Things to know: Navy

Navy has lost six of its last seven, but is coming into this weekend's game off a big win over Troy. SMU is also coming off a big win, having lost its two previous games before that. The Mustangs need to be weary of the Midshipmen and not look too far ahead to Houston, which looms the following week.

If you don't think Navy needed what happened Saturday at Annapolis, think again.

In addition to keeping their faint Military Bowl hopes alive, the Mids learned what it's like to get the feeling of winning again, snapping a six-game losing streak with a 42-14 rout of Troy.

Winning on Senior Day, the Mids improved to 3-6 and now have to win at SMU and San Jose State before beating Army.

But that's the future. The present was quarterback Kriss Proctor returning from an elbow injury and running for two touchdowns and passing for another while playing only the first half. He was gone with Navy ahead, 35-0.

Slotback Aaron Santiago, who missed six games, all losses, with a broken left forearm, also returned and ran for 80 yards on what was a most pleasant day for a team that hadn't won in what had to seem like forever.

"I'm very, very happy for our seniors," said coach Ken Niumatalolo. "These guys have stayed the course and I'm very happy for them that they can finish out their careers with a W at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium."

The Mids ran up 517 yards of offense, with Proctor going 4-for-6 for 126 yards in his 30 minutes of action.

NOTES, QUOTES

--Navy had lost six straight games, four of them by a total of eight points, in the program's longest losing streak since 2002 but routed Troy, 42-14 Saturday on Senior Day at Annapolis.

--The win kept Navy's slim bowl hopes alive. The Mids have to win at SMU and San Jose State and beat Army to reach the program's ninth straight bowl game, this time the Military Bowl.

--Despite reports to the contrary, athletic director Chet Gladchuk said Navy was not extended an invitation to join the flailing Big East for football.

--Slotback Aaron Santiago, who missed the previous six games with a broken arm, returned Saturday. The Mids are 3-0 with him in the lineup, 0-6 with him missing. Coincidence?

--QB Kriss Proctor (elbow) also returned, with coach Ken Niumatalolo saying, "I thought they both played phenomenal. Definitely, those two guys being out there gave our team a spark. Kriss is a tough sucker, and he provided a lot of inspiration for our team. It was great to see number 26 (Santiago) back out there. It was nice to see him make some plays."

--With his defense battered and bruised, coordinator Buddy Green moved upstairs to the press box for the first time since 2007.

"I just thought we needed a change. I thought I could see more from up there," he said. "Really, I thought about all these hurry-up offenses we've been playing, that I could see their personnel a little quicker and make the calls quicker. Just speed up the process a bit."

Said defensive end Jabaree Tuani: "I think it worked out well. At first, it was kind of hard because we're looking at Coach Green for the signals. But he drew up a master game plan for us."

KEEP AN EYE ON: The Mids going on the road for their last two games, at SMU and San Jose State. SMU beat a weak Tulane team Saturday to get to 6-3 on the season and will be anything but an easy mark at home.

LOOKING GOOD: Quarterback Kriss Proctor came back after missing more than a game and a half with a dislocated elbow and played well in having to go only the first half. The Mids piled up 517 yards of offense against a week opponent but showed there's still some kick left in this team.

STILL NEEDS WORK: Navy's three wins are all over weak opponents; Delaware, Western Kentucky and Troy, so the Mids still have to show they can beat a good team. And their chance at 6-3 SMU comes up this week. Funny thing about the Western Kentucky win, though -- the Hilltoppers have followed an 0-4 start with five straight wins.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It feels great. Sometimes you forget what it feels like after a while. It's nice to get that feeling back. I'm so proud of our guys for showing up and playing big. We're not counting ourselves out. We're going to keep fighting to the very end of this thing." -- FB Alexander Teich after his team snapped a six-game losing streak with Saturday's rout of Troy.

PLAYER NOTES:

--QB Kriss Proctor returned to the Navy lineup after missing more than a game and a half with a dislocated elbow and ran for two touchdowns and threw for another while playing just the first half of a 42-14 win over Troy Saturday. He even threw for 127 yards as Troy tried to keep up with the triple option. "I just kind of left it up to the big man upstairs," he said. "It's his will whether [the elbow is] going to pop out again. I knew after Notre Dame, I didn't care how it felt, I was coming back."

--DE Jabaree Tuani, one of 33 seniors, was thrilled to get the Senior Day win, saying, "It felt great to get a win. It's definitely been a long time coming. "It's just a special, special moment for us seniors,"

--RB Aaron Santiago returned to the field after missing six games, all losses, with a broken forearm. He ran for 80 yards and provided a true spark for his team.

--FB Alexander Teich ran for 71 yards and a touchdown as the Mids had the triple option working to perfection.

--RB Gee Gee Greene ran for 52 yards and a touchdown and also scored on a 48-yard pass from Proctor.

ROSTER REPORT

--QB Kriss Proctor returned Saturday and was 4-for-6 throwing the ball, a sign his dislocated left elbow at least allowed him to throw. He was a game-time decision to start.

--QB Trey Miller played the entire second half and ran for 52 yards on 11 carries.

--The Mids, just 15-for-23 inside the red zone in their previous five games, went a perfect 5-for-5, all touchdowns, in this game.

--Navy is 24-5 when scoring first during Ken Niumatalolo's coaching tenure.

--Proctor's first-quarter 1-yard sneak gave Navy its first first-quarter touchdown since Sept. 17, at South Carolina in the game that started the six-game losing streak.

--Coach Ken Niumatalolo loosened things up in practice for his struggling team by ending one session with a 40-yard dash between a pair of Plebe defensive linemen who don't play. It was part of the coach trying to get his players to forget about the six-game losing streak they were in.


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