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11/18/07

Observations from an Olde Poolie - Navy 35 Northern Illinois 24


November 17, 2007 Navy 35 Northern Illinois 24. On a clear cool (low forties) afternoon and evening before over 34,500 fans, Navy’s football team behind back-up quarterback Jr. Jerod Bryant and an improved defensive effort turned away the Northern Illinois University Huskies. It was the final game in Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium for 22 seniors and a game they can remember with happy results. The offense missed a few beats but did not turn the ball over and Bryant had a good day gaining 139 yards on 27 carries. The defense got one key interception and forced the Huskies to punt four times. QB Kaheaku-Enhada has a twisted leg and did not play.

NIU started the game by marching 70 yards in 8 plays scoring on a 46 yard pass. Reggie Campbell returned the kick-off to the 45. The Midshipmen, staying on the ground, needed 8 plays and a one yard sweep by Singleton to tie the game 7 - 7 with 8:30 left in the quarter. Two sacks by Navy’s defense and NIU punted to NIU’s 44. Four plays and Singleton scored on a 26 yard pitch-out. Navy 14 NIU 7.

The Huskies moved to midfield but had to punt and the Midshipmen started on their own 10 . A penalty pushed the Midshipmen back and they punted to midfield. NIU moved down the field but a pass tipped by one of Navy’s linemen was gathered in by Sr. Greg Thrasher at the eight yard line. This proved to be a key play. Navy then mounted a 92 yard drive, with one 25 yard pass, that took 8 plays and 3:15 minutes. Shun White scored on a 15 yard run. Navy 21 NIU 7 with 5:24 remaining. After each team punted the Huskies completed a pass at the one yard line and scored to close to 14 - 21 with 27 seconds left. The Midshipmen tried a 40 yard field goal at the buzzer but missed.

Navy started the second half with an 80 yard drive as Bryant carried seven times and scored on a one yard plunge. It was 80 yards in 14 plays and consumed almost 5 minutes. Navy 28 NIU 14. The Huskies answered with a 72 yard drive in 12 plays and closed to 21 - 28. They scored on a 24 yard pass play. The quarter ended Navy 28 NIU 21.

NIU opened the fourth quarter with a 42 yard FG. Navy 28 NIU 24. With Bryan again keeping the ball after faking to other ball carriers the Midshipmen marched 68 yards in 10 plays and over 4 minutes to stretch the lead to 35 - 24. Bryant carried 8 times for 52 yards. Singleton scored on a 12 yard run to the right. There was over seven minutes remaining. Navy’s defense forced NIU to punt after three plays. Two penalties pushed the Midshipmen back and they punted also. The Huskies completed passes on three fourth downs to move into Navy’s territory but missed a FG with less than two minutes remaining and Navy ran out the clock.

The Midshipmen, who lead the nation with an average of 357 yards rushing per game, had 359 yards on the ground in 60 carries. They gained 60 yards through the air on 3 - 6 passing. Singleton had 101 yards rushing on 11 carries. The Huskies had 206 passing yards on 21 - 36 -1. They gained 149 yards on the ground. Navy forced four punts and punted three times. NIU had the ball for 34:34 minutes to Navy’s 25:26. A solid effort by Navy’s offense and a much better job of tackling by the defense. Soph. LB Ross Pospisil led the defense with 20 tackles.

Next. Two weeks and Army in Baltimore. The Cadets (3 - 8) have played some tough foes. They lost to Tulsa (8 - 3) 39 - 49 yesterday. With Navy’s defensive problems this will be a typical A-N game. The team that makes the least number of mistakes - turn-overs, penalties, etc.- will win.

Air Force improved to 10 - 2 with a 55 - 23 win over San Diego State. They will go to a bowl. Navy has already accepted an invitation to play in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego on Dec. 20 9 pm EST. Their opponent might be Utah.

Louisiana-Monroe, coached by former Navy coach Charlie Weatherby upset Alabama 21 - 14.

Navy’s Record. (7 - 4)

Aug. 31 Navy 30 @ Temple 19
Sept. 7 @ Rutgers 41 Navy 27
Sept. 15 Ball State 34 @ Navy 31 ot
Sept 22 Navy 46 Duke 43
Sept. 29 Navy 31 Air Force 20
Oct. 10 Navy 48 @ Pittsburgh 45 (2 OT)
Oct. 20 Wake Forest 44 @ Navy 24
Oct. 27 Delaware 59 Navy 52
Nov. 3 Navy 46 @ Notre Dame 44(NBC) (3ot)
Nov. 10 Navy 74 @ North Texas 62
Nov. 17 Navy 35 Northern Illinois 24
Dec. 1 Army 12 pm (CBS) at Baltimore
Dec. 20 Poinsettia Bowl San Diego 9 pm EST.

Army’s Record. (3 - 8)

Sept. 1. @ Akron 22 Army 14
Sept. 8 Army 14 Rhode island 7 ot
Sept. 15 @ Wake Forest 21 Army 10
Sept 22 @ Boston Coll. 37 Army 17
Sept. 29 Army 37 Temple 21
Oct. 6 Army 20 Tulane 17 ot
Oct. 13 @ Central Mich. 47 Army 23
Oct. 20 @ Georgia Tech 34 Army 10
Oct. 27
Nov. 3 @ Air Force 30 army 10
Nov. 9 Rutgers 41 Army 6
Nov. 17 Tulsa 49 Army 39
Dec. 1 NAVY 12 pm (CBS) at Baltimore

GO NAVY. BEAT ARMY!

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