Navy set to open training camp Thursday night

July 30, 2014 | WNST Staff

Preseason Schedule    
• Seventh-year Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo will open the 2014 season when the Midshipmen report for fall camp on Wednesday, July 30, and will hold the first day of practice on Thursday, July 31.
• The Mids will hold four days of two-a-day practices (8/6, 8/8, 8/11 and 8/13).
• Media Day / Fan Fest is set for Saturday, August 2 at 10 am at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• The annual Blue & Gold BBQ will take place on Saturday Aug. 9. Practice starts at 10 AM and the BBQ at 12 noon.
• The Brigade of Midshipmen will return to the Academy on Saturday, August 16.
• Navy will resume its normal Monday-Friday practice schedule on Monday, Aug. 18, practicing daily from 4-6 pm.  That is the first day that plebes will be available for interviews.
• The Midshipmen kick off their season on Saturday, August 30 vs. Ohio State in Baltimore.

Navy’s 2014 Schedule    
• The Navy football team, coming off a 2013 campaign that saw the Mids finish with a 9-4 record, win the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy for the ninth time in the last 11 years, qualify for a bowl game for the 10th time in the last 11 years, win a bowl game for just the eighth time in school history and defeat Army for a series-record 12th-consecutive year, will face a challenging 2014 schedule that features five games at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and three neutral site games in the Baltimore-Washington corridor.
• The Mids will play seven teams that were bowl eligible in 2013, including two of college football’s most storied programs, Ohio State and Notre Dame.
• This year also marks Navy’s final year as an independent as the Mids will join the American Athletic Conference in 2015.
• Navy will open up the 2014 campaign with a bang as it plays host to Ohio State at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium on Aug. 30 at 12 noon. The Buckeyes are coming off a 12-2 season and have amassed a 24-2 record over the last two years under Urban Meyer. This will be the second time in six years that Navy has opened up against Ohio State. In 2009, the Mids went into Columbus and nearly pulled off the upset before losing 31-27 on an intercepted two-point conversion that was returned for two points in the final minute.
• The following week (Sept. 6), Navy will travel to future American Athletic Conference foe Temple (2-10 in 2013), as the two teams will tangle at Lincoln Financial Field. The Mids are 10-0 all-time at Lincoln Financial (9-0 vs. Army, 1-0 vs. Temple).
• The Mids will be back on the road the following week (Sept. 13) as they travel to San Marcos, Texas to take on the Bobcats of Texas State (6-6 in 2013). It will be Navy’s first trip to San Marcos.
• The Mids will play their first game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Sept. 20 when Navy plays host to one of the Big Ten’s newest members, Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights were 6-7 a year ago and played in the Pinstripe Bowl against Notre Dame.
• Navy will be looking for payback the following week as it plays host to Western Kentucky on Sept. 27. The Hilltoppers are coming off an 8-4 campaign, including a 19-7 victory over Navy in a game that starting quarterback Keenan Reynolds was knocked out of in the second quarter.
• Navy travels to Colorado Springs on Oct. 4 to take on Air Force in the first game of the round-robin competition between Navy, Air Force and Army for the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy. Navy defeated Air Force last year, 28-10, in Annapolis and will look to beat Air Force for the 10th time in the last 12 meetings. Air Force finished 2-10 a year ago.
• Navy returns home to face VMI on Oct. 11 and then, after a week off, will welcome San Jose State on Oct. 25 in a rematch of one of the best games in all of college football a year ago. The Spartans, who finished 6-6 on the year including an upset of undefeated Fresno State in the season finale, lost to Navy, 58-52, in triple overtime as Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds ran for an NCAA-record (for a quarterback) seven rushing touchdowns, including the game-winning 25-yard touchdown run.
• The following week the Mids will take the short trip down Route 50 to battle the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (9-4) at FedExField in Washington, DC in a prime time game on CBS. Last year, Notre Dame outlasted Navy, 38-34, in a game that featured an incredible nine lead changes. This will be just the second Navy-Notre Dame game played at night and Navy’s first prime time game on an over the air network.
• After another off-week, the Mids return to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium to face a Georgia Southern team (Nov. 15) that will be in its first full year as a Football Bowl Subdivision team. Last year, as a transitional FBS squad, the Eagles went 7-4 including a 26-20 upset victory over Florida in The Swamp.
• After a third off-week in six weeks, the Mids return to the gridiron on Friday, Nov. 28, to take on South Alabama (6-6) in Mobile, Ala. It will be Navy’s first trip to Mobile to play the Jaguars.
• Navy will have a fourth off-week after the South Alabama game before playing Service Academy rival Army at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium. Navy will be going for a record 13th win in a row against its biggest rival. It will be the first Army-Navy game in Baltimore since 2007 when the Mids beat the Black Knights, 38-3. Army head coach Jeff Monken was an assistant at Navy for that game.
• CBS Sports has the rights to all of Navy’s home football games and either CBS or CBS Sports Network will televise all five games played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, as well as the neutral site games against Ohio State and Notre Dame. CBS is home for the Army-Navy Game presented by USAA.
• With six wins in 2014, the Mids will qualify to play in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 23

2014 Preseason Honors    
• Senior offensive tackle Bradyn Heap, senior outside linebacker Chris Johnson, senior safety Parrish Gaines and senior punter Pablo Beltran have been named to the Phil Steele 2014 Preseason All-Independent First Team.
• Steele ranks four Navy units among the best in the country. He ranks Navy’s quarterbacks as the nation’s 20th best (Ohio State was #5), Navy’s running backs (SB’s and FB’s) were ranked 39th (Army’s backs are ranked 9th, Ohio State 22nd and Notre Dame 24th), the offensive line is ranked 33rd (Notre Dame is 16th) and Navy’s special teams are ranked 24th in the country (Ohio State is 15th).
• Junior quarterback Keenan Reynolds is on the Watch List for the Maxwell Award, the Davey O’Brien Award and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.
• Johnson is on the Watch List for the Lombardi Award.

Copeland, Gaines Named 2014 Team Captains    
•    Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo announced at the annual football banquet last February that fullback Noah Copeland and safety Parrish Gaines had been elected team captains for the 2014 football season by their teammates.
• Copeland played in nine of Navy’s 13 games last fall, missing four games due to injury.  He rushed for 339 yards and two touchdowns on 69 carries (4.9 yards per carry) and caught three passes for 43 yards and a touchdown.  He rushed for a career-high 153 yards on 28 carries and caught a 20-yard touchdown pass against Toledo and had a 39-yard touchdown run in the Army-Navy game.
• Gaines had started 24-consecutive games at cornerback before switching to safety for the Pitt game due to injuries in the Navy secondary.  He started the final seven games at safety.  Gaines finished fourth on the team in tackles with 65, while turning in a team-high tying three interceptions.  His biggest interception of the year came against San Jose State when he intercepted David Fales in the end zone in the third overtime, setting up Keenan Reynolds’ 25-yard touchdown run to give Navy a thrilling 58-52 victory.