2018 College Football Team Previews: Navy Midshipmen

Navy Midshipmen
Location: Annapolis, MD
Coach: Ken Niumataolo (84-51) 10th Season
Stadium: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (Capacity: 34,000)

CSJ Projections:
4th: AAC (2nd West Division)
1st: Maryland
53rd: FBS
55th: Division I

2017 In A Sentence:  A promising 5-0 start ended terribly for the Midshipmen, losing five of their next six regular-season games and losing heartbreaker after hearbreaker, cumulating with their second straight loss to their bitter Rival Army, 24-14.  An above-.500 season was somewhat salvaged with a resounding 49-7 win against Virginia in the Military Bowl, however.

Biggest Shoes to Fill: Co-captain LB D.J. Palmore led the Midshipmen in tackles for loss with 12 1/2 on the season and helped Navy have a stout rushing defense on the year.  His leadership and tackling will be missed.

Courtesy the Capital-Gazette

Key Player: QB Zach Abey was Navy’s leading rusher in the Niumataolo triple-option offense quth 1,418 yards and 19 TDs, and he returns for his senior season to lead the Midshipmen once again.  His experience running the offense will be a huge asset as Navy hopes to expand on their offense that averaged more than 30 points per game.

Fearless Prediction: Navy’s big weakness was pass defense last season, and it’s a weakness that will continue to be exploited as long as Niumataolo’s defense exhibits that weakness.  If they find a decent pass defense, they could absolutely make a run at the AAC Championship game.

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