In the most recent Top 25 AP Poll, the Navy Midshipmen received one vote and remained outside of the prestigious rankings. That’s thanks to a huge win over Florida Atlantic in Week One most likely, but if their momentum continues, how much longer will the Midshipmen remain unranked?
Now I am not sitting here preaching about how Florida Atlantic was some powerhouse program or a team that Navy upset, because that is not the case. But FAU was one of those teams that seemingly every expert was keeping their eye on to just maybe make a splash early in the season. Obviously Navy smothered any chance of Lane Kiffin’s big return to DI head coaching from being a happy one.
If you did not watch the Navy vs. FAU, that’s fine especially considering that it had multiple delays for lightning and seemed to last longer than two Martin Scorsese movies played back to back. Regardless of if you watched or not, in the future you will. Navy’s boasts an explosive, exciting and dynamic offense built around the triple option and the legs (and arm I guess) of quarterback Zach Abey (pictured). Abey (also above) is currently third in the NCAA for rushing with 235 yards and second among quarterbacks, but it is not like this type of performance came out of nowhere.
The Midshipmen have always been a run heavy program and over the past few seasons, a program that uses a lot of option plays. Abey was a fourth string QB when Keenan Reynolds was under center for the Midshipmen three years ago and maybe it happened through osmosis but he must have learned a few things.
The main point I have been inefficiently trying to get at is that Navy’s offense with Abey is made to give opposing defenses a long day and it won’t be until Navy faces against a top tier defensive team that they could maybe be toppled. On top of their offense, the Midshipmen defense has looked strong. Navy’s rush defense will be consistently effective while their pass defense will have to live by the motto ‘bend but don’t break’. The Midshipmen can get exposed against a quality arm, which might not happen until they play QB Riley Ferguson and Memphis in Week Six.
The coming weeks for the Midshipmen should not be too tough as they’ll face Tulane where Navy is 14 point favorites and Cincinnati the following week where ESPN gives Navy around a 70% chance to win. So assuming all goes to plan the next few weeks, Navy will be in Oklahoma at a 3-0 record to play American Conference heavyweight, the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes. ESPN gives Navy a 49.7% chance to come out of Tulsa with the victory, so it will be more or less a pick ‘em game. If Navy defeats Tulsa in Week Four to become 4-0, there will not be a scenario that the Midshipmen are still on the outside of the Top 25 AP Poll looking in.
Cover Photo via Capital Gazette
Article Photos via Navy Times and Sun Sentinel