Schedule and Odds
Navy continues to bring in the winning seasons and with 15 returning starters, this may be one of their best seasons yet. However, due to their schedule, they aren't considered all that great of a team. They finished with eight wins last year, but their best win is a toss-up between Air Force and East Carolina. Against more difficult teams, their defense was shattered, allowing 41 points to Troy for example. With a couple tougher road games this year, improvement will be needed.
The offense will be the strong suit for the Midshipmen this season led by quarterback Keenan Reynolds. As a freshman, he got eight starts and managed to do some exciting things, rushing for 649 yards and 10 TDs while also throwing for nine TDs and only two INTs. The coaches like him and will base the offense around him in a higher tempo attack. He'll be joined in the backfield by last year's second leading rusher Noah Copeland, along with Darius Staten and Geoffrey Whiteside. Navy was sixth in the nation rushing for close to 280 yards per game last year. The more they trust Reynolds, the more they will pass the ball which should open up the offense a bit.
Defensively, Navy has plenty of pieces coming back. While they did struggle against the more potent teams, the Midshipmen were still solid for much of the season. The secondary should be the best part of the unit with experience and size to go around. Eight of their projected starters are actually juniors, so this squad has two years to become something really good.
2013 Navy Football Schedule
Sept. 7 at Indiana
Sept. 14 vs. Delaware
Sept. 28 at Western Kentucky
Oct. 5 vs. Air Force
Oct. 12 at Duke
Oct. 19 at Toledo
Oct. 26 vs. Pittsburgh
Nov. 2 at Notre Dame
Nov. 9 vs. Hawaii
Nov. 16 vs. South Alabama
Nov. 22 at San Jose State
Dec. 14 vs. Army (Philadelphia)
Every single one of Navy's road games this year will be tough, something you couldn't say about 2012's schedule. They open up with Indiana and get Notre Dame and San Jose State later in the season. Teams like Western Kentucky, Duke and Toledo are no flukes either, as they all made bowl games a season ago.
The games the Midshipmen have to win, will be at home where the schedule is arguably a lot easier. Their toughest tasks are Air Force and Pittsburgh and both of those teams are unlikely to be better than they were a year ago. Of course, they'll finish the season with Army which should be a win, but you never know in that battle.
Due to the ease of their home schedule, getting to eight wins should be expected from Navy. Both units have the ability to improve which makes even nine wins a realistic possibility for this group.