2018 College Football Team Previews: Navy Midshipmen
August 24, 2018
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.
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.
FearlessPrediction: 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.