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12/19/07

Observations from an Olde Poolie - POINSETTIA BOWL


NAVY FOOTBALL POINSETTIA BOWL December 20, 2007

The Navy Midshipmen will kick-off this years college bowl games on Thursday evening December 20 at 9 pm EST when they are the home team in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego against the 8 - 4 Utah Utes from the Mountain West Conference. This will be the first meeting between the two teams. Navy will be led by new coach Ken Niumatalolo. The Utes are coached by Kyle Whittingham in his second year after moving up from D/C when Urban Meyer left for Florida. Utah has won six consecutive bowl games over an eight year period. They beat Georgia Tech in 2005 and Tulsa in 2006. Louie Sakoda has been named on several all star teams as both a punter and as a place-kicker.
The Utes use a spread offense. They average 25.5 points a game while holding the opposition to an average of 15.6 points a game. They average 163 yards rushing and 200 yards passing per game. They throw a lot of short passes. Running back Darrel Mack gained over 1100 yards rushing. QB Brian Johnson was 161 - 247 - 9 for 1621 yards. Utah started out the season by losing three of their first four games, then won seven straight, before losing in the last minute to BYU 10 - 17. On September 8 Air Force beat Utah with a primary rushing game 20 - 12. The next week the Utes beat UCLA 44 - 6. The Utes are favored by 8 points. Navy’s defense will have to step up, make some key stops, cause a few turn-overs, and limit Utah’s passing to win. It will be a definite challenge for Navy.
Navy played three overtime games - the most in Div. 1A. Navy leads the nation with an average of 351 yards rushing per game. They only average 93 yards a game passing. The Midshipmen are ranked near last in passing defense. Navy only punted 21 times for the year. Utah punted 70 times. The kicking game and special teams play could be crucial.
Navy’s Record. (8 - 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 Navy 38 Army 3 (CBS) at Baltimore
Dec. 20 Poinsettia Bowl San Diego 9 pm EST.
Utah’s Record (8 - 4)
Aug. 30 @ Oregon state 23 Utah 16
Sept. 8 Air Force 20 Utah 12
Sept. 15 Utah 44 UCLA 6
Sept. 22 @ UNLV 27 Utah 0
Sept. 29 Utah 34 Utah State 18
Oct. 5 Utah 44 @ Louisville 35
Oct. 13 Utah 23 San Diego State 7
Oct. 18 Utah 27 @ TCU 20
Oct. 27 Utah 27 @ Colorado State 3
Nov. 10 Utah 50 Wyoming 0
Nov. 17 Utah 28 New Mexico 10
Nov. 24 @ BYU 17 Utah 10
GO NAVY BEAT UTAH !!

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