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Mids are efficient on third down

Navy is one of only two teams in division I-A that rank in the top 20 in third-down efficiency on both offense and defense; second-ranked Florida is the other.

On offense, the Midshipmen have converted 48 of 98 third-down opportunities (49 percent), which is the 12th-best conversion rate in the country (Florida is sixth with a 51.4 percent conversion rate). On defense, the Midshipmen are holding opponents to a conversion rate of 28.2 percent (24 of 85), which ranks seventh (Florida is third with a 24.4 percent rate).

"To be honest, I didn't know we were that good until [defensive coordinator Buddy] Green told us," senior linebacker Ross Pospisil said. "It really comes down to taking one play at a time. Coming out, and not having in the back of your head, 'Okay this is first down so we've got a couple downs to play with.' What's helped us is getting some third-and-long situations."

Navy's offense has succeeded by doing the reverse; on nearly half of the third downs it has faced (45 of 98), the Midshipmen have needed to gain four yards or less for a first down.

Navy also ranks 14th in division I-A in offensive fourth-down efficiency; the Midshipmen have converted 10 of 15 opportunities (66.7 percent).

By Camille Powell  |  October 21, 2009; 12:42 PM ET
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