A Look at the Navy Personnel

This Saturday October 14th, Rutgers faces a very tough challenge against Navy. The Midshipmen have had a very successful 2006 campaign to date, having only lost one game, a 24-23 decision to Tulsa. The option has been a thorn to Rutgers' defenses in the past and must be contained if Rutgers Football is to gain a win on Saturday and continue this magical season.

The #24 Rutgers Scarlet Knights travel to Annapolis this Saturday to face the 5-1 Navy Midshipmen. This is a game that many Rutgers fans consider a "should win": but hold that thought. Navy started the game as a 1.5 point favorite, and now that line has jumped to 2.5. Is the general public expecting a Navy win? Well, with the way Navy has played this year with the "disciplined" system they run and the equally disciplined system they require of the opposition to stop them, in conjunction with this being their homecoming, it is reasonable for folks to expect a good performance from Navy.

Offense: This offense poses a lot of concerns for Rutgers. Last time RU played at Navy, it was arguably the worst loss in the Greg Schiano era. They ran up-and-down the field at will. When RU tried to stuff the box, Navy had success in the air. But last season, Schiano's first year as defensive coordinator, the defense played with more poise and discipline. It will be imperative for the Rutgers players to maintain their assignments, yet play aggressively in order to control this high-powered unorthodox triple option attack. On the season, Navy has rushed for 2100 yards in 6 games. That is an average of 350 yards on the ground per game! In 5 out of 6 games, they have also won the time of possession battle. They have also protected the ball rather well, only turning it over 11 times. Fortunately for Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights are coming off a bye week, and have had time to not only prepare for this offense, but rest up their bodies for this game.

QB: Brian Hampton runs the offense and has great knowledge of the system. The things that stand out most about him are his instincts to run this show, his confidence, and his toughness. He makes great decisions and is very fluid as both a runner and passer. He is more of a threat than last year's QB Owens because of his command. On the year, Brian has rushed for 645 yards and 10 TDs, but has only passed, on average, 8 times per contest. His best performance was against UConn, where he ran for 182 yards and 3 TD's, while throwing for 141 and 1 TD.

RB: Fullback Adam Ballard and slot man Reggie Campbell are the show. Ballard has rushed for 574 yards at 6 yards per carry. He is a load and has great forward lean to get positive yardage. It will be imperative to wrap him up and not allow big yards after first contact. Campbell is small at 5'6", but is very elusive, strong and adept at breaking tackles. He has rushed for 355 yards and 4 TD, while catching 7 passes for 126 yards and 1 TD. Shun White and Matt Hall will also get some carries and have rushed for 175 and 150 yards respectively.

WR: While Reggie Campbell has put up the biggest numbers, Jason Tomlinson is the biggest threat. The 6'1" 210 lb WR is a three year starter and has made big plays over the year. He must be accounted for in the passing game, which they'll use to try to catch Rutgers off guard. On the season, Tomlinson only has 6 catches.

OL: This is a mature group that starts 3 Sr. and 2 Jr. While Navy typically uses smaller OL, they rely on getting good leverage and have traditionally had good speed, toughness and athleticism. The left side of the line is both mature and big with Sr. OT Matt Pritchett (6'2" 290) and Sr. OG Zach Gallion (6'2" 315). However, the right side of the line consists of 2 smaller Jr. in OT Josh Meek (6'1" 260) and OG Antron Harper (5'11" 257). How the difference in size and experience affects their play calling and tendencies is something Greg Schiano must have evaluated.

Defense: Statistically, this 3-4 defensive unit is very solid. This is a senior laden team, where 8 of the 11 starters are seniors. When you look at their tackling stats, they are very well distributed amongst their players, which is usually a sign of a swarming defense. They don't give up a lot of points. The largest point total by an opponent was against Tulsa, which was their only loss to date, 24-23. They have allowed only 13 TD. They have also been stingy against the run, holding opponents to only 778 yards on the season. Expect them to try to slow down ray Rice and Brian Leonard. Mike Teel and the wideouts must make plays against such a staunch run defense in order to open up the offense.

DL: Navy will rotate 6 guys, of which 5 are Sr. The starting ends are 6'3" 225lb Tye Adams (21 tackles, 1 sack) and 6'1" 249 lb John Chan (32 tackles, 5 sacks). The NG is played by 6'2" 280 Larry Cylc (6 tackles).

LB: These guys are the playmakers. 5'9" 220 lb Sr. David Mahoney is a bull and has 49 tackles, 5 for loss, to go along with 3 sacks. 6'0" 230 lb Sr. Rob Caldwell leads the team with 53 stops and 1 sack. So. Clint Sovie (30 tackles, 1.5 sacks) and Sr.Tyler Tidwell (26 tackles 1.5 sacks) round out the linebackers.

Secondary: So. CB 6' 190 Rawshan King has been a pleasant surprise with 34 tackles, which ranks 3rd on the team. The other CB is Sr. Keenan Little, who leads the team in pass break-ups. S. Sr. 5'11" 190 Jeremy McGown has 30 tackles. The one inexperienced player is Rover Fr. Jeremy Miles (21 tackles).

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