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2003 PREVIEW: Navy Midshipmen

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Navy Midshipmen
Team Information
Head Coach: Paul Johnson
2nd year: 2-10
7th year: 64-20
Returning O Lettermen: 16
Returning D Lettermen: 16
Lettermen Lost: 29
Ten Best Navy Players
1. QB Craig Candeto, Sr.
2. P John Skaggs, Sr.
3. RB Tony Lane, Sr.
4. LB Eddie Carthan, Sr.
5. OT Josh Gooden, Sr.
6. Rover Josh Smith, Sr.
7. RB Eric Roberts, Jr.
8. OG Shane Todd, Sr.
9. CB Shalimar Brazier, Sr.
10. LB Lane Jackson, Jr.
2003 Schedule
8/30 VMI
9/6 at TCU
9/20 Eastern Mich
9/27 at Rutgers
10/4 Air Force
10/11 at Vanderbilt
10/18 at Rice
10/25 Delaware
11/1 Tulane
11/8 at Notre Dame
11/22 Central Mich
12/6 Army
Thank goodness for Paul Johnson. There's nothing more beautiful in sports than the option and Johnson has brought it to the Naval Academy with some early success. It's going to take a while for the program as a whole to get to a consistently successful level, but Johnson has the team playing with fire and aggressiveness as shown by great performances against , and . No one is going to want to play as, with a little bit of luck, it'll get to the level is at in a few years with more and more time working on precision of the triple option. The offense isn't going to be the problem. The defense is. It's never a good thing to say that the United States Naval Academy can't stop anyone, but fortunately that's only limited to the football team for the moment. The Midshipmen allowed less than thirty points three times last season allowing more than forty in six games. If things can tighten up on the defensive side, and they probably won't this season, can start doing some exciting things with a coach like Johnson. The Schedule: There are several games on the slate that should have a reasonable shot at winning. VMI, , , Delaware, and will all have a hard time slowing down the Naval rushing attack. and TCU are the toughest games on the schedule and could give those two teams a tough time if the Irish and Horned Frogs aren't taking the Midshipmen seriously. Best Offensive Player: Senior QB . He has to stay healthy and stay on the field as the leader and most productive player in the wishbone. Best Defensive Player: Senior LB . A sensational athlete and an active tackler, he should be one of the better run stoppers and pass rushers on the D. Key player to a successful season: The pass defense has to be far stronger with the cornerbacks needing to make more plays. isn't all that bad, so Junior Vaughn Kelley must have a good season for the defense to be better. The season will be a success if: comes up with five wins. The team isn't nearly as talented as several teams on the schedule, but the offense is going to be unique enough and exciting enough that it should shock a few teams and beat the DI-AA squads. Key game: October 4 vs. . The Midshipmen won't beat the Falcons, but this is the game that'll show how far off the program is from being like the top service academy in football. 2002 Fun Stats:
  • Passing attempts and interceptions thrown: Opponents 287 and 5 - 161 and 10.
  • Fumbles: 38 (lost 25) - Opponents 24 (lost 16)
  • Touchdown passes: Opponents 24 - 5
  • Tagged: Wake Forest, Michigan, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Navy, Notre Dame, Army, Air Force

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