Three Keys - Navy vs. Delaware

(Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE)

After an upset win over Indiana where the offense was about as on point as it gets, the Mids next welcome historical FCS power Delaware to town. This Blue Hens team is not of the vintage from the middle part of the last decade, but there is enough here to trouble Navy if they are not executing properly. Here are the three keys which will see Navy get past this potential banana peel of an opponent.

After an upset win over Indiana where the offense was about as on point as it gets, the Mids next welcome historical FCS power Delaware to town. This Blue Hens team is not of the vintage from the middle part of the last decade, but there is enough here to trouble Navy if they are not executing properly. Here are the three keys which will see Navy get past this potential banana peel of an opponent.

1) Win the turnover battle

About the only way that Delaware can stay in this game is if Navy lets them. The Blue Hens offense can score points in bunches as the 42-21 win over Delaware State last weekend proved. On the way to that point total Delaware rolled for 440 yards of total offense and a 35-7 lead before taking their foot off of the gas. All this means that Navy cannot give the Blue Hens additional opportunities to score. If Navy can be as efficient on offense as they were last week (zero turnovers) and can force a couple of fumbles, or intercept a ball of two, then they will be in great shape.

2) Break tackles

When it comes down to it 444 yards rushing really tells its own story. The Navy option attack was just awesome last weekend, and if it is run as well as it was against Indiana it is hard to see how Delaware can fight back. One of the areas that Delaware head coach Dave Brock has been focusing on all week is tackling, an area where he feels his team was below par over the first two weeks of the season. Obviously one-on-one tackling and sound assignment control is the key to stopping the option, so it is up to the Navy running backs to see if this potential defensive problem has been fixed. Expect to see large doses of the option early as Navy sees just how well prepared Delaware is to step up to this level against a team with a unique offensive attack.

3) Don't overlook the opponent

I mentioned in the opening that this Delaware team may not be at the same level that won the FCS National Championship in 2003 and was runner up in both 2007 and 2010. The Blue Hens, however, are most certainly back on the upswing and boast a 2-0 record which has seen them on the cusp of the FCS top 25. The team starts a Bowling Green transfer (Trent Hurley) at quarterback, while four defensive starters were originally at Maryland. This transfer system is nothing new for Delaware, after all the last time they beat Navy (2007) their quarterback was the guy who most recently led the Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl victory. If Navy take this game any less seriously than the Indiana contest then they could be in trouble.

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