Sunday, November 20, 2022

Navy Stuns UCF, 17-14

Navy (3-7) traveled to Orlando to take on #17 UCF (8-2) in what will be the last meeting between the two schools in the American Athletic Conference.  For the first time this season, the Midshipmen scored on their opening drive of the game and never fell behind the fifth best rushing team in the country.

Navy quarterback, Xavier Arline led the Mids in what was arguably their best played game of the season. The junior signal caller carried the ball 18 times for 24 yards and a TD.  He attempted just one pass that fell incomplete.

Daba Fofana led the rushing game with 114 yards on 20 carries.  John Marshall led the defense with 10 tackles, four sacks, and a forced fumble.

Vincent Terrell II scored Navy's second touchdown, an eight-yard carry, following a UCF field goal that cut the Midshipmen's lead to one.  Mbiti Williams Jr. picked off a UCF pass as time expired in the second quarter.

UCF's Mikey Keene connected with Javon Baker for a 28-yard touchdown on their first drive of the second half.  The Knights converted a 2-point conversion to tie the game 14-14.

Bijan Nichols kicked a 45-yard field goal with 8:22 remaining in the third quarter that would give Navy the lead for good 17-14.

Stat of the Game - Navy won the game without completing a pass.

Player of the Game - Navy's John Marshall set a school record with four sacks in the game and forced a fumble that led to the game winning field goal.

Play of the Game - Daba Fofana broke a 46-yard run to the UCF six yard line on Navy's first drive.  Three plays later, Fofana pounded the ball into the end zone giving Navy a 7-0 lead.

Play of the Game #2 - Navy cornerback, Mbiti Williams Jr. picked off a John Rhys Plumlee pass at the Navy 14 yard line.  The interception as time ran out prevented the Knights from putting points on the board at the end of the first half.

That's Ball Control - On Navy's two touchdown drives in the game, the Mids averaged 12 plays and 6:43 time of possession.  UCF had four possessions in the first half and six in the second half.

Records - Navy (4-7) and UCF (8-3)

Next Week - UCF will travel to USF on November 26.  Navy will play Army on December 10 in Philadelphia.

Postgame Press Conferences - 



Saturday, November 12, 2022

Navy Falls Short in Comeback Against Notre Dame

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish jumped out early and took a commanding lead against host Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.  Notre Dame quarterback, Drew Pyne connected on two touchdown passes in the first quarter and two more in quarter number two.  He also scored on an 11-yard run giving Notre Dame a 35-13 lead at halftime.  

Navy fought back in the second half, outscoring the Irish, 19-0.  The Mids were a successful onside kick away from having a chance to tie or win the game in the fourth quarter, falling just short 35-32.

The Notre Dame offense was connecting on all cylinders in the first half.  The Irish scored touchdowns on their first three drives, missed a field goal on their next possession, and then scored on each of their next two possessions before halftime.

Pyne completed touchdown passes to Audric Estime (30 yards) and Braden Lenzy (38 yards) in the first quarter.  He found Chris Tyree open for a 5-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter.  Pyne ran the ball for an 11-yard touchdown before completing a 37-yard touchdown pass to Jayden Thomas with just over a minute remaining in the half.

On Navy's second possession of the game, Xavier Arline connected with a wide open Mark Walker for a 34 yard completion moving the ball to the Notre Dame 36 yard line.  Two plays later, Daba Fofana put Navy on the scoreboard with a 36-yard carry near the end of the first quarter.  Fofana finished the game with 133 yards on just 15 carries.

Arline was also able to find the end zone on the ground with a 2-yard carry late in the first half.  Arline finished the game with 63 yards rushing on 12 carries.

Navy came out in the second half and looked like a different team.  The Navy defense held Notre Dame scoreless giving the offense an opportunity to chip away at the Irish lead.

Bijan Nichols kicked a 26-yard field goal on Navy's opening drive of the half.  Nichols, a team captain, was able to play his first game of the season today after battling an injury.

Arline completed a 23-yard touchdown pass to Mark Walker early in the fourth quarter.  He also ran for the two-point conversion.  Late in the game, Maasai Maynor connected with Maquel Haywood for a 20-yard touchdown,  Vincent Terrell II converted the two-point conversion cutting the Notre Dame lead to 3.

