Navy defeated Indiana 41-35 on Saturday. GoMids.com's Jim Lawler grades Navy's performance in…
Three Keys Revisited - Navy at Indiana
1) Slow down the Hoosiers scoring output - Pass
The Hoosiers went from scoring 73 points to 35 points in one week as the methodical yet powerful Navy running game proved to be too much for them to handle. Navy held on to the ball for 33:14 minutes compared to 22:53 for Indiana, a clear sign that the Hoosiers defense just could not get the Mids off of the field. Navy needs to have the lead in a game more than just about any other team in the country, so when they jumped up 17-0 early it was always going to be advantageous for the Academy. The key play in this game came early as the high octane Indiana offense was turned over on downs at the Navy 34-yard line. The Mids scored on that drive and never looked back.
2) Don't be afraid to break from the option - Pass
This gets a pass, even though Navy threw a total of four passes all game, because the Mids simply didn't need to break from the option. Indiana came into this game thinking they had the game plan and the athletes to shut down the triple option. Instead they found themselves out schemed and out thought at every turn as Navy rushed for 444 yards and did not have to punt all afternoon. The bane of the option is the negative yardage play, but Navy had just three of those on the day and one was the kneel down to end the game. The Mids came out of the gate hot with 29 straight runs for 212 yards and never really slowed down. Sometimes this game really is easy as sticking with what works.
3) Win the turnover battle - Pass
The turnover chart says that Navy won 1-0, but in truth the fourth down stop on Indiana's second drive effectively makes it 2-0. The option was ran to crisp perfection on every a play with nothing so much as a bobbled hand off or errant pitch in sight. The whole reason that Keenan Reynolds was given the quarterback job last season was because of his ability to keep the ball secure and make the right reads, and he was on point against Indiana. When Navy runs the ball this well and the defense can step up when needed they are an awfully difficult team to beat.
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