Just when it looked like we were done with conference realignment for the foreseeable future it goes…
Navy Report Card: Texas State
Freshman Keenan Reynolds led the Midshipmen at signal caller, completing 3 for 8 pass attempts for 35 yards. Reynolds wasn't asked to do much through the air with the Navy rushing offense cruising, and was a victim of some dropped passes. Gee Gee Greene led Navy with two receptions for 38 yards receiving, including a spectacular catch for 30 yards. Senior receiver Brandon Turner had the Mids only other reception for a loss of three yards.
Rushing Offense: A
The Midshipmen were able to rack up 407 yards rushing, and averaged 6.6 yards per rush against the Bobcats. Sophomore fullback Noah Copeland led the rushing assault with 110 yards rushing and two scores on 17 carries. Copeland found room to run on a 15-yard score that put Navy up 7-0 in the first quarter. After a Texas State turnover on the kickoff after half time, Copeland capitalized with a run from 16 yards out to put Navy up 14-0. Greene was second on the team with 14 rushes for 71 yards rushing. The senior slotback had a 10-yard run for a score in the fourth quarter that put the Mids up 21-3. Junior slotback Darius Staten also got in on the action with 7 rushes for 68 yards rushing, while Keenan Reynolds added 10 carries for 50 yards rushing. Senior slotback Bo Snelson had 5 rushes for 35 yards rushing but fumbled on the Mids opening drive of the game.
Passing Defense: C
The Midshipmen passing defense held Bobcat Shaun Rutherford to 25-of-40 pass attempts for 290 yards passing and a score. Rutherford connected with junior receiver Isaiah Battle in the fourth quarter for a 62-yard strike and the Bobcats only touchdown of the day. Senior defensive end Wes Henderson sacked Rutherford for a loss of a yard on the Bobcats first offensive play of the game.
Freshman safety Kwazel Bertrand was named Independent Defensive Player of the Week and tied a career high 7 tackles, including 2 for a loss, and a sack. Junior safety Wave Ryder was fifth on the team with six tackles. Freshman receiver Brandon Smith led the Bobcats with 6 receptions for 85 yards receiving.
Rushing Defense: B
Senior running back Marcus Curry led the Bobcat rushing attack with 67 yards rushing on 11 carries. The Midshipmen did an excellent job of limiting Curry, whose long run of the night was for 16 yards near the end of the fourth quarter. Navy limited Rutherford to 29 yards rushing on 14 rushing attempts, with a long run of 10 yards near the end of the first half.
Texas State was held to just 115 total yards rushing and five rushing first downs. Senior linebacker Keegan Wetzel had 6 tackles, and was tied for first on the team with 2 tackles for a loss. Senior linebacker Matt Warrick led the team with 9 tackles, including 5 solo stops. Junior linebacker Cody Peterson was tied for third on the team with 7 tackles, including 3 solo stops.
Special Teams: C
On fourth-and-one on the 3-yard line, Bertrand had a huge sack for a loss of 10 yards. With the Bobcats down, Freshman Kwazel Bertrand sacked Rutherford on a fake field attempt.
Following the Bobcat's 62-yard touchdown pass that cut the lead to 21-10, sophomore Will Johnson recovered his own onside kick but Texas State would not be able to get back on the board for the final 12 minutes of play. Freshman kicker Nick Sloan missed two second half field goal attempts from 33 and 36 yards out. Senior receiver John O'Boyle forced a fumble on the kickoff to start the second half that was recovered by sophomore safety James Britton. Sophomore punter Pablo Beltran was outstanding, with three punts that pinned the Bobcats inside the 20 and a long punt of 52 yards.
Navy allowed 405 total yards of offense but only gave up one offensive touchdown in the fourth quarter; they gave up just one field goal in three red zone trips for the Bobcats. Midshipmen penalties were also minimized at three for 25 yards. Navy had another turnover on their opening possession when Bo Snelson wasn't able to reel in a toss to the left from Reynolds. The Mids went for it once on fourth-and-5, on the Texas State 42-yard line, but Brandon Turner was tackled for a loss of 3 yards on the play. The "bend but don't break" strategy worked wonderfully against the Bobcats, who amassed 405 total yards but were only able to come away with 10 points.
The Midshipmen were able to take care of business with a dominating rushing performance led by Noah Copeland. The first half was questionable as the Mids weren't firing on all cylinders and the Bobcats were even worse. The second half started perfectly with a fumble recovered by Navy on the kickoff. The Mids wasted no time with a 16-yard score by Copeland to take a 14-0 lead. Navy responded to a Bobcat field goal with a 10-play, 75-yard drive, capped off by a 10-yard score by Gee Gee Greene to put the Mids up 21-3. The Bobcats took little time to strike, with a 62-yard touchdown pass, followed by a successful onside kick that sounded off alarm bells with momentum shifting towards Texas State. However, the Midshipmen defense was able to hold and Texas State's final 77-yard, 16-play drive was stopped at the 3-yard line.
The next big challenge is the battle for the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy on December 8th. With a win over Army, and a win in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, the Mids have a chance to total nine wins for the first time since the 2010-'11 season.
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