Navy was unable to convert an onside kick and Notre Dame was unable to run out the clock.

Play of the game - Notre Dame completed a 38-yard touchdown pass from Drew Pyne to Brandon Lenzy.  Lenzy was covered well by Mbiti Williams Jr. but somehow caught the ball behind the back of the Navy defender and maintained control for Notre Dame's second touchdown.

Player of the game - Notre Dame's Drew Pyne completed 17 of 21 passes and four touchdowns.  He also had a rushing touchdown and had a part in each of Notre Dame's scores.

Notre Dame quarterback, Drew Pyne on Braden Lenzy's touchdown - That was unbelievable.  I threw it up and it was an unbelievable catch.  I haven't seen anything like it before in my life.  I am so happy for him.

You hate to see that - Xavier Arline went down with what appeared to be an ankle injury in the fourth quarter and did not return to the game.  Arline is starting at quarterback since Tai Lavatai went out with a season ending injury.
Daba Fofana

Navy fullback, Daba Fofana - The O line was moving people the whole time.  In the first half we were able to take advantage of that.  the in the second half they started keying in on our run game and that was able to open things up for our passing game.

What a turn around - The Navy defense contained the Irish defense in the second half and sacked Pyne five times for a loss of 25 yards.  Collin Ramos and John Marshall each had 1.5 sacks and Rayuan Lane had 1.

Unsung hero - Dashaun Peele tipped a Drew Pyne pass that was intercepted by John Marshall.  Navy scored a touchdown on the ensuing play.

Ken Niumatalolo
Navy coach, Ken Niumatalolo - I am proud of our players.  I don't know if I have ever been more proud of a team after a game, win or lose.

Notre Dame coach, Marcus Freeman - As I told the team, first and foremost, no victory should be taken for granted.  Congratulations on a hard-fought win.  I challenged them on Friday.  I challenged them at halftime.  The one thing you know about Navy is they will never quit.

Records - Notre Dame improves to 7-3 and Navy falls to 3-7.

Next week - Notre Dame hosts Boston College next week and Navy travels to Central Florida.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Houston at Navy - Pregame Notes

Navy (2-4) hosts Houston (3-3) in a Noon contest on Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  This will be the ninth meeting between the two schools and the last meeting as AAC foes.  The Cougars will be moving to the Big 12 conference next season.

Houston holds a 6-2 record against the Midshipmen.  Saturday's contest will be aired on ESPNU.

Navy is coming off a tough loss to SMU, 40-34 last Friday.  The Cougars are coming off a 33-32 win at Memphis on October 7.

Tai Lavatai is the offensive leader of the team.  Lavatai has thrown for 66o yards and 4 touchdowns on a running heavy team.  He also has the most carries (94) and touchdowns (5) on the ground.  Fullback Doba Fofana leads the team with 336 yards rushing.  Navy is ranked 5th in the nation in rushing yards, averaging 255.2 yards per game.

Jayden Umbarger leads the receiving corps with 13 receptions for 169 yards and one touchdown.  Slotback Vincent Terrell Jr. also has six receptions and two touchdowns.

John Marshall has 42 tackles and two sacks for the defense.

Clayton Tune has completed 64.7% of his passes for the Cougars.  He has thrown for 1567 yards and 12 touchdowns.  Tune's top target is Nathaniel Dell.  Dell has 43 receptions for 534 yards and six touchdowns.

Brandon Campbell (a USC transfer) and Tune lead the Houston running game.  Campbell has 67 carries for 296 yards and three touchdowns.  Tune has 66 carries for 211 yards and three touchdowns.

Donavan Mutin and Gervarrius Owens have 33 and 32 tackles respectively this season.  Mutin has four tackles for a loss and Owens has an interception.

Houston is a small favorite in the game.

Saturday, October 08, 2022

Navy Dominates Tulsa, 53-21

Navy came into their game against visiting Tulsa as a slight underdog.  With 5:10 left in the first quarter, Daniel Davies kicked the first of his three field goals giving Navy a lead that they would not give up for the rest of the game.  The Mids finished the game against their AAC opponent, 53-21 improving Navy's record to 2-3 and 2-1 in the AAC.

