Three Keys Revisited: Navy vs. Indiana

Three Keys Revisited: Navy vs. Indiana

Navy finally overcame the homecoming hoodoo as they rallied late to take down explosive Indiana 31-30. Let's look back on the three keys we set out for this game for a mid season victory.

1) Play bend but don't break defense

We knew going into this one that Indiana were dangerous. Any team that piles up 400 yards of total offense at will and which hangs with Ohio State is going to be a tough out. That is why the Navy defense needed to step up big when it was needed and play the kind of bend but don't break defense which allows yardage but minimizes scores. Happily the D proved entirely capable of doing this.

Red zone defense was always going to be the key and Navy was as strong as they come in this area on Saturday. The Mids forced the Hoosiers into three short field goals turning a potential 21 points into just nine. Add in two interceptions at the most opportune times and you have a defensive recipe to beat a high powered team.

2) Make Indiana stop the run

Navy used the option as a weapon of pure attrition in this game. By running for 257 yards the Mids offense wore down the Indiana defense as the game progressed. This allowed two long, late scoring drives of 74 and 72 yards which were the difference in the game. Everyone knows how hard the option is to prepare for midseason, and Navy made sure that by the fourth quarter the Hoosiers were making physical and mental mistakes against the run.

3) The continued maturation of Keenan Reynolds

Keenan Reynolds once again ran a Navy offense which did not commit a turnover all day. While his stats will not amaze anyone, Reynolds was able to both run and pass for a score and his command of the offense kept the Hoosiers off balance. "This is just his second start," Niumatalolo said of his freshman signal caller. "He missed some reads on the second option. He didn't play as well as he did last week, but he kept his composure on that last drive. He methodically moved the ball down the field."

A continual improvement at this rate will have Navy bowling this December.

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