BHAFB Notes: Navy to meet Army in Philadelphia, MW Up for Grabs
Following last Friday’s stunning triple-overtime road win over San Jose State, the passionate band of brothers known as the 2013 U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen football team aren’t looking ahead to their date in Forth Worth, Texas for December’s Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. After earning their sixth win two weeks ago to punch their ticket to Fort Worth, Navy was battered and bruised but pressed on, staying the course to a heart-pounding 58-52 win over San Jose State.
Now 7-4, Navy has some catch-up time to regroup and make their battle plan for their Dec. 14 meeting with the United States Military Academy (Army) in Philadelphia..
Navy will 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 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: 47-30
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 47-30 (.610) including appearances in four post-season bowl games plus this year’s BHAFB. He has moved into third all-time in Navy career coaching wins. Niumatalolo has also been selected one of seven men in the inaugural class of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame. He will be inducted Jan. 23, 2014 prior to the NFL Pro Bowl in Honolulu.
MIDS vs. BLACK KNIGHTS
With more to come, suffice it to say that another classic in the long-time rivalry between Navy and Army is on the horizon as arguably the No. 1 rivalry in all of college football will be played on Dec. 14 when the Mids and the Black Knights meet on the gridiron field of battle for the 114th time. Navy holds the all-time series edge, 57-49-7, including last year’s 17-13 win over Army in Philadelphia.
With the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy on the line, the Navy vs. Army matchup is scheduled to kickoff Saturday, Dec. 14 at 3 p.m. (ET) on the FieldTurf of Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The game will be televised nationally on the CBS Television Network and broadcast on the Navy Radio Network.
For more Navy football info, visit www.navysports.com.
MIDS COUNTDOWN TO COW TOWN
Record: 7-4 Home: 5-0 • Away: 2-4 • 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
L 9-28 at Western Kentucky L, 7-19 ESPNEWS 19,813 Navy Leads, 2-1
W No. 3 10-5 Air Force W, 28-10 CBS Network 38,225 Air Force Leads, 27-19
L 10-12 at Duke L, 7-35 Raycom Sports/ACC Network 23,749 Navy Leads, 20-15-5
L 44-45 (2 OT) 10-19 at Toledo ESPNEWS 18,221 Toledo Leads, 3-1
W No. 4 10-26 Pittsburgh W, 24-21 CBS Sports Network 37,094 Pittsburgh Leads 22-14-3
L 11-2 at Notre Dame L, 34-38 NBC 80,795 Notre Dame Leads, 74-12-1
W No. 5 11-9 Hawai’i W, 42-28 CBS Sports Network 33,327 Hawai’i Leads, 2-1
W No. 6 11-16 South Alabama W, 42-14 CBS Sports Network 33,086 Navy Leads 1-0
W No. 7 11-22 at San Jose State W, 58-52, CBS Sports Network 16,876 San Jose State Leads, 2-1
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. Entering Friday’s game against San Jose State, Navy is third in the nation among NCAA Division I-A schools in rushing this season, averaging 320.1 yards per game, 14th nationally in fourth down conversions at .652 percent, tied for fourth nationally in third down conversions at .531, first in the nation in fewest penalties per game with an average of 2.82 penalties per game and first in fewest yards penalized with an average of 23.1 yards per game. The Mids are also tied for first nationally in turnovers, giving up only eight in 11 games.
After an amazing game against San Jose State last Friday night with eight total touchdowns, including seven rushing, a career-best 240 net yards rushing, individually, sophomore quarterback Keenan Reynolds continues to lead the Navy offense. With his sterling performance against San Jose State, Reynolds became just the fourth player in Navy history with 1000-plus passing and rushing yards in a single season.
Reynolds, who missed half of the loss at Western Kentucky with a head injury, has rushed for 1,124 yards on 250 carries, averaging 102.2 yards per game with 26 touchdowns. In the air, Reynolds has completed 63 of 114 passes (55.3 percent) with two interceptions for 1,028 yards averaging 93.5 yards per game and eight touchdowns. Nationally, Reynolds is first in points per game (14.2), first in rushing touchdowns with 26, first in rushing TDs among quarterbacks and second among quarterbacks in rushing yards per game with 102.2.
Navy has scored on 46 of its 51 possessions (.902) in the red zone this year, scoring 39 touchdowns, kicking seven field goals, missing two field goals, two interceptions and taking a knee to end the game in Navy’s 51-7 victory over Delaware.
Mids defensive captain Cody Peterson and D.J. Sargenti, both senior outside linebackers along with junior linebacker Chris Johnson, lead the Navy defense with 124, 97 and 71 total tackles respectively. Peterson has 84 solo tackles (7.6 per game) and Sargenti has 63 (5.7). Johnson also leads the team with three pass interceptions, three pass break-ups and one fumble recovery. Peterson is fifth nationally in total tackles with 11.3 per game, second nationally in solo tackles, averaging 7.6 per game.
