Friday, October 19, 2007

Navy Keys to the Game

1) Make Wake Make Mistakes- Normally, I'd think of something intelligent to say like "get in Skinner's throwing lanes" or "mix up the zone packages to confuse him" but seeing as though techniques like that only work when your defense is playing well, I might as well not say them at all. Here's the deal, Wake Forest quarterbacks have combined for 12 picks and only five touchdown passes so far. That's a weakness you want to try to exploit, but one which is easier said than done. Ketric Buffin (4 int) looked like he was starting to develop into a ballhawking player who could jump routes and anticipate throws, but with him out for a month Navy doesn't necessarily have the playmakers to force turnovers. Nevertheless, Navy's defenders are going to have to find away to make something happen, and if that means taking chances so be it.

2) Don't Give Up the Big Play- We've already talked about forcing turnovers, but just as important for Navy is not allowing the big play when Wake has the football. Once again, this is a lot easier said than done. I've been having nightmares about Kenny Moore running circles around arm tackles for nights, and until I see otherwise I'm going to be extremely skeptical of the defenses ability to contain Moore and Adams. To be successful and stay in this game, Navy is going to have to force Wake to drive the length of field and trade field goals for touchdowns. It's not just on defense either, as Navy's special team (especially the kickoff coverage unit) will need to stay disciplined and not allow Wake' talented skill position players to get loose.

3) Don't get too Cute- Wake's defense has not been as good as last year's version, and by most accounts Navy should be able to move the football against the Wake front seven. However, one thing Paul Johnson and the offense have to keep in mind are Wake's five defensive touchdowns this season, in particular Wake's four interception returns for touchdowns. With a defense that's equatable to a speed bump trying to stop a blitzkrieg, Navy's offense can't afford to lose serve and give points away to Wake Forest. This doesn't mean playing conservatively, which is also a good way to kill drives if you ask me. Rather, it means playing within yourself and doing what your team does best. It also means, in my opinion anyway, staying away from Alphonso Smith, who unlike other Pitt or Air Force cornerbacks, does not drop the football when thrown to him.


football dad dan said...

Not sure what is the worst "poison" ... Taking a few chances on defense (& thus potentially giving up the "Big Play" a couple times) ... or watching WF methodically drive down the field every possession because Navy can't put pressure on the QB, nor tackle??? )o:

Like you clearly stated, the "O" can't afford to have their service "broken".

Beat Wake Forest!!!

Anonymous said...

In looking at Wake, you have to consider the difference between first half D and second half D. It's a team that's made good adjustments at halftime, and their second half D has been smothering. FSU was held to less than 50 yards and I think MD gained maybe three yards on the ground in the second half of their games.