Setting the Stage
• Navy and Delaware will meet for the 17th on the gridiron when they square off on Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (34,000). Kickoff is set for 3:30 pm. The presenting sponsor for Saturday’s game is BB&T.
• This will be the first meeting between the two schools since 2011 when Navy defeated the Blue Hens, 40-17. Navy has won two straight and three of the last four contests against Delaware.
• Saturday’s game will be televised nationally by CBS Sports Network with Brad Johansen (play-by-play), Randy Cross (analyst) and Sheehan Stanwick-Burch (sidelines) calling the action.
Game Day Festivities
• Pregame festivities will get underway at approximately 1:00 pm with the Navy Football Team Walk. Originating at the Blue Angel in the southwest corner of the stadium, the team will make its way down the sidewalk and through NavyFest before walking up the drive to the stadium. Fans are encouraged to line up on both sides of the sidewalk to cheer for the team.
• The March-On of the Brigade of Midshipmen will take place at 3:10 pm.
• The Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps will perform at halftime.
• Following the game will be the playing of the Mids’ alma mater, Navy Blue & Gold.
• Delaware is off to a 2-0 start with victories over Jacksonville (51-35) and Delaware State (42-21).
• The Blue Hens sport a balanced offense rushing for 250.5 yards per game and throwing for 283.0 yards per game.
• The Delaware rushing attack is led by senior running back Andrew Pierce, who has rushed for 156 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries. Senior running back Julian Laing has 138 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries.
• Junior quarterback Trent Hurley, a transfer from Bowling Green, has completed 71.7 percent of his passes this season (43-60) for 566 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. Hurley’s favorite targets are junior wide receiver Michael Johnson (11-204, 1 TD), junior tight end Nick Boyle (8-111, 2 TD) and senior wide receiver Rob Jones (8-108, 2 TD).
• Junior linebacker Pat Callaway leads the Delaware defense with 18 tackles, two tackles for a loss, a sack and an interception, while sophomore defensive back Craig Brodsky has 11 tackles and two pass breakups.
• Delaware has 11 FBS transfers, including four from Maryland, two from Pitt, two from Rutgers and one each from Bowling Green, Connecticut and Virginia.
Navy vs. The CAA
• Navy is 55-17-1 (.760) all-time against teams from the Colonial Athletic Association.
• The Mids have played William & Mary the most (40 games, 33-6-1), while Delaware has handed Navy the most losses (7, 9-7).
Navy In Home Openers
• Navy is 8-3 (.727) in home openers during the “triple option era” (2002-present) and 5-0 under current head coach Ken Niumatalolo.
Navy Grinds Out 41-35 Victory Over Indiana
• BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) – Two nights after coach Ken Niumatalolo’s mother died in Hawaii, the Midshipmen put a heart-shaped decal on their shoulder pads and played like a wrecking crew. Keenan Reynolds rushed for 127 yards and three touchdowns, Darius Staten added another 106 yards on the ground and the Midshipmen ground out a 41-35 victory at Indiana in their season opener – their first road win over a Big Ten foe since 1979 at Illinois.
• On a night the Mids held an almost two-to-one advantage in possession time and rushed for 444 yards, they committed only five penalties, had no turnovers and wound up with only three negative rushing plays – one of those coming on a kneel-down on the game’s final play.
• Navy won for the first time in three tries in Bloomington and beat a BCS foe for the 20th time since 2003 – the most of any non-BCS school in the nation over the last decade.
• Reynolds kept the ball on Navy’s throwback triple option 32 times. Geoffrey Whiteside ran nine times for 97 yards, and DeBrandon Sanders carried five times for 68 yards. In all, the Midshipmen ran 70 times, averaging 6.3 yards per carry, and never even bobbled the ball on a pitch. Navy threw just five passes with Reynolds completing two for 71 yards.
• The Hoosiers wanted to avenge last year’s late debacle at Navy, a game in which the Midshipmen rallied for a 31-30 victory by scoring 10 points in the final 5 1/2 minutes.
• Quarterback Nate Sudfeld did what he could, going 31 of 42 with 363 yards and three TDs.
• Hoosiers fans thought their revamped defense was vastly improved after a 73-35 rout of Indiana State. Instead, they were no match against Navy, which jumped to a 17-0 lead and never gave Indiana a chance to tie the score or take the lead in a game that Navy never punted.
• The Midshipmen opened the game with 29 consecutive runs, churning out 212 yards in roughly 1 1/2 quarters and finished the first half with 255 yards rushing – just two fewer yards than it had in last year’s game against the Hoosiers.
• They finished with 18 carries of at least 10 yards, and it started quickly as Whiteside ran for 31 yards on Navy’s first offensive play and went for 18 two plays later. Eventually, Reynolds scored on at 1-yard TD run to make it 7-0.
• Then, after stopping Indiana on a fourth-down try at the Hoosiers’ 34-yard line, Chris Swain scored on a 3-yard run to make it 14-0. Navy settled for a 23-yard field goal on its next possession and, after Sudfeld threw a perfect 45-yard TD pass to Kofi Hughes, answered with another long scoring drive that Noah Copeland capped with a 3-yard TD run to make it 24-7.
• Reynolds opened the scoring with a 2-yard TD run to start the third quarter and his third scoring run of the night made it 38-21.
• Indiana could have had a chance to tie the score if it recovered a late onside kick, but the Hoosiers recovered out of bounds and Reynolds ran out the clock.
• Navy has won six-consecutive games decided by eight points or less dating back to the 2011 Army-Navy game. The Mids are 1-0 this season after beating Indiana in last week’s opener, 41-35.
• The Mids are 19-13 (.594) under head coach Ken Niumatalolo in games decided by eight points or less. One of those 13 includes Navy’s 35-32 loss to Utah in the 2007 Poinsettia Bowl in which Niumatalolo served as head coach.
Continuity Is The Key To Success
• Navy is one of 18 schools to have its entire coaching staff back from the previous season. The other schools are Akron, Baylor, Boise State, Buffalo, Louisville, Maryland, Memphis, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Rice, Toledo, Tulane, Tulsa and Vanderbilt.
• In fact, Navy has lost just two coaches in the five years that Ken Niumatalolo has been the head coach and eight of Navy’s coaches have been in Annapolis for at least 10 years.
• Defensive line coach Dale Pehrson is in his 18th year at Navy, Niumatalolo is in his 16th year, offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper is in his 14th year, defensive coordinator Buddy Green, secondary coach Keith Jones and slot backs coach Danny O’Rourke are all entering their 12th year at Navy, offensive line coach Chris Culton is in his 11th year and outside linebackers coach Tony Grantham is entering his 10th year in Annapolis.
• Jasper is entering his sixth year as the offensive coordinator and he teams with Green, who is entering his 12th year as the defensive coordinator, to make Navy one of just five schools in the country to have the same offensive and defensive coordinators for at least six years. The other teams on that list are Oregon State (OC in 9th, DC in 11th), Wake Forest (OC in 11th, DC in 6th), Northwestern (OC and DC both in 6th) and SMU (OC and DC both in 6th).