Navy Looks to Rebound In Home Opener

| September 7, 2018

Navy and Memphis meet for the fourth time in school history for Navy’s 2018 home opener at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at 3:30 on Saturday.


Memphis won last year’s game in Memphis, 30-27, as the Tigers forced five Navy turnovers. The Mids entered that contest 5-0 and ranked No. 25 in the country and were coming off a thrilling 48-45 win over rival Air Force. This year, the two teams meet under different circumstances.

Memphis is coming off a monster 66-14 win over Mercer that saw one of the most complete offensive performances a coach could ask for. Brady White, who transferred from Arizona State when Coach Mike Norvell took the job at Memphis, put up huge numbers going 22/28 with 358-yards and 5 touchdowns.

“We’re playing a really good team, picked to win the conference. We know how good they are.” Said Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo.

White found ways to spread the ball all over the field while completing nearly 80 percent of his passes. Damonte Coxie led the team with four receptions for 79-yards and a touchdown. Patrick Taylor and Darrell Henderson also reached the end zone.

The rushing attack was unstoppable as well. The team totaled 326-yards on the ground, led by Calvin Austin III with 83 yards. Darrell Henderson added to his receiving total with 76 yards and another touchdown on the ground, as did Patrick Taylor Jr with nine carries for 52-yards and touchdown.

The biggest threat to the Mid’s this Saturday appears to be Memphis’s running back tandem of Darrell Henderson and Patrick Taylor. They combined for over 100-yards rushing, but their ability to catch the ball and make big plays will be particularly troublesome for Navy. Each of their receiving touchdowns came from one catch, with Henderson breaking off a 62-yard score and Taylor taking his 75-yards. With all that firepower and so many big-play options, Navy cannot afford another slow start like last week.

Navy’s defense gave up 332-yards in the first half and Hawaii scored on their first five possessions to put Navy in the hole 38-14. “Memphis doesn’t care that we got whooped,” said Niumatalolo, “they’re coming to pummel us on Saturday, we just gotta find a way to get ready.

That is going to start with the offense. Despite the big plays given up by the defense that allowed Hawaii to rack up the score so quickly, Navy QB Malcolm Perry will need to get the offense rolling. Perry and the Midshipmen could only muster 27 total yards in the first quarter, forcing the defense to stay on the field for nearly 10 minutes. Navy ran 22 total plays in the first half and lost the coveted time-of-possession battle by almost 6-minutes.

“Offensively we have a standard. Regardless of how the defense is playing, our mindset is to score points. We didn’t get it done,” said offensive coordinator Ivan Jasper, “we didn’t play well.”

Navy will get their chance to redeem themselves and work to avoid their first 0-2 start since 2012.

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About the Author - Kevin Chaney, Jr

Kevin Chaney covers sports all at all levels throughout Anne Arundel County. Follow him on twitter @Kchaneysports and his website www.Shellbacksports.com

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