Head to head: Navy vs. Air Force

Posted Oct 1, 2009

Next up for Navy is Air Force. GoMids.com compares different critical team areas of Navy and Air Force and indicates which team has the edge.

Air Force
Navy rushing offense
Air Force rushing defense
The Midshipmen had their best game running the football against WKU finishing with 373 yards. Ricky Dobbs rushed 29 times for 143 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Falcons have been solid against the run this season. They are ranked 31st giving up only 106.25 yards per game.  
Navy passing offense
Air Force passing defense
The improved running game made the Navy passing attack much more efficient against WKU. Dobbs finished 4 of 5 for 100 yards and a touchdown. The Air Force pass defense has been very strong in 2009. The Falcons rank 34th in Pass Efficiency Defense, 28th in Pass Defense and 17th in Sacks.  
Air Force rushing offense
Navy rushing defense
Air Force currently leads the nation is rushing, averaging 319 yards per game. The Falcons have done this without an individual running for over 100 yards in a game, but have 6 players with over 100 yards on the season. The Midshipmen are a solid 37th in the nation against the run, allowing only 112 yards per game.  
Air Force passing offense
Navy passing defense
The Falcons have only attempted 38 passes through 4 games, but have been efficient when they do. Air Force is 13th in Pass Efficiency and have only allowed 2 sacks this season. The Midshipmen are 94th in Pass Efficiency Defense and have allowed 243 and 276 in the last two weeks respectively. But Quarterback Tim Jefferson (6-0, 200, So.) missed last week’s game due to a sprained ankle. He appears likely to start on Saturday. Linebackers Ram Vela and Clint Sovie have returned to practice for the Mids and hopefully will return to full time action. This will allow Wyatt Middleton to go back to rover, which will improve the secondary.  
Special Teams
The Falcons are averaging almost double the yards per kickoff return then the Midshipmen (31.14 vs. 15.75) and nearly 4 times the yards per punt return (15.75 vs. 4.33). Erik Soderberg (6-1, 190, So.) is 10 of 14 on field goals. Jon Teague was 1 of 2 in his first attempts of the season.  
Troy Calhoun is 20-10 in his third season as Head Coach. He has not won against Navy (0-2). Ken Niumatalolo is 10-8 in his second full season. He has not lost to Air Force (1-0).  
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium will be sold out. There will be a “Sea of Blue” as fans are encouraged to wear blue to the game. The Midshipmen have won 6 straight against the Falcons. Though Army is certainly the bigger rival there is almost certainly move vitriol towards Air Force.  

PREDICTION: Navy 28, Air Force 27

Related Stories
Navy Week!
 -by FalconsReport.com  Oct 1, 2009
The Briefing Room: Air Force at Navy
 -by GoMids.com  Oct 1, 2009
Navy Opponents Update
 -by GoMids.com  Sep 29, 2009

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