Ball State 35 Navy 23

Navy Football 2008 No. 2 Observations from an Olde Poolie

Sept. 5, 2008. Ball State 35 Navy 23. On a mild night before a sell-out crowd of over 22,000 in Muncie, Indiana Ball State outplayed Navy as junior QB Nate Davis had a big night completing 21 of 28 passes for 326 yards. Navy did get two interceptions. The Midshipmen allowed too many completions, did not make a sack; and the offense - which gained a lot of yards and had possession 33 minutes to Ball State’s 27 - made too many miscues, missed blocks and missed opportunities. Ball State has an excellent team and was well prepared. The Midshipmen fought til the end.

Navy kicked off and on the third play QB Davis connected with a receiver who had gotten behind Navy’s King for a 61 yard pass and TD. Ball State 7 Navy 0. Navy returned the kick off to the 37. On first down QB Bryant dropped back and threw a pass that was over thrown to a receiver who was wide open in the middle of the field. A sure TD. They then went to work on the ground and moved to the BS 29. On third and four, Bryant was stopped. Matt Harmon then kicked a 49 yard FG - his career highest. Ball State 7 Navy 3 with over nine minutes left in the quarter. Ball State, using the pass, traveled 80 yards in seven plays and scored on a 6 yard run. BS 14 Navy 3. Starting on the 33, the Midshipmen moved to the 19 of BS but settled for a 29 yard FG by Harmon. BS 14 Navy 6 at the end of the quarter.

Early in the second quarter Navy’s Carter intercepted on Navy’s 30 yard line. After nine plays the Midshipmen got another 29 yard FG from Harmon. BS 14 Navy 9. Eleven plays and BS scored on a 30 yard pass to increase the lead to 21 - 9 with less than four minutes left in he half. Navy needed seven plays to score their first TD. FB Kettani had a 45 yard run up the middle to the 19 to set up a 14 yard run for a TD by Bryant. BS 21 Navy 16. With 1:11 remaining, BS got the ball but Navy’s Ram Vela intercepted at the 30 to stop the Cardinals.

On the first play of the second half, Shun white took a pitch out and, behind excellent blocking, scampered to the BS 8 yard line.. Two plays later Bryant ran in for a TD and a Navy lead 23 - 21. Ball State, behind Davis’s passing, came right back and scored on a 8 yard pass to lead 28 - 23 with 7:33 left in the quarter. The Midshipmen then had a 72 yard drive to the BS three but were stopped on fourth and three at the three. A big play! Ball State then drove 97 yards and scored on a 35 yard pass early in the fourth quarter. Later The Midshipmen forced a punt. The only one by BS. Navy did not punt the entire game.

The Midshipmen gained 346 yards on the ground. White had 128, Bryant 94, and Kettani 92. Bryant was 6 - 11 - 1 passing for 67 yards. Harmon made his 54th consecutive extra point - a Navy record. The defense has to get better. The offense made too many errors. Kaheaku-Enhada may be back next week? This was the first time in eight games that Navy did not score 30 poi8nts or more.

Next week Navy travels to Durham, NC for a 12:00 kick off at Duke. Duke has a new coach - David Cutcliffe who was the offensive coordinator at Tennessee. They return a lot of players including he quarterback and wide receiver who both had big games at Navy last year. Duke won their opener 31 - 7 over James Madison Un. They play Northwestern in Durham this Saturday. Navy came from behind to win 46 - 43 in a wild game last year. The Midshipmen have to improve to win this game.

Navy’s Schedule

Aug. 30 Navy 41 Towson 13
Sept. 5 @ Ball state 35 Navy 23
Sept. 13 @ Duke
Sept. 20 Pittsburgh
Sept. 27 @ Wake Forest.


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