BHAFB Notes: Midshipmen (1-0) Sailing to Fort Worth via Delaware

FORT WORTH, Texas – One down, five to go as the U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen football team (1-0) has its sails full of inspired confidence following an impressive road win over Big Ten foe Indiana. The Mids are now planning for their home opener Saturday against Delaware (2-0). Contracted to play in this December’s Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, pending bowl eligibility by winning at least six games, Navy surged its way past Indiana 41-35 last Saturday in Bloomington, Ind. to open its season with a major road victory.

Navy has agreed to meet a representative of the 12-team Mountain West Conference in the 2013 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl to be played in Fort Worth, on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013. The 11th edition of this postseason college football bowl game will kick off at 10:45 a.m. (CT) from Amon G. Carter Stadium on the campus of TCU. The game will air on ESPN, ESPN Radio and will be carried worldwide on the Armed Forces Network.

Split into two divisions (Mountain and West), the 2013 Mountain West features 12 total teams this year and will have teams in six college football bowl games at the end of the regular season, including the opponent for Navy in the 2013 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.

While the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl is played in honor of the armed forces and has previously hosted the U.S. Military Academy (2010) and the U.S. Air Force Academy (2007, 2008, 2009, 2012), this is the first year that the bowl is contracted with the Naval Academy.

NIUMATALOLO LOG: 41-26

Coming off of a bowl appearance and an 8-5 record in 2012, Head Coach Ken Niumatalolo is in his sixth season at the helm of the Midshipmen and 16th overall with Navy football. During his first five-plus years as head coach at Navy, Niumatalolo’s Mids have compiled a record of 41-26 (.612) including appearances in four post-season bowl games. He is fourth all-time in Navy career wins. Niumatalolo is the first Samoan head football coach on the collegiate level and the second Polynesian head coach in FBS history (Larry Price, who was the head coach at Hawai’i from 1974-76, was the first).

MIDS vs. BLUE HENS

This Saturday will be the 17th meeting between Navy (1-0) and Delaware (2-0) with the Midshipmen holding a 9-7 edge in the series that began in 1931. Saturday’s game will be the home opener for Navy. The kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. (ET) an will be held at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md., home of the U.S. Naval Academy. The game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network and broadcast on the Navy Radio Network. For more Navy football info, visit www.navysports.com.

BIG NAVY VICTORY

Jumping out to an early 17-0 lead last Saturday in Bloomington, Ind., Navy then kept fighting and was able to hold off Indiana’s comeback attempt to earn the victory in its season opener, 41-35. In winning over a Big Ten opponent, Navy defeated a BCS foe for the 20th time since 2003, the most of any non-BCS school in the nation over the last decade. It was also the first road win for Navy over a Big Ten team since 1979 when the Midshipmen won at Illinois, 13-12.

TRIPLE PLAYING

Since 2002, nobody has run the triple-option offense better Navy than Navy has in that period. Against Indiana, Navy marched down the field for 444 net yards. Sophomore quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who is on the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback award watch list, carried the ball 32 times for 127 yards and senior slotback Darius Staten added

106 yards on nine carries to help lead the way for the Mids. Reynolds completed two of the four passes he attempted for 71 yards as Navy opened the year with 515 yards in total offense. In all, the Midshipmen had 70 rushes for an average of 6.3 yards per carry with no fumbles and the offense was never forced to punt one time in the game. Reynolds is now 7-2 (.778) as a starting quarterback for Navy.

In an impressive team effort, leading Navy defensively was junior cornerback Parrish Gaines who had 10 total tackles (7 unassisted and three assists) for the Mids.

MOUNTAIN HIGHS: Mountain West teams preparing for league play as Utah State wins its first conference game

While the search for the Mountain West representative (six NCAA bowl affiliations) in the 2013 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will continue to the end of November. Only one MW team is undefeated so far as Fresno State (West Division) has won its first two games.Only two have played a MW league game as Utah State (1-1) defeated Air Force (1-1) 52-20 last Saturday in a Mountain Division matchup in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Playing a very tough non-conference schedule, the other MW Mountain Division teams this year and their records are: Wyoming (1-1), Boise State (1-1), New Mexico (1-1) and Colorado State (0-2). Besides Fresno State, the other MW West Division teams and their early marks are: San Jose State (1-1), Nevada (1-1), Hawai’i (0-2), San Diego State (0-2) and UNLV (0-2).

For additional Mountain West info, visit  www.theMW.com.

MW SUPERS

Following week 2 action, the MW selected three players of the week (offense, defense and special teams). On offense, New Mexico senior running back Kasey Carrier from Pearland, Texas rushed for and FBS-leading 291 yards on a career- high 41 attempts (7.9 yards per carry) and scored four touchdowns to guide UNM to a 42-35 overtime victory at UTEP.

On defense, Wyoming sophomore defensive end Eddie Yarbrough of Aurora, Colo. was honored. Helping lead the Cowboys to a 42-10 win over Idaho, Yarbrough recorded nine tackles, 3.0 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss, while recovering a fumble and breaking up one pass.

For special teams play, Fresno State’s senior wr/pr Isaiah Burse, Modesto, Calif., tied school and Mountain West records by returning two punts for touchdowns (61 yards and 58 yards) in Fresno State’s 41-25 win over Cal Poly.

IT’S A DATE

This will mark the third time in its 11-year history that the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will be held on December 30 as the 2010 and 2011 contests were both held on that date. The most recent Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl was played Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012 featuring a match-up between the Rice Owls and U.S. Air Force Academy Falcons, in which the Owls claimed the bowl victory 33-14. Last year’s showcase drew an attendance of 40,754.

ARMED FORCES SALUTE

Owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN Regional Television (ERT), the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl has featured the “armed forces” theme since 2006. Patriotic overtones recognizing all five branches of the service are prevalent throughout the game. Past Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls have included fan-fest areas showcasing armed forces hardware; flyovers; demonstrations by several of the military's top skydiving teams; custom homes awarded to wounded warriors; on-field induction ceremonies; armed forces bands and honor guards; the annual Great American Patriot Award presented by Armed Forces Insurance; and the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America.