2012 Navy Midshipmen Football Preview
2011 Record: 5-7
Head Coach: Ken Niumatalolo, fifth season (32-21 all at Navy)
Projected Returning Starters: 13
Spring Game: April 14th (Blue 21 Gold 0)
Notes: When Paul Johnson took over at the Naval Academy, the program was in shambles. Johnson brought back the triple option offense, relying heavily on running backs, fullbacks, and some deception. After a 2-10 season in his first year, Coach Johnson averaged over 8.5 wins per season, prior to accepting the head coaching job at Georgia Tech. Between Johnson and Niumatalolo, the Middies made nine straight bowl games, a streak which was snapped last season. Since the 2009 season, when Navy won 10 games, the program has slide a bit each season. The defense hasn’t been great, and the offense hasn’t been as deceiving.
BVTSB Take: Like BYU, who we covered last week, the Midshipmen are independents, which means they are free to schedule as they would like. With that said, Navy has some common opponents from year-to-year and they have some rivals who show up frequently, as well. Navy competes with Air Force and Army (Army-Navy game) on a yearly basis for the Commander-in-Chief trophy. The current holder of the trophy is Air Force. Navy also has an annual contest with Notre Dame, which will be played in Dublin, Ireland this season, to open the 2012 campaign. Lately, Navy has played Rutgers frequently, another rival, dating back to Navy and Rutgers’ days as being two of only three programs in the original Ivy League. Less frequently played rivals include games against Maryland and SMU. Quarterback Kriss Proctor has graduated – Trey Miller is expected to be the starter; Miller ran for two touchdowns in the spring game. With Alexander Teich no longer being with the program, expect Gee Gee Greene to play a more prominent role with the offense. Greene averaged 7.8 yards per carry last season, reaching pay-dirt three times. Expect John Howell to be in the backfield, as well. 91% of Navy’s offensive plays were running plays in 2011. The role of the wide receivers in Nayv’s offense, more often than not, is to block. Still, opponents need to be wary of when Miller and the Navy offense elect to go to the air. Top receivers Brandon Turner and Matt Aiken return this season, having accounted for nearly half of the total receiving yards in 2011 and five of the ten receiving touchdowns. After opening with Notre Dame, Navy will travel to Penn State. The Midshipmen will play host to VMI and San Jose State, before hitting the road against Air Force and Central Michigan. Navy hosts Indiana and travels to East Carolina in late October. They conclude with games against Florida Atlantic, at Troy, Texas State, and the annual Army-Navy game. Based on last season’s win-loss records, Navy has the easiest strength of schedule. While the success of opponents changes from year to year, expect Navy to capitalize on what looks to be a weak schedule in 2012.
2012 Early Projection: 8-4
To see the 2012 Independent schedules, click here.
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