NAVY FOOTBALL No. 6.                                  Observations from an Olde Poolie

October 15, 2011.   RUTGERS 21 NAVY 20.  On a beautiful sunny day with a stiff wind before over 47,000 fans in Piscataway, NJ, Navy again allowed a blocked field goal that sealed the game after a good effort by the Midshipmen. Rutgers defense was well prepared holding Navy’s rushing game to 162 yards. Navy’s defense played much better causing three turn-overs. Rutgers (5-1) now leads the series 12-11-1.

In the first quarter Rutgers missed a FG, picked off a Navy pass, then Navy got a fumble recovery on the one – when Plebe DB Chris Ferguson tackled the Rutgers ball carrier causing the fumble. A punt into the wind gave Rutgers the ball at Navy’s 40. Six plays; later the Scarlet Knights scored to lead 7 – 0 early in the second quarter. The Midshipmen drove 77 yards in 12 plays only to be stopped at the one on fourth down. Safety Ferguson, (A plebe starting his first game) then intercepted for Navy and ran it from the 16 to tie the game 7 -7 with over eight minutes left. Later, Rutgers missed a pass on fourth down and Navy took over at their own 32. On their second play Proctor broke through the center and scampered 54 yards for a TD. Navy 14 Rutgers 7 with 4 minutes left.

The Midshipmen took the second half kick-off and moved to the Rutgers 20. Teague kicked a 31 yard FG to make the score Navy 17 –Rutgers 7. Navy forced Rutgers to punt then tossed an interception giving Rutgers the ball at midfield. It took them six plays to score. Navy 17 Rutgers 14 with three minutes left in the quarter.  Early in the fourth quarter the Scarlet Knights scored on a 20 yard pass to take the lead 21 – 17.  Navy moved to the 15 but Proctor was sacked for a 10 yard loss. Teague kicked a 41 yard FG to close to 20 – 21 with 7:52 remaining.  Later, Navy’s King intercepted at the Rutgers 23. On fourth and four Teague lined up for a 34 yard FG attempt. A Rutgers DB raced in – unblocked – from the left, dove and blocked the kick. 4:14 remaining. Navy stopped Rutgers at the 17 then blocked a FG attempt with 30 seconds left in the game.

 Too many mistakes even though the team played hard. Navy has had three field goal attempts blocked in the last three games – all affected the outcome of the game. The Midshipmen have lost three of four games by a total of five points. Navy was only successful on 4 of 13 third down attempts. Rutgers played great defense. Navy’s defense also played well. The Midshipmen are 2 – 4, the worst start since 2002, and face some formidable foes at Notre Dame and SMU. None of the teams left on the schedule are easy.

Army had a bye week. San Diego State Un. Defeated Air Force 41 – 27 Friday night.

There have been a number of media reports that Navy will be invited to join the Big East Conference. Pittsburg and Syracuse are joining the ACC. The remaining teams in the Big East are Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, and West Virginia. Olde Poolie believes that the mega-conferences is a bad deal. But if a school does not belong to a conference they get shunned by Bowl Games and possibly TV contracts.
Next week is homecoming against a struggling East Carolina Un. Team (2-4). They beat Memphis 35 – 17 yesterday. Last year it looked like a shoot-out but Navy got three quick turn-overs to start the third quarter and the rout was on. The Pirates will be motivated.  

Navy’s Record (2-4)

Sept. 3   Navy 40  Delaware  17
Sept. 10  Navy 40 @ Western Kentucky 14
Sept. 17  @ South Carolina 24 Navy 21
Oct.    Air Force 35 Navy 34 (OT)  CBS
Oct.  8    Southern Mississippi  63  Navy 35.
Oct. 15  @  Rutgers 21 Navy  20. ESPN3.com
Oct. 22  East Carolina (HC) 3:30 pm CBS Sports Network
Oct. 29  @ Notre Dame  3:30 pm NBC
Nov.  5   Troy  3:30 pm CBS Sports Network
Nov.  12  @ SMU   FOX Sports Network
Nov. 19   @ San Jose State  4:00 pm ESPN3.com
Dec. 10    Army  (Landover, MD.)  2:30 pm CBS

East Carolina State  Record  (2-4)
Sept.  1   @ South Carolina 56  ECU 37
Sept. 10  @ Virginia Tech 17 ECU  10
Sept. 24  ECU 28 UAB  23
Oct.    1    North Carolina 35  ECU  20
Oct.    8    @ Houston 56  ECU  3
Oct.  15    ECU  35 @ Memphis 17.
Oct.  22     @ Navy 3:3o pm  CBSSN

GO NAVY  BEAT those PIRATES!  Win one for the old grads.

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