FB Vince Murray is on a roll
Fullback Vince Murray has settled in as Navy's starting fullback, and after his 175-yard performance against Wake Forest on Saturday, he's the Midshipmen's second-leading rusher (523 yards) behind quarterback Ricky Dobbs (590 yards). Murray's total is especially impressive considering that he received only seven carries and gained just 24 yards in Navy's first three games of the season.
Murray took over as the featured fullback when sophomore Alexander Teich sprained his ankle against Air Force. Murray gained 67 yards on 22 carries against the Falcons, but he ran with his head down and looked unsure of himself at times, according to Coach Ken Niumatalolo. In the three games since then, however, Murray has grown more comfortable with the offense and has broken loose for runs of 17, 35, 42 and 52 yards. He didn't have a single run of longer than 10 yards in his first five games.
"When you first go in there, everything is moving a million miles an hour," said Murray, who has gained 499 yards on 95 carries in Navy's current five-game winning streak. "You're just trying to put your head down and gain some yards. With every play you get a little more experience, you know where your blockers are coming from, you know what the defense is going to do. You just get into the flow of the game."
Murray's 175 rushing yards were the most for a Navy player since Dobbs ran for 224 yards against SMU on Oct. 25, 2008. Murray credited the play of the offensive line—seniors Osei Asante and Curtis Bass, juniors Jeff Battipaglia and Matt Molloy, and sophomore David Hong—and the comfort he has with back-up quarterback Kriss Proctor as two of the reasons behind his big day.
"I'm starting to get more experience [with] every play," Murray said. "Me and Kriss have really worked a lot together; in the spring, we took all the reps with the two's last year, so it went real well. Kriss did a great job of making the right reads and making them quick."
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