Since 2003, Navy has won 21 games against schools from a BCS conference. Those 21 wins have come against 10 different teams and are the most in the country by a non-BCS school.
A major stepping stone this year on the road to Fort Worth, the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy is presented annually to the winner of the football competition among the three major service academies – Army, Navy and Air Force – and is named in honor of the President of the United States. Navy has dominated of late, winning the trophy a Service Academy record seven consecutive years from 2003-2009 and winning a Service Academy record 15 straight games against Air Force and Army in the process. Air Force lost to both Army (41-21) and Navy (28-21 OT) last year to surrender the trophy after holding it for two years (2010, 2011). Navy has won the trophy a total of 13 times since the award was started in 1972 plus three retentions for a total of 16 times.
Air Force defeated Army at Air Force this year, 42-28 and the regular season will end in Philadelphia on Dec. 14 when Army plays Navy. Navy has been the most dominant service academy in the last decade plus, winning 20 of 22 (.909) meetings with Air Force and Army, including this year’s 28-10 win over Air Force.
Four MW league games on tap Saturday
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. One MW team is undefeated so far as Fresno State (West Division) has won its first 10 games.
Playing an exceptionally tough non-conference schedule, the MW Mountain Division standings this year with team records are: Utah State (7-4, 6-1), Boise State (7-4, 5-2 in MW), Colorado State (6-6, 4-3), Wyoming (5-6, 3-4), New Mexico (3-8, 1-6), and Air Force (2-9, 0-7). Fresno State (10-0, 7-0) is leading MW West Division teams followed by: San Diego State (7-4, 6-1), UNLV (6-5, 4-3), San Jose State (5-6, 4-3), Nevada (4-7, 3-5), and Hawai’i (0-11, 0-8).
Mountain West action will see seven games including five MW conference games, over the weekend for Week 14: Friday—Fresno State at San Jose State (CBS Sports Network, 3:30 p.m ET) Saturday—Air Force at Colorado State (ESPN3, 2 p.m. ET), Wyoming at Utah State (ROOT SPORTS/Mountain West Network, 2 p.m. ET), BYU at Nevada (CBS Sports Network, 3 p.m. ET), San Diego State at UNLV (ESPNU, 10:30 p.m. ET), Army at Hawai’i (Oceanic PPV/Mountain West Network, Midnight ET).
Following Week 13 action, the MW announced its four players of the week (co-offense, defense and special teams). On offense, one of the selected was Fresno State’s senior quarterback Derek Carr, Bakersfield, Calif., who was 27 of 37 passing for 527 yards with seven touchdowns as Fresno State defeated New Mexico 69-28. Led Fresno State to a MW-record of 820 yards of total offense against UNM.
The other MW co-offensive player of the week was Wyoming junior quarterback Brett Smith, Salem, Ore., who accounted for 640 yards of total offense (498 passing, 142 rushing), through seven touchdown passes and rushed for one more in a 59-56 overtime win against Hawai’i. Smith’s 640 yards marked the most yards by a single player in the NCAA this season, and set a new MW and Wyoming single-game record.
On defense, San Diego State junior defensive back J.J Whittaker, Oceanside, Calif., was picked after finishing with two tackles, two pass breakups and two interceptions, including one for a touchdown in San Diego State’s 34-31 overtime win versus Boise State.
Selected for his special teams play was San Diego State senior punt returner/wide receiver Tim Vizzi, Moorpark, Calif., who returned one punt for 41 yards and a touchdown in San Diego State’s 34-31 overtime win against Boise State. The touchdown tied the game at 28-28 with just 4:04 left to play in the fourth quarter.
The Mountain West is one of two FBS leagues (Pac-12) with two quarterbacks in the nation’s top six, and the only conference in the country with seven of the top 31, in passing average per game. Fresno State senior Derek Carr leads
all quarterbacks in the FBS with 394.8 yards per game, followed by San Jose State senior David Fales (331.1 ypg, sixth), Wyoming junior Brett Smith (292.1 ypg, 13th), Hawai‘i senior Sean Schroeder (263.8, 25th), Nevada junior Cody Fajardo (263.8 ypg, 26th), San Diego State junior Quinn Kaehler (255.7, 28th) and Colorado State junior Garrett Grayson (244.3, 31st).
The Mountain West is the only conference in the FBS with four of the top 12 quarterbacks in total offense. Fresno State senior Derek Carr ranks first nationally with 405.2 total yards per game, followed by Wyoming junior Brett Smith, who ranks eighth with 344.7 yards per game, Nevada junior Cody Fajardo, who ranks 10th with 330.7 yards per game and San José State senior David Fales, who ranks 12th with 328.7 yards per game.
