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Navy sees mirror image in Georgia Southern

Navy's usually efficient triple option got bogged down Saturday against Georgia Southern, and while it may be disturbing that the Midshipmen had just 109 yards rushing against a division I-AA team, much of their lethargy can be attributed directly to Eagles Coach Jeff Monken.

In his first year at Georgia Southern, Monken spent six years as an assistant at Navy and thus is well versed in the option. Monken focused his defense on clogging the middle, with interior lineman Brent Russell as the anchor. Russell consistently pushed Navy offensive lineman backward, and when quarterback Ricky Dobbs tried to run between the tackles, there was little room.

"You have to give Georgia Southern a lot of credit for the way our offense played," Midshipmen Coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "We didn't execute very well, but a lot of that had to do with them."

Navy's rushing total was its lowest since Nov. 16, 2002, when the Midshipmen amassed 35 yards in a 38-0 loss to Connecticut. Navy's total yards were the fewest since Oct. 14, 2006, when it gained 161 yards against Rutgers.

Against the Eagles, Navy used its slotbacks sparingly to say the least. Only Gee Gee Greene had a carry among them, finishing with nine yards on four attempts. In Monday's 17-14 loss to Maryland, four slotbacks had carries as the Midshipmen rushed for 412 yards.

"We defeated some blocks when they were trying to out there and block our safeties and corners," Monken said. "We did a nice job up front, and I thought our defensive coaches did an outstanding job this week in mixing up the calls and trying to keep Navy on their toes."

Georgia Southern made the going especially difficult for Dobbs, who had 44 yards on 20 carries in the second straight substandard game for the record-setting senior. On Monday, Dobbs had 63 yards on 17 carries in the first game following a year in which he rushed for 27 touchdowns, the most by a quarterback in a single season in NCAA history.

While Dobbs never got into a rhythm, he did manage the game much better than against Maryland. In that game, he lost two fumbles, both near the goal line, but today he had no fumbles.

Georgia Southern "had a real good scheme," Dobbs said. "That's a tough football team. It wasn't so much things we did; they play good football. They made plays when we didn't."

By Gene Wang  |  September 11, 2010; 10:56 PM ET
Categories:  Ken Niumatalolo , Ricky Dobbs  
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Next: Injuries a growing concern for Saturday


Did I somehow miss the GAME SCORE in the article?

Posted by: haymarketbill | September 12, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

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