Navy Midshipmen 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart
Navy Midshipmen 2017 Preview
The Navy Midshipmen are gunning for back to back AAC West championships in 2017.
Overview: Ken Niumatalolo and the Navy Midshipmen found life after Keenan Reynolds surprisingly successful with an AAC West crown. Can the Midshipmen overcome some defensive issues to repeat in 2017?
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Offense: Zach Abey enters 2017 as the starter under center for the Navy Midshipmen with a grand total of two starts under his belt. Abey started against Army and Louisiana Tech in their Bowl last season and gave the team a look at his potential on the ground and in the air but hopefully minus the mistakes. The Navy option seems to not miss a beat whoever is running the ball and that theory will be tested with the majority of the production on the ground gone which leaves FB Chris High and SB Darryl Bonner as the top returning runners although this team historically fills the void in this area. The Midshipmen don’t put the ball in the air often but it should be noted that three of the top four in the receiving corps have departed. Arguably the biggest losses were a trio of All AAC linemen so Navy has many questions to answer.
Defense: When the topic is football or any sport in the service academies, it’s important to note the athletes are not the biggest and fastest so the ability of Navy to hold their own defensively is always something to watch although that wasn't the case in 2016 as the team’s passing ‘D’ was one of the worst in the game. The Midshipmen do lose three of their top four along the defensive line but the cupboard is not bare with DE Jarvis Polu and huge DT Jackson Pittman as two to watch. Navy is solid at linebacker with six of the top seven coming back with Micah Thomas leading the team in tackles a year ago while DJ Palmore was 4th in tackles. The Midshipmen were not very good versus the pass but with six of the top seven DB’s returning the unit has more experience and hopefully that leads to improvement.
Special Teams: Erik Harris averaged over 45 yards on ten punts in 2016 and placekicker Bennett Moehring has a big leg while Treveon Walker looks to handle the return chores for Navy after serving as a back up last season.
Outlook: Navy lost a lot at running back and the defense hasn’t proven that a year of experience means improvement. I still belief the Middies option will produce and the ‘D’ will indeed be better and a Bowl awaits but I’m less certain about winning the AAC West.
9-1 @ Florida Atlantic
9-9 vs. Tulane
9-23 vs. Cincinnati
9-30 @ Tulsa
10-7 vs. Air Force
10-14 @ Memphis
10-21 vs. Central Florida
11-2 @ Temple
11-11 vs. SMU
11-18 @ Notre Dame
11-24 @ Houston
12-9 vs. Army