Navy (2-0) sailing for Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl with stop Saturday at Western Kentucky (2-2)
FORT WORTH, Texas – Rested and ready after a week in ‘dry dock’, the U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen football team enjoyed a bye week and now continues sailing towards December’s Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl with a journey to meet Western Kentucky on Saturday.
Navy (2-0) won its home opener 51-7 on Sept. 14 over Delaware. The Mids are contracted to play in this year’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 on September 7 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.
COACH’S LOG: 42-26
Coming off of a bowl appearance and an 8-5 record in 2012, Navy 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 42-26 (.618) 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). Niumatalolo has recently been named one of the 25 finalists for the seven individuals who will be chosen to be part of the inaugural class to be inducted into the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame.
Niumatalolo is the first head coach in Service Academy history to win the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy in each of his first two years. He is also the only coach in school history to lead Navy to a bowl game in each of his first three seasons and he is fourth all-time at Navy in career wins and is just the sixth coach in school history to be the head coach for at least six years.
MIDS vs. HILLTOPPERS
Saturday will mark the third meeting between Navy (2-0) and Western Kentucky (2-2) with the Midshipmen 2-0 in the series that began in 2009. Last Saturday while Navy rested, the Hilltoppers blasted Morgan State, 58-17 at home in Bowling Green, Ky. The kickoff for Navy vs. Western Kentucky is 2 p.m. (ET) and will be played at the Houchens-Smith Stadium in Bowling Green on the campus of Western Kentucky. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNNews and broadcast on the Navy Radio Network. For more Navy football info, visit www.navysports.com.
MIDS COUNTDOWN TO FORT WORTH
Record: 2-0 Home: 1-0 • Away: 1-0 • Neutral: 0-0
Date Opponent Result/Time Television Attendance Series History
W No. 1 9-7 at Indiana W, 41-35 Big Ten Network 47,013 Series tied, 2-2
W No. 2 9-14 Delaware W, 51-7 CBS Sports Network 36,208 Navy Leads, 10-7
9-28 at Western Kentucky 2:00 pm ESPNEWS Navy Leads, 2-0
10-5 Air Force 11:30 a.m. CBS Air Force Leads, 27-18
10-12 at Duke TBA Navy Leads, 20-14-5
10-19 at Toledo 7 p.m. Toledo Leads, 2-1
10-26 Pittsburgh 1 p.m. CBS Sports Network Pittsburgh Leads 22-13-3
11-2 at Notre Dame 3:30 p.m. NBC Notre Dame Leads, 73-12-1
11-9 Hawai’i 3:30 p.m. CBS Sports Network Hawai’i Leads, 2-0
11-16 South Alabama 3:30 p.m. CBS Sports Network First Meeting
11-22 at San Jose State 9:30 p.m. CBS Sports Network San Jose State Leads, 2-0
12-14 Army+ 3 p.m. CBS Navy Leads, 57-49-7
+Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia, Pa.)
All Times Eastern
Since 2002, nobody has run the triple-option offense better than Navy has in that period. Against Delaware, Navy had a strong ground attack again with 352 yards as Mids continue to lead all of college football with 398.0 yards rushing per game.
Sophomore quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who is on the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback award watch list, continues to impress as he carried the ball 15 times for 109 yards to help lead the way for the Mids over the Blue Hens. Reynolds also completed a career-best 10 of 13 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns against Delaware.
Navy opened the year with 515 yards in total offense against Indiana and topped that sterling effort with 589 total yards against Delaware. In all, the Midshipmen are averaging 552.0 yards per game in total offense (11th nationally) and as a team Navy is second nationally in passing efficiency with a 227.36 rating. Reynolds is now 8-2 (.800) as a starting quarterback for Navy.
Since 2003, Navy has won 20 games against schools from a BCS conference. Those 20 wins have come against 10 different teams and are the most in the country by a non-BCS school.
Continuing to come up with big plays at the right time, leading Navy defensively is senior linebacker Cody Peterson, Olympia, Wash. who has 19 total tackles (12 unassisted and seven assists) for the 2-0 Mids. The team’s defensive captain had 12 total tackles against Delaware (six unassisted and six assists).
MOUNTAIN WEST HIGHS:
League play in full swing this Saturday as 12 MW teams battle for title and spot in six NCAA Bowl games
While the search for the Mountain West representative (six NCAA bowl affiliations) in the 2013 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will continue until the end of November. Only one MW team is undefeated so far as Fresno State (West Division) has won its first three games.
Playing an exceptionally tough non-conference schedule, the MW Mountain Division teams this year and their records are: Wyoming (3-1, 1-0), Utah State (2-2, 1-0 in MW), Boise State (2-2, 1-1), New Mexico (1-2), Colorado State (1-3) and Air Force (1-3, 0-3). Fresno State (3-0, 1-0) is leading MW West Division teams followed by: Nevada (2-2, 1-0), UNLV (2-2), San Jose State (1-2), San Diego State (0-3) and Hawai’i (0-3, 0-1).
Key MW games for Week 5: Friday–Utah State at San Jose State (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET); Saturday–Air Force at Nevada (CBS Sports Net, 8 p.m. ET); UNLV at New Mexico (ROOT, 8 p.m. ET).
MW LONE STAR CONNECTION
Great Texas prep football players appear all over college football and the Mountain West is no exception with a total of 104 active players combined on the 12 MW teams in 2013, with the Mountain Division having 84 on its six teams’ rosters and the West having 20 on the rosters of its six teams. Leading the way with Texas players are the Air Force Academy with 19 followed by Boise State and Colorado State with 16 each. Other schools with double doses of Texans are New Mexico with 15, Wyoming with 11 and UNLV with 10 Texas players on their rosters.
For additional Mountain West info, visit www.theMW.com.
Following week 4 action, the MW selected three players of the week (offense, defense and special teams). On offense, Wyoming junior quarterback Brett Smith, accounted for a school-record 511 yards of total offense in Wyoming’s 56-23 win at Air Force. Smith broke the previous Cowboy single-game record of 482 yards, set by Josh Wallwork in 1996.
On defense, Nevada junior defensive end Brock Hekking, Vacaville, Calif., was honored as he Recorded six tackles (4 solo) in the Wolf Pack’s 31-9 Conference victory over Hawai‘i. Hekking had 3.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles, two pass breakups and one interception.
Selected for his special teams play, UNLV sophomore punter Logan Yunker punted six times for a 41.7 yards per punt average during UNLV’s 38-7 victory over Western Illinois. Four of Yunker’s six punts went for more than 45 yards: 57, 51, 47 and 46.
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.
Tickets for the 2013 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will go on sale on October 1, 2013 through ArmedForcesBowl.com. Armed forces veterans and active-duty personnel receive free admittance via the bowl’s corporate armed forces ticket underwriting program, while supplies are available.
ARMED FORCES MERIT AWARD
The nomination process for the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America is still open with a deadline of September 30. The 2013 recipient will be announced November 11 on Veteran's Day with the second award winner being notified by the last full week of October. Here is the link to an article on Nate Boyer from the University of Texas, the first recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America.The special award is a project of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.