Three Keys Revisited - Navy vs South Alabama

Justin Haan

With over 33,000 people in the stands at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, the Mids were able to out physical the Jaguars en route to victory. The win means that the seniors who were celebrated before the game will get the chance to go bowling once more as Navy is now locked in to the Armed Forces Bowl on December 30th in Fort Worth.

With over 33,000 people in the stands at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, the Mids were able to out physical the Jaguars en route to victory. The win means that the seniors who were celebrated before the game will get the chance to go bowling once more as Navy is now locked in to the Armed Forces Bowl on December 30th in Fort Worth. One of the most pleasing aspects of the game was how well the seniors played in their final contest in front of their fellow Midshipmen as many of them made a dent in the box score. The Mids now face a short week before a trip to the West Coast to face San Jose State on Friday.

Here are the three keys which resulted in victory.

1) Red zone scoring - Fail

Navy actually won big despite not being all that efficient in the red zone. The Mids had to settle for field goals on two first half possessions which got inside the red zone, with the 21 yard kick after Navy had first and goal at the 6-yard line being particularly frustrating. In the fourth quarter, of course, Navy avoided any potential stumbling block in the red zone by making sure that both scoring plays came from outside the 20 yard line. It is always good when you can pick at areas of the game like this after such a heavy win. I am sure the red zone efficiency is something Ken Niumatalolo will continue to preach hard for the rest of the season.

2) Big plays on offense -Pass

Navy owned the battle of the chunk plays as they piled up over 10 plays of fifteen yards or more while holding South Alabama, an explosive team when everything is firing, to just three such big yardage gains. The first Navy drive of the second quarter exemplified the ability of the Mids to move the ball in chunks as the touchdown drive featured plays of 23, 14, 27, and 17 yards. The whole drive took less than two minutes and looked more like something you would expect to see from Oregon or Baylor than you would from Navy. The fact that Navy shut out the Jaguars in the second half was aided by the fact that their longest play after the break went for just 13 yards. Big plays were the key in this game as Navy were able to win by 28 despite the Jaguars not turning the ball over all game.

3) Expect to be pushed to the wire – Pass

The best way to avoid losing to a team who has made a habit of playing in close games is to blow them out. That is exactly what the Mids were able to do as they rode a 17 point second quarter to a 20-14 half time lead and didn't give up a single point in the second half. Once again the running game was the key as Navy just wore down a South Alabama squad who were not used to the physical and mental toll that defending the option play after play can result in.

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