4th: AAC (2nd West Division)
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.
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.
Chuck has been writing about Lehigh football since the dawn of the internet, or perhaps it only seems like it. He’s executive editor of the College Sports Journal and has also written a book, The Rivalry: How Two Schools Started the Most Played College Football Series.
Reach him at: this email or click below: