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Teich Feeling More Comfortable at Fullback

One of the few bright spots offensively for the Midshipmen in Saturday's 27-14 loss to Pittsburgh was the play of sophomore fullback Alexander Teich. He had his most productive game of the season, rushing for 80 yards on 12 carries and making one catch for 23 yards. Most of his rushing yards came in the first half (73 yards on nine carries).

"Each and every week, I'm getting more into the routine of the offense, I'm starting to pick things up," said Teich, who got only seven carries as a freshman. "The game is starting to feel like it's slowing down a little bit more."

Teich is leading the Midshipmen in rushing on the season, with 173 yards on 34 carries. He has yet to score, though he has blocked for some of quarterback Ricky Dobbs's team-high five rushing touchdowns.

Teich is averaging 5.1 yards per carry, which is similar to what Eric Kettani averaged a year ago (5.2 yards per carry). But yards up the middle have been hard to come by at times, and Teich is still learning.

"All that's not Teich," Coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "He could be playing better, but we definitely could be blocking better. The challenge for us is to do a better job of blocking up front, and for him to be a little bit more crisp on his reads."

Much has been made of how Teich (6-0, 212) is smaller than previous Navy fullbacks, but he showed on Saturday that he is a strong, tough runner, as he fought through tackles. "I knew I could do that," he said. "I've always prided myself on running hard."

But he also displayed one of the skills that sets him apart from previous Navy fullbacks — his speed. On the Midshipmen's first play of the second quarter, Teich took a pitch to the right side and darted down the sideline for a 42-yard gain, Navy's longest run of the season.

"We've always had that [play]; it's just our trap speed option," Niumatalolo said. "That's more for Teich. ... Kyle [Eckel and Adam] Ballard, they were more in between the tackle guys. That's a good play for him."

By Camille Powell  |  September 23, 2009; 3:07 PM ET
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