The Midshipmen were playing on all cylinders on both sides of the football for the first time this season.  The offense looked like Navy football of old and rushed for 455 yards and five touchdowns in the game.  Five ball carriers averaged over 5 yards per carry and four of them rushed for over 60 yards in the game.

Daba Fofana was impressive carrying the ball this afternoon, rushing for 159 yards and three touchdowns. Vincent Terrell II carried the ball 17 times for 94 yards and a touchdown to complement Fofana and created a one-two punch that Tulsa couldn't contain.

Brian Newberry's defense would not be outdone holding Tulsa to just 25 yards rushing in the game.  The defense also had three interceptions, six quarterback hurries, and five pass breakups in the game.

Colin Ramos, Nicholas Straw, and Elias Larry each had interceptions in the game.  Larry also had two pass breakups causing problems for Tulsa quarterback Davis Brin.

Where Did That Come From - On Navy's third drive of the game, freshman wide receiver got the fans excited.  Nathan Kent, on his first collegiate play,  took a Tai Lavatai hand off and used his impressive speed to run for 70 yards and a touchdown giving Navy a 10-0 lead.

Drive of the Game - On Navy's first drive of the second half, Coach Ken Niumatalolo obviously wanted to keep the momentum that they had build up in the first half.  The Mids faced a 4th-and-3 on their own 46 yard line and ran a perfect fake punt.  Rayuan Lane III took the snap, his first career carry, and sprinted down the sideline for 28 yards giving Navy a first down at Tulsa's 26 yard line.  On the next play, Niumatalolo called another gutsy play.  Lavatai pitched the ball to Kai Puailoa-Rojas who then threw the ball back to Lavatai for a 26 yard touchdown giving Navy a 43-14 lead.

Performance of the Game - The Navy offense scored 26 points in the second quarter.  Navy has not scored that many points in a game this season.  Fofana had three touchdowns on the ground, Davies kicked the second of his three field goals, and the defense forced a safety.

Tulsa Coach Philip Montgomery on Navy's Running Game - "Well obviously it's a tough offense to go against.  If you let the fullback get going then it really opens up the rest of their offense."

Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo on Navy's Offense - "It is the young men.  They continue to come to work, continue to battle.  They haven't given up.  This team that showed up today, I expected this team. It's all them."

Next Week - Navy travels to SMU on Friday and Tulsa has an off week.

Friday, October 07, 2022

Tulsa at Navy - Pregame Notes


Navy (1-3) hosts the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (2-3) on Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  The Mids lead the series against Tulsa, 7-2 but just 2-2 at home.

The Midshipmen are coming off a tough loss to military academy rivals, Air Force 13-10.  Tulsa fell to Cincinnati, 31-21.

Tulsa is led by quarterback, Davis Brin.  Brin has thrown for 1,555 yards and 12 touchdowns.  He has thrown just 3 interceptions.  Brin is averaging 15.4 yards per completion, which is good for third-best in the country.

Tulsa's receiving leaders are Keylon Stokes who has 37 catches and 3 TDs and JuanCarlos Santana who has reigned in 22 catches 4 TDs. 

Steven Anderson leads the Tulsa running game with 229 yards and 4 TDs.  

The cornerstones of the Golden Hurricane defense is graduate student Bryson Powers who has 47 tackles and Justin Wright who has 38. 

The Midshipmen offense is lead by junior quarterback, Tai Lavatai.  Lavatia leads the team in rushing with 135 yards and 3 TDs.  He has completed 52% of his passes for 515 yards and 2 TDs.  Jayden Umbarger has 8 receptions for 110 yards to lead the receivers.

John Marshall leads the defense with 34 tackles and 2 sacks this season.

Tomorrow's game will be televised on CBS Sports Network and kickoff is scheduled for 3:30.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Memphis Passing Game Sinks Navy, 37-13

Navy came into their game against Memphis hoping to right the ship and get their first win of the season.  Last week at home against Delaware, the offense struggled putting points on the board.  The defense, on the other hand, played well and kept Navy in the game.

Navy didn't play well on either side of the football this week.  Granted, the offense still struggled scoring points, finding the end zone only two times out of their 10 possessions.  The turnover bug hasn't left the Navy offense either as the Mids threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.

