It seemed like a rare down season in 2020 for the Navy Midshipmen. The team from Annapolis finished 3-7 and it was just the program’s second losing season under head coach Ken Niumatalolo.
2020 seems to have been less an aberration than a trend.
The Midshipmen enter their contest with Cincinnati with a 1-5 mark, though the club has been playing, at least, more competitively of late.
In league play, Navy scored an upset win over UCF and hung in there with Houston, SMU, and Memphis in recent weeks.
Navy averages better than 200 rushing yards per game but this is off the usual mark of the Academy’s dominance in the running game. The Midshipmen’s triple option has historically yielded more than 300 per game. This year, the club has cycled through a variety of quarterbacks and running backs without yet finding a feature man in the attack.
The Navy offensive line, though always undersized, seems a bit more overwhelmed than usual in 2021.
Defensively, Navy has yet to have a strong performance. Senior linebacker Diego Fagot seems to make every stop for the Midshipmen, just as his did last year for the club. Expect Fagot and junior LB Johnny Hodges to make most of the stops.
The Cincinnati Bearcats have every opportunity to move the ball swiftly down the field against Navy. The question will be whether or not Navy can control the ball and build a sustained running attack on Saturday.