niumatalolo is 15-9 in his second full year with the Midshipmen. He is two wins away from tying the record for most wins by a Navy coach in their first 2 seasons. He also is the first Navy coach to lead an unranked Navy over a ranked Notre Dame since 1936.  
This is a classic trap game. The Midshipmen are coming off of an emotional victory over a bitter rival. The Blue Hens' have little to lose and a ton to gain. All of the pressure is on the Mids and if they do not come out completely focused that could easily lose this game. One thing in Navy's favor is continuity. All of the Midshipmen have played together since their arrival in Annapolis and some since NAPS. Delaware has players who have transferred from Connecticut, Michigan State, Navy, Penn State, Syracuse, Temple, Washington State, West Virginia and Wisconsin.  

PREDICTION: Navy 31, Delaware 20

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