By Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun
10:54 AM EDT, September 13, 2013
NAVY (1-0) VS. DELAWARE (2-0)
When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Site: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
TV: CBS Sports Network
Radio: 1090 AM, 1430 AM
Series: Navy leads 9-7
Last meeting: Navy won, 40-17, on Sept. 3, 2011
Line: Navy by 16
Navy offense vs. Delaware defense: The Midshipmen rushed 70 times for 444 yards in last week's 41-35 win at Indiana. Though Keenan Reynolds spent much of the preseason passing out of the shotgun and spread offense, the sophomore quarterback threw just four times (completing two) against the Hoosiers, rushing for 127 yards on 32 carries. The Blue Hens rank third in rushing defense among Football Championship Subdivision teams, giving up 31 yards a game, but have been porous in pass defense (301 yards per game). Delaware surrendered 440 yards total in a 42-21 win over Delaware State last week. With the return of junior slotback Ryan Williams-Jenkins, Navy should be able to wear down a defense that includes four former Maryland players: defensive tackle Zach Kerr, linebacker David Mackall (Edmondson), cornerback Travis Hawkins and safety Mario Rowson. The combination of the triple-option and Reynolds' throwing ability could make for a long afternoon for the Blue Hens.
Navy defense vs. Delaware offense: Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo and defensive coordinator Buddy Green will remind their defense that the Blue Hens have beaten the Midshipmen with a Football Bowl Subdivision transfer at quarterback before. That was in 2007, when Joe Flacco led Delaware to a wild 59-52 win in Annapolis. While Navy has won the past two meetings, Trent Hurley could present the most difficult challenge since the reigning Super Bowl Most Valuable Player was in college. Hurley threw for a career-high 328 yards and four touchdowns last week, and Navy needs a better pass rush on the former Bowling Green quarterback than it got against Nate Sudfeld in Bloomington. The Midshipmen also will have to keep senior tailback Andrew Pierce, a three-time all-Colonial Athletic Association and two-time All-American, under control. Pierce rushed for 119 yards and a touchdown against the Midshipmen as a sophomore. The Hoosiers did little on the ground last week, in large part because Navy stopped them early on and forced Indiana to play catch-up from a 17-0 deficit.
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