Navy’s defense pulled off their third shutout this year, and the offense did just enough in a 10-0 win over East Carolina. It went down at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in front of 28,708 fans on Senior Day. The three shutouts are the most in the FBS this year and the most by Navy since 1978, when they had four. The Mids snagged four turnovers and kept East Carolina from hitting the 100-yard mark until late in the fourth quarter. Today’s win puts Navy’s season at 5-5 with two more games to play.
The 10 points scored tied the American Athletic Conference record for the lowest-scoring game. Navy head coach Brian Newberry said, “I’m really proud of our team; I’m happy for our seniors. It was an important day for us. We want to be able to celebrate those guys. It is not their last game but possibly their last game here. We had an emotional night last night, having those guys get up and say how important this place is to them. It is a small class, but there are some tough dudes, guys with character, who continue to fight through the years. They left a mark on our program for sure. They are an inspiration for me. I wish there were more days like today over the years, but I’m happy for them to get a win.”
The Navy defense set the tone early with a pick by junior corner Dashaun Peele. The only touchdown came on a 39-yard run by senior quarterback Xavier Arline. And the defense dominated, allowing only three first downs until ECU’s final drive. A recovered fumble by sophomore corner Adam Walker II set up a field goal, making it 10-0 early in the fourth quarter. East Carolina had three more drives but never threatened, staying out of Navy territory.
Coach Newberry praised the defense, saying, “Shutouts are difficult to get. I don’t care who you play. To have three this year, hats off to our players and coach Volker and our defensive staff.”
The Navy rushing game tallied 174 yards, with senior fullback Alex Tecza leading with 94 yards and a touchdown. Arline set a Navy record for completion percentage, completing 10 of 11 passes for 102 yards. The defense held ECU to just 34 yards on the ground.
Navy faces SMU (9-2 overall, 7-0 in conference play) on November 25th, and a win would make them bowl-eligible. SMU will be aiming for the AAC Championship game, so it’s bound to be a showdown. The game kicks off at 12 noon (ET) and airs on ESPN2. After that, Navy has two weeks to prepare for America’s Game–the Army-Navy Game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on December 9th. Army currently sits with a 5-6 record for the season, riding on a three-game winning streak.
Be sure to check back at Eye On Annapolis for photos of the action by Glenn Miller a bit later!