The defense couldn't contain Memphis quarterback, Seth Henigan.  The sophomore signal caller completed 24 passes on 34 attempts for 415 yards and two touchdowns.  The running game was good enough to keep the Navy defense honest, gaining 91 yards and accounting for two rushing touchdowns.

Navy was still in the game at halftime, trailing 13-7.  Navy's lone score in the first half was a 62-yard pass from Tai Lavatai to Anton Hall Jr.  The catch was Hall's first of his career and the longest pass of Lavatai's career.

In the second half, Memphis took control and outscored the Midshipmen 24-6 to give Memphis their first win of the season, 37-13.  Lavatai scored a rushing touchdown from one yard out with 12:46 remaining in the game.  The two-point conversion attempt was no good and Navy would not have another scoring drive in the game.

You could tell by his demeanor in the post-game press conference that Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo was frustrated with the team's performance the past two weeks.

"Tough loss.  Our kids, everybody with them, are devastated.  We put a lot into this."

It was obvious that the losses and overall performance to open the season are not what Navy or Coach Niumatalolo are satisfied with.  Especially with the offense, of which he's the coordinator and play caller.

"From the first game, there was nowhere to go but up.  It was better (than last week) but still not good enough.  Still too many mistakes."

Play of the game - Navy called a halfback pass on a second down at the Memphis 29 yard line.  Maquel Haywood through a pass into coverage that was intercepted by Quindell Johnson in the end zone.  Coach Niumatalolo said that play "changed all the momentum".

Player of the game - Memphis quarterback completed 24 passes for 415 yards and two touchdowns.

Statistically speaking - Navy had the time-of-possession advantage in the game, 32:34 - 27:26.  Memphis had only two fewer plays in the game.

From the press box - A reporter in the press box after the game mentioned that Navy had only one good play and one good drive in the game.

Navy quarterback Tai Lavatai on his touchdown pass - "It was good to get something going.  It was spurts of happiness.  At the end of the day, it was great to see Anton's first touchdown, but we didn't get the job done today on offense."

Navy linebacker John Marshall - "I think it (the game) came down to a couple of plays.  Our defense flashes a lot, but that consistency is what will keep us going throughout the year.  I think we are just a couple of plays away from being a really good defense."

Records - Navy falls to 0-2 on the season and Memphis improves to 1-1.

Next week - Navy will have a bye week next week and then will travel to East Carolina on September 24.  Memphis will host Arkansas State in their first home game of the year.

Friday, September 09, 2022

Memphis at Navy - Pregame Notes

The Memphis Tigers will travel to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Saturday to face the Navy Midshipmen. Both teams are looking for their first win of the season.  Memphis lost last week at Mississippi State, 49-23.  The Mids fell short against Delaware, 14-7.

Saturday will be the eighth meeting between the two schools.  Memphis has a 4-3 record against Navy and has won the last three meetings.

Memphis has 37 transfers on their roster from schools including Cal, Florida, Miami, and Ohio State.  They also have 13 fifth-year players on their two-deep roster.

Senior quarterback, Seth Hennigan leads the Memphis offense.  He completed 19-30 attempts last week for 165 yards and a touchdown.  Jevon Ducker and Brandon Thomas combined for 96 yards against Mississippi State.

Redshirt Seniors Jaylon Allen and Qunidell Johnson led the Tigers in tackles with 12 and nine respectively.  Allen also had a sack in the game and Johnson had an interception.

The Navy defense held Delaware to just 13 rushing yards last week and recorded 12 tackles for a loss and five sacks.

The offense struggled early in the game losing three fumbles in the first five offensive series.  Navy lost just five fumbles in the entire 2021 season.

The Mids are lead by junior quarterback, Tai Lavatai.  Lavatai carried the ball 18 times last week and had the teams only touchdown in the game.  He also completed five passes for 135 yards.

Linebacker Colin Ramos led the defense with nine tackles against the Blue Hens.  Evan Gibbons had eight tackles and two tackles for a loss.  Striker John Marshall had seven tackles and two sacks.

Tomorrow's game will be televised on CBS Sports Network and kickoff is scheduled for 3:30.

Saturday, September 03, 2022

Navy Falls to Visiting Delaware, 14-7

A Navy fumble on the opening play of the game that was recovered by Delaware set the tone for the remainder of the season opener for the Midshipmen.  

