Thursday, June 16, 2011

Navy Midshipmen 2010 Review

Navy Midshipmen
2010 Record: 9-4
2010 Bowl Game: Poisettia Bowl, Lost to San Diego State 35-14

     We are seeing a major golden age of service academy football in America right now. All three major academies went to bowl games last fall, which is simply a tremendous happening. Navy has pushed the envelope since Paul Johnson was running the show, and Ken Niamatololo has not let anyone down since taking over himself. He was a hot candidate for a few jobs last fall, including at Minnesota, but decided to stay put at Navy. This program is sailing in the right direction, and winning is now common here.
     The offense flowed once more throught the ever capable hands of scoring legend QB Ricky Dobbs. Dobbs is probably the best QB in America that most people know nothing about. Dobbs managed to pass for 1527 yards and 13 TDs out of the option, while only tossing 6 picks on the year. He also added 967 yards rushing to leadt the team, while rushing for 14 more TDs. Dobbs averaged 22 carries per game last fall as the QB, but he was a senior, so now Navy will have to find a new direction at the helm of it's triple option veer attack. Dobbs passed for 19 TDs and rushed for another 41 in the last two seasons combined. That is a ton of scoring to replace.
     Alexander Teich seems like a logical focal point for the offense, as the junior RB was second on the team with 863 yards rushing, averaging 5.87 yards per carry and scoring 5 times. He will be the senior leader next fall. Gee Gee Greene was a nice change of pace in the option attack, as he rushed for 492 yards, but also scored 5 times. Greene Averaged 6.83 yards per carry last fall. Vince Murray added 3 scores, while backup QB Kris Proctor rushed for 4 scores in limited action.
     Greg Jones was had one of the better receiving seasons in recent years for the Midshipmen. Jones finished the season with a line of 33-662-5, and he averaged 20.06 yards per catch last fall. Very nice. Jones was the only player with at least 20 receptions last fall. Greene was second out of the backfield with a line of 18-286-0.
     The Navy defense took some lumps last fall. The Midshipmen gave up a total of 376.8 yards per game last fall, as they allowed 220.4 yards passing per game, and another 156.4 yards rushing per game. Navy did have some players making some tackles, as six defenders finished with 5 tackles or more. Tyler Simmons was the leader, as he finished with 131 tackles on the season, by far more than anyone else. He averaged 10.08 tackles per game out of his LB spot. He graduated after the season, so there is a ton of production to replace there. He was followed by Wyatt Middleton (86), Aaron McCauley (82), Jerry Hauburger (73), Jabaree Tuani (72), and Max Blue (58). Blue averaged 7.25 tackles per game, but missed 5 games.
     The Middies had some serious pressure applied by three defenders last fall, as Tuani led the team with a very solid 15.5 TFLs last fall. He was joined in the double figure zone by McCauley, who finished 2010 with 10.5 on the year. Billy Yarborough barely missed joining them, as he finished the season with 9. Yarborough led the team with 6.5 sacks last season, but the Midshipmen finished with a rather pedestrian 18 sacks as a team in 13 games.
     Navy struggled to make plays in the secondary last fall, as Wyatt Middleton was the only Navy defender to defend at least 5 passes last fall, and he had execlty that many. Navystruggled against the pass, and this was a key reason as to why. Nobody had more than 1 pick all season long, and Navy only picked off 7 passes as a team last fall.
     Joe Buckley was not the greatest kicker in the nation last fall, but by far was not the worst either. He had limited opportunities, and hit on 7 of 10 FGs on the season. He did manage to hit 31 of 32 PATs. Buckley also missed 3 games, but he moved on after the season ended. In his absence, Jon Teague seemed to fit right in, as he nailed both of his FG attempts, while connecting with all 16 of his PATs.  Teague will be the man coming into 2011. Kyle Delahooke moves on at punter after a below avergae season that saw him average only 38.44 yards per punt. Marcus Thomas avergaed 21.65 yards per return on kickoffs, and collected 563 yards as a freshman last fall. Teci was the second option, and he averaged over 26 yards per return. Gary Myers averaged only 5.5 yards per return on punts.
Final Notes
     As great as Navy has been at times in the last few seasons, this season was the culmination of the career of Ricky Dobbs, and other great Middies who were moving on after the season. There was a lot to play for. 2011 brings a season of change, as several starters have to be replaced. It won't be easy, but Navy has now built a reputation as a winner, and it's hard to see that slipping away now.

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