The Capital - - SPORTS - twit­­n­er_CapGaz


One of the big­gest is­sues plagu­ing the Navy of­fense this sea­son has been neg­a­tive plays. Penal­ties, sacks and runs that re­sult in a loss have re­peat­edly set back the Mids. In a sea­son when the of­fense has strug­gled with con­sis­tency, those neg­a­tive out­comes have been drive killers. Navy sim­ply has not been ca­pa­ble of over­com­ing sec­ond-and-15 sit­u­a­tions. Mean­while, Cen­tral Florida ranks fifth na­tion­ally in tack­les for loss, av­er­ag­ing 8.6 per game. De­fen­sive end Ti­tus Davis leads the Knights with 10 ½ tack­les for loss while de­fen­sive end Bren­don Hayes and de­fen­sive tackle Trys­ten Hill have recorded 6 ½ apiece.


Quar­ter­back McKenzie Mil­ton di­rects an ex­plo­sive at­tack that ranks third na­tion­ally in to­tal of­fense (548.8 to­tal

yards) and sixth in scor­ing of­fense (45.4 points per game). Navy fell be­hind 27-0 at half­time against Notre Dame and 28-0 at in­ter­mis­sion ver­sus Cincin­nati. The Mid­ship­men sim­ply have not shown any abil­ity to rally from big deficits this sea­son. The Knights could put this game away by scor­ing three or four touch­downs in the first half.

IN­JURY RE­PORT: Navy – Start­ing safety Jake Springer (undis­closed) is prob­a­ble; Backup left tackle Ken­del Wright (lower body) and is ques­tion­able. Cen­tral Florida – Line­backer Demetrius Hayes (sus­pen­sion) is out.

SE­RIES HIS­TORY: UCF won the lone meet­ing be­tween the schools 31-21 last sea­son in An­napo­lis

OF NOTE: Navy has lost six straight games for the first time in 2011. In that sea­son, the Mid­ship­men turned things around and won three of their fi­nal four con­tests – clos­ing the cam­paign by beat­ing archri­val Army. Navy's last vic­tory over a ranked op­po­nent came in Oc­to­ber, 2016 when it up­set No. 6 Hous­ton. The Mid­ship­men also knocked off Mem­phis when it was ranked No. 15 in 2015. Cen­tral Florida has the long­est win­ning streak in the Foot­ball Bowl Sub­di­vi­sion at 21 games

Cen­tral Florida has dom­i­nated de­fen­sively dur­ing the third quar­ter or games this sea­son. The Knights have held five of eight op­po­nents score­less in the third quar­ter.

QUOTE-UNQUOTE: “Peo­ple have been send­ing me real nice emails, al­most like con­do­lence mes­sages. We're not go­ing any­where. We're go­ing to keep fight­ing. This is what life is all about. There are bad days and set­backs. When ad­ver­sity comes, you have to deal with it. This cur­rent sit­u­a­tion is a great les­son in lead­er­ship – not just in terms of the mil­i­tary, but also be­ing a hus­band and a fa­ther.”

— Navy head coach Ken Ni­u­mat­alolo “There is a lot of out­side noise. The only thing we talk about within our pro­gram is the next op­po­nent. We un­der­stand the test you have ev­ery sin­gle week in this league. When I was a coach out­side of this league, I had a great amount of re­spect for the pro­grams. When you look at this league, there are a lot of schools that have played good foot­ball for a long time.

Be­ing in the con­fer­ence now, I have an even greater ap­pre­ci­a­tion for it. You have to bring it ev­ery sin­gle week.”

— Cen­tral Florida head coach Josh He­u­pel

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