Navy quarterback, Tai Lavatai carried the ball on Navy's first play and fumbled after a carry of seven yards.  Delaware's Del Nickles recovered the fumble on the Navy 24 yard line.  Two plays later, Delaware connected on a 6 yard touchdown pass from Nolan Henderson to Bryce De Maille giving the Blue Hens a 7-0 lead just 42 seconds into the game.

Turnovers were the downfall for the Mids in today's game.  Navy was held to a three-and-out and a missed a field goal on their next two drives.  Then fumbled the ball away to Delaware on their following two drives.

Navy head coach, Ken Niumatalolo and the coaching staff have been preaching to get a fast start in today's game.  Unfortunately three turnovers in Navy's first five possessions deflated the offense's momentum. 

John Marshall
John Marshall
"We lost three possessions and that hurts," shared Niumatalolo.  "It couldn't have started in a worse way."

The Navy defense kept the team in the game, even giving them a chance to win late in the contest.  The Mids defense had 12 tackles for a loss in the game and sacked Henderson five times.  Both Kip Franklin and John Marshall spoke highly of the defense in the post game press conference.

Marshall had two sacks in today's game and created chaos for the Delaware offense all afternoon.

Navy kept fighting and finally put points on the scoreboard with 29 seconds remaining in the third quarter.  Lavatai carried the ball two yards and got the season's first touchdown.  The junior quarterback had 34 yards on 18 carries in the game.  Lavatai also completed five passes for a career high 135 yards, including a 43 yard completion as the first half ended.

Navy hosts American Athletic Conference for Memphis next Saturday in Annapolis.

Vital statistic - Navy had three lost fumbles in today's game.  The Midshipmen had just two lost fumbles in the last eight games last year.

Battling an injury - Navy team captain, Bijan Nichols was questionable in today's game with a leg injury and did not play.  Nichols is thought to be the first punter to be named a captain at Navy and only the second kicker (first since 1930).

Coach Niumatalolo on the pressure of Navy's quarterbacks - "The quarterback in our offense gets a lot of credit when things go well because the ball is always in his hands.  But you also get a lot of blame because the ball is always in your hands.  It's the nature of the position."

Kip Franklin

Kip Franklin on the offense's struggles
- "We have to be resilient.  That was tough, but we need to be able to just brush this game off our shoulder.  We're a tough team; we've been in situations like this before and we need to come back and play better."

Unsung hero - Navy's Colin Ramos had nine tackles, one tackle for a loss, and one forced fumble.

Delaware head coach Ryan Party on shutting down the triple-option - "I told Coach Rojas after the game I thought that was one of the best performances a defense had against a triple-option team in a long time.  I thought we had an unbelievable assignment-based plan going into it and our guys executed it perfectly."

Friday, September 02, 2022

Delaware at Navy - Pregame Notes

Navy hosts Delaware at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Saturday in the opening game of the 2022 season.  This will be the 18th meeting between the two schools and the first one since 2013.  Navy has won the last three meetings.

Navy is led by head coach, Ken Niumatalolo who will be beginning his 15th season leading the Midshipmen.

The Blue Hens are playing their first contest under Head Coach Ryan Carty. Carty a is 2006 Delaware graduate.

Navy is 55-22 at home under Niumatalolo and 7-7 in season openers, including a 5-2 mark when opening the year at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  

The Mids have their hands full with a challenging schedule this season. Navy's 12 opponents in 2022 combined to go 100-52 in 2021 (.658), making Navy's schedule the toughest in the country this year based on last year's opponents' win-loss records.

The key to Navy's success this year will be junior quarterback, Tai Lavatai.  Lavatai completed 55% of his passes last season along with 5 TDs.  The running game will be where Lavatai needs to lead the offense.

Delaware has 17 transfers on its roster and returns eight defensive starters from a season ago.  

Quarterback Nolan Henderson in his sixth season with Delaware will be the leader on the offensive side of the ball.  His main target will be wide receiver Thyrick Pitts who has had a reception in 30-consecutive games, which is fifth all-time in UD history

Kickoff on Saturday is scheduled for 12:02 PM and will be covered by CBS Sports Network.