By Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun
2:59 PM EDT, August 18, 2012
Navy's scout team was supposed to replicate Notre Dame during a scrimmage Friday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The white uniforms and gold helmets were a pretty good imitation of the Fighting Irish; the players inside them were not.
Led by junior quarterback Trey Miller, who will be making his second career start against Notre Dame, the result was a 45-0 victory for the first, second and third teams of the Midshipmen who will likely be making the trip to Dublin, Ireland for the 2012 season opener Sept. 1.
"It's what you hoped for, your traveling team would crush the scout team," said Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo, who cut the scrimmage short by going to practicing field goals with about 8 1/2 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Miller, who made his first start in place of on an injured Kriss Proctor in last year's 56-14 loss to the Fighting Irish, rushed 24 times Friday for 184 yards, including a 73-yard touchdown run. He also completed six of seven passes for 101 yards.
"Trey did OK, he missed some checks that he should make, but hopefully he'll have that right in two weeks," Niumatalolo said.
Freshman quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who has had an impressive camp, did well (2 of 2 passing for 15 yards) in a limited amount of snaps playing on the third team behind Miller and sophomore John Hendrick (0 for 1). Niumatalolo said that Reynolds and Hendrick are about even.
KICKING IT AROUND
Niumatalolo and special teams coach Steve Johns have yet to make a decision on the team's placekicker, but a decision will likely come next week. It seems that one of the four freshmen on the six-deep roster (for kickers only) will be lining up for field goals and PATs against the Fighting Irish.
Freshman Austin Grebe made all four of his kicks Friday, including a 50-yarder. Fellow freshman Nick Sloan, who seems to have the strongest leg, made good from 24, 40 and 44 yards but was wide left from 48 yards. Sophomore Brynmor Hughes made all his kicks and just missed from 50 yards, hitting the crossbar.
"The guy that keeps coming up, (Nick) Sloan's been pretty consistent, (Austin) Grebe won the contest today," Niumatalolo said. "We've got to make a decision and move forward these last two weeks and hone in the guy, the holder and snapper too. My gut feeling is that Sloan has been the most consistent."
If either Sloan or Grebe the job, it will make the first freshman to start at kicker for the Midshipmen since Ryan Bucchianeri in 1993.
Senior wideout Brandon Turner, who was the team's top receiver last season with 14 catches for 300 yards and three touchdowns, was back on the sideline Friday after passing his conditioning test earlier in the week.
Turner, who did not play in the scrimmage, is expected back for the season opener in a reserve role. The Midshipmen will be without senior wide receiver Matt Aiken, who is still on crutches after hyper extending his right knee in last week's scrimmage.
The two other players who previously failed their conditioning tests, sophomore linebacker Josh Tate and junior cornerback Albrey Felder, passed their test on Friday. Defensive coordinator Buddy Green indicated that they would likely not be ready for Notre Dame.
[Editor's note: A previous version of this story identified Jordan Drake as a player who passed the team's conditioning test after previously failing it. The player that did so was Josh Tate.]
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