Fresno State sophomore Davante Adams leads all FBS receivers with 10.0 receptions per game. Nevada senior Brandon Wimberly currently ranks ninth with 7.9 catches, while Fresno State junior Josh Harper is 11th with 7.8 per game. Boise State sophomore Shane Williams-Rhodes ranks 17th with 7.0, while Fresno State senior Isaiah Burse is 21st with 6.7. San José State senior Chandler Jones and Wyoming junior Dominic Rufran are tied for 24th nationally with 6.5 catches per contest, while UNLV junior Devante Davis ranks 30th with 6.3 receptions per game. Boise State junior Matt Miller and Wyoming senior Robert Herron are tied for 31st nationally with 6.2, bringing the Mountain West’s total of receivers averaging 6.2 receptions per game to 10 to rank first nationally. No other league in the FBS has more than four receivers in this category.
Boise State junior Demarcus Lawrence ranks fourth among all FBS players with 1.1 sacks per game, while Colorado State senior Shaquil Barrett and Fresno State sophomore Ejiro Ederaine are tied for fifth at 1.0 sacks per game. The
Mountain West is the only league with three of the top five nationally in pass sacks.
FIVE MW TEAMS BOWL ELIGIBLE
With its 41-21 victory at Air Force last Thursday, UNLV (6-5) joined Fresno State (10-0), Boise State (7-4), San Diego State (7-4) and Utah State (7-4) as the Mountain West’s bowl eligible teams heading into Week 14. Fresno State has made 12 bowl appearances in the last 14 years and 24 overall. Boise State, which boasts an all-time bowl record of 9-4, has made 11 straight trips and 13 overall. For the first time in program history, San Diego State has become bowl eligible in four consecutive years. Utah State has earned bowl eligibility for the third straight season. UNLV, which holds a 3-0 all-time bowl record, has become eligible for the postseason for the first time since the 2000 season. Colorado State (6-5), San José State (5-5) and Wyoming (5-6) are each one win away from qualifying for the postseason.
The Mountain West has sent a league-record five teams into bowl games in each of the previous six seasons. Boise State, Fresno State, San Diego State, Nevada and Air Force represented the league in the 2012 postseason, marking the eighth year in a row, and ninth overall, the MW boasted five bowl-eligible teams. Since the league’s inception in 1999, the Mountain West has earned 56 bowl bids and holds a 32-24 (.571) all-time record. Over the last nine seasons, the MW has captured the Bowl Challenge Cup four times and owns the second-best win percentage in bowl games among the 10 FBS conferences with a 25-16 mark (.610). The Mountain West is the only conference to win the trophy four times since the award’s inception in 2002-03.
MW 1,000-YARD RECEIVERS
Fresno State sophomore Davante Adams, San Diego State junior Ezell Ruffin and UNLV junior Devante Davis joined San Jose State senior Chandler Jones as the MW’s wideouts with 1,000-yard receiving on the year. This marks the third time in MW history (2005, 2008) that four receivers have topped the 1,000-yard mark in a single season. Jones became the first MW player this season to eclipse the 1,000-yard receiving mark. He has 1,210 yards through the first 11 games of the year to mark his first 1,000-yard receiving season.
Adams, who had a career-high 246 receiving yards vs. New Mexico last Saturday, reached the 1,000-yard mark for the second straight season. Through his first two years at the collegiate level, Adams has 2,525 career receiving yards, including 1,312 in 2012 and 1,213 in 2013. Ruffin’s 59 receiving yards against Boise State brought his season total to 1,006, making him the first Aztec with a 1,000-yard receiving season since Vincent Brown and DeMarco Sampson each accomplished the feat in 2010.
With 75 yards at Air Force last Thursday, Davis moved over the 1,000-yard mark, which made him only the seventh Rebel in program history to do so and just the second since 1994 (Ryan Wolfe in 2008). Davis enters the regular-season finale with 1,023 receiving yards this season.
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.
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.
Tickets for the 2013 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl are now on sale 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 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.
GREAT AMERICAN PATRIOT AWARD WINNER
Admiral William H. McRaven has been named the 2013 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl’s Great American Patriot Award recipient. The award will be presented by Armed Forces Insurance, the sponsor of the award, and official insurance partner of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl at halftime of this year’s game. Admiral McRaven will join an elite list of previous Great American Patriot Award recipients, including Medal of Honor Recipient Salvatore Giunta, Admiral Thad Allen, Admiral Michael G. Mullen, and 2012 award recipient General Norton A. Schwartz among others.
Admiral McRaven currently serves as Commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. From there he oversees the readiness of special operations forces worldwide.
ARMED FORCES MERIT AWARD WINNER
Brandon McCoy, a senior defensive end at North Texas, is the second recipient of Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He received the award on November 11 during a Veteran's Day media conference at the school's football stadium where the executive directors of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl and FWAA were on hand to present the award. Coordinated by the staff at the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA was created in June 2012 “to honor an individual and/or a group within the realm of the sport of football.”