Navy’s Final Home Game Scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 11

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Navy’s Final Home Game Scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 11

Fall and football go together like blue and gold as the Navy Midshipmen are just past the midpoint of another successful season. The team’s record stands at 5-2 after two tough losses against ranked teams. They play SMU on Saturday Nov. 11 in the final home game of the year.
In its most recent games, Navy played undefeated teams on back to back weekends. In both games, first against Memphis and then against University of Central Florida, Navy’s chances for go-ahead scores in the fourth quarter were stymied by turnovers.

Powerful offense

Still there are many bright spots for Navy, especially on offense. At 376 yards per game, Navy’s rushing attack ranks 4th in the nation. The team averaged 5.9 yards per carry, an impressive figure since most teams are primed to stop the run and are unable to. The team is averaging 33 points a game, five points more than their opponents. That means lots of close games, with the excitement at a high pitch usually until the game’s final moments.

Highlights of the season include a thrilling 48-45 win over rival service academy Air Force. This contest between two explosive offenses, left many fans, like the players, emotionally exhausted. The game positions Navy nicely in the contest for the annual Commander in Chief trophy. The Midshipmen also beat a dangerous Tulsa team 31-21.

Abey and Perry lead offense

Coach Ken Niumatalolo relies on his team’s cohesiveness as one of its biggest assets in battles against teams that are almost always bigger and faster. However, there have been some individual standouts this year. Quarterback Zach Abey is the 6th leading rusher in the nation with over 163 yards per game and 13 touchdowns. Slotback Malcolm Perry is the receiver of pitches from the quarterback and has dashed for 436 yards, an average of 11 yards per carry with a long gain of 91 yards. Sean Williams has led the defense with 54 tackles.

For the SMU game, Navy will face a team that is currently 6-2 and is undefeated at home with five wins. SMU is bowl-eligible for the first time since 2012 and is coming off a come-from-behind win at Tulsa 38-34. The team is led by quarterback Ben Hicks and three gifted receivers Courtland Sutton, Trey Quinn and James Proche. Navy’s defense will be sorely tested in this game and its control-the-ball, control-the-clock offense will need to be at its best.

Final games

Navy’s brutal schedule will continue after this game as the Mids will face 5th ranked Notre Dame (7-1), which has won six games in a row, and Houston (5-3). As always, the final regular season game will be Army-Navy, a huge game for both teams. It will be played on Saturday, Dec. 9 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

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