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12/19/08

EagleBank Bowl Game: Navy - Wake-Forest Preview


Navy Football 2008: EagleBank Bowl Preview      Observations from an Olde Poolie

Eagle Bank Bowl at RFK Stadium, Washington .DC. 11:00 am Saturday Dec. 20, 2008

Navy (8-4) versus Wake Forest (7-5) ESPN.

The Naval Academy's Athletic Director Chet Gladchuck was involved early on in the planning for a bowl game in the Nation's Capitol. He committed Navy to play in the first bowl if they had a winning season. The opponent would be from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Not a top finisher in the conference but a bowl eligible team.

On September 27 Navy traveled to Winston Salem, NC and upset Wake Forest 24 - 17. Wake was undefeated at the time and ranked 17th. The Midshipmen picked off four interceptions and recovered two fumbles. Navy led 17 - 0 at the half. QB Kaheaku-Enhada pulled up lame when he re-injured his ham string in the second quarter. Back-up QB Bryant had a terrible third quarter as the Midshipmen only gained 18 yards and muffed a punt deep in their own territory allowing WF to get an easy TD. An interception followed by a 57 yard burst by Eric Kettani led to a TD that made the score 24 - 10 late in the game. Kettani had 175 yards rushing. The Defense won this game.

Wake Forest will be anxious to get even with Navy and to salvage what started as a promising year. Kaheaku-Enhada, who was ready to quit in November, worked hard to rehab his leg and had a great game against Army. Navy's defense is really playing well. Wake Forest is favored by three points. Should be a good game on a cold day.

Wake Forest Record (7-5)

Aug. 30 WF 41 @ Baylor 13

Sept. 6 WF 30 Mississippi 28

Sept. 20 WF 12 @ Florida State 3

Sept. 27 Navy 24 @ WF 17

Oct. 9 WF 12 Clemson 7

Oct. 18 @ Maryland 26 WF 0

Oct. 25 @ Miami 16 WF 10

Nov. 1 WF 33 Duke 30 (OT)

Nov. 8 WF 28 Virginia 17

Nov. 15 @ N. C. St. 21 WF 17

Nov. 22 Boston College 24 WF 21

Nov. 29 WF 23 Vanderbilt 10

GO NAVY! BEAT WAKE FOREST!

Next Year. Gladchuck hired Niumatlolo a few days after Paul Johnson announced he was leaving for Georgia Tech. This allowed the new coach to retain all but three assistants who defected to Atlanta. Big shoes to fill but the Navy coaching did a great job. Hopefully they will be successful in recruiting. The revised staff has been together for one year so that is a positive. The schedule for next year is really challenging with five of the first seven games on the road - that includes opening at Ohio State. Some excellent players graduate but there are good players returning. Four offensive lineman who started will return. The center and one guard will graduate. Three wide receivers are seniors but alternates had experience. Quarterbacks Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada and Jerod Bryant both graduate. Soph. Ricky Dobbs and Jr. Greg Zingler return at QB. There were five plebe QBs on the JV team. Some may be switched to other positions. FB Kettani and S/B Shun both graduate. There does not appear to be a big strong FB like Ketanni on the roster so that might be a concern. Shun White is an exceptional runner and will be hard to replace.

The defense returns nine of ten down linemen. Three linebackers are seniors and two DBs will graduate. Nevertheless that are experienced linebackers and defensive backs returning. The defense should be solid. Extra point kicker senior Matt Harmon has had a great season. Hopefully plebe Jon Teague can take his place. Punter Delahooke is only a sophomore. If the offense can come together early on Navy should do OK.

2009 Schedule

Sept. 5 @ Ohio State

Sept. 12 @ Temple

Sept. 19 @ Pittsburgh

Sept. 26 Western Kentucky

Oct. 3 Air Force

Oct. 10 @ Rice

Oct. 17 @ SMU

Oct. 24 Wake Forest (HC)

Oct. 31 Georgia Southern

Nov. 7 @ Notre Dame

Nov. 14 Delaware

Nov. 21 @ Hawaii

Dec. 12 Army (Phil.)

Olde Poolie appreciates the kind comments from a number of classmates. These reports are intended for those who live in areas where it is difficult to even find the Navy score. GO  NAVY!.


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