Navy College Football Preview

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It’s going to be a little weird seeing Navy compete in a conference, but they have plenty of experience playing against some of the AAC teams already. Notre Dame is still on the Schedule, but a team like Ohio State (who they played in 2014) is not. The Midshipmen’s over/under is set 7.5 wins (at 5 Dimes), which is right around Houston and Memphis, who are also in the West division.

For the teams that have never played against Navy, they are going to have some problems going against Navy’s triple-option offense. Keenan Reynolds is back at quarterback for his rare Fourth year as the team’s starter and he already has 64 rushing touchdowns in his career. He finished with 1,191 rushing yards and 23 TDs a year ago. There will be some new names in the backfield, but fullback Chris Swain returns for experience to go with fellow backs DeBrandon Sanders and Demond Brown. Jamir Tillman also returns after leading the team in receiving last year with three TDs and 19.3 yards per reception.

The main question for the Navy offense will be along the line where three guys graduated. They’ll still have Four seniors expected in starting positions, so it’s not like the new guys will be unfamiliar with the system. As long as Reynolds is there, this offense will be fine after scoring more than 31 points per Game in 2014 and 338.1 rushing yards per Game (third in nation).

Navy’s defense might be the bigger question with a lot of big names gone, but they also return six starters, which should come in handy. Bernard Serra is a beast in the middle of the line of the 3-4, while end Will Anthony came on strong in 2014. Daniel Gonzales is the only returning linebacker, so he’ll have a big load on his shoulders at the most important position in this scheme. The secondary is strong with three seniors and cornerbacks Quincy Adams and Brendon Clements leading the way.

Instead of starting the season with two Games against Big Ten teams in the first month (like in 2014), Navy gets Four winnable Games. The Midshipmen open their AAC slate with a Game against East Carolina, who will have a new quarterback, and then travel to the inconsistent Connecticut before Air Force. Playing against Notre Dame is always fun, but Navy’s defense will probably be an issue again in that Game. Their other road Games include Memphis and Houston, which is a bit unlucky as those are the other two teams competing for the top spot in the West. However, Navy also gets the three projected worst teams out of the East.

Navy finished 8-5 last year, but that includednumerous Games against low-level teams like Georgia Southern and VMI. While that was the case, Navy does have the offense to compete with all of the teams in the AAC. The Midshipmen will once again be around the seven- or eight-win mark, but surpassing that would be a surprise, even in Reynolds’ senior season.

2015 Navy Football Schedule

Sept. 5 vs. Colgate
Sept. 19 vs. East Carolina
Sept. 26 at Connecticut
Oct. 3 vs. Air Force
Oct. 10 at Notre Dame
Oct. 24 vs. Tulane
Oct. 31 vs. South Florida
Nov. 7 at Memphis
Nov. 14 vs. SMU
Nov. 21 at Tulsa
Nov. 27 at Houston
Dec. 12 vs. Army (Lincoln Financial Field)

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