Story By: Ricky Wilson
Photo’s By Benjamin Rogers, Jr
The Midshipmen got off to pretty much the worse start possible in this Week 7 match-up. However, they were bailed out multiple times. Navy received the opening kickoff and immediately fumbled on the run back. The defense held Tulsa to a field goal attempt, and fortunately for Navy, it was missed. The Midshipmen were forced to punt on their next two possessions. On Tulsa’s third time sending out the offense, they scored a 98-yard touchdown. However, the score was called back because the Tulsa receiver stepped out-of-bounds prior to catching the ball.
After starting with the ball in good field position towards the end of the fist quarter, Navy scored on a 29-yard touchdown run by Malcolm Perry, and somehow escaped the first quarter with a 7-3 lead.
The second quarter started off with an impressive touchdown drive by Navy that lasted just under 6 minutes. Their second drive in the quarter, however, lasted just one minute and 11 seconds, yet had the same result. Navy’s third series was much like the second, scoring rather quickly, and extended their lead to 28-3.
Two plays prior to Navy’s first score in the second quarter, quarterback Malcolm Perry, was hurt and had to exit the game for a single play. On that play Perry ran along the sideline and, instead of stepping out of bounds, he initiated contact with the defender. This resulted in him landing on his right shoulder which has been bothering him for the past three weeks.
The Midshipmen are often successful on offense due to the phenomenal athleticism by Perry. However, there are times when he should give himself to avoid contact and forgo the extra yards. Although back-up quarterback, Perry Olsen, has shown promise, the Midshipmen will need Malcolm Perry to remain healthy through the entire year.
Furthermore, CJ Williams, one of the stars in the Air Force game, was injured on a toss from Perry during this second quarter domination. Williams has emerged as one of the top A-backs (Navy’s running back position) for the Midshipmen this year. He was, though, able to eventually return to the game.
Lastly, we saw a significant increase in playing time by the back-up B-back, (Navy’s fullback position) Jamale Carothers, in this game against Tulsa. This may be due to Nelson Smith, the starter, coming back slowly from being banged up multiple times this year. Carothers played well, finishing with 52 yards on five carries and a touchdown.
The second half finished up quietly with Navy continuing to dominate the rest of the game. By the end of the fourth quarter, the scoreboard read 45-17 in favor of Navy. Malcolm Perry led all offensive players with an astounding 218 yards and three touchdowns.
Navy improves to 4-1 on the year, which by many, is much better than expected prior to the start of the season. The biggest question entering the year is the same as the biggest surprise: the defense. Brian Newberry, the first-year defensive coordinator, has been incredibly aggressive in his approach, which is a huge change from decades past. Much of the Midshipmen success this year is a result of the performance on the defensive side of the ball.
Next week, Navy is back home to host the USF Bulls. South Florida struggled earlier this season with two straight losses. However, they will be coming to Annapolis on a two game win streak over UConn and BYU. Look for Navy to be favored in this game, despite the Bulls being more than capable of stealing one away from the Midshipmen.