Navy football hosts East Carolina on Saturday in Annapolis. Here are your three keys to a Navy win over East Carolina.
Key 1 – Stop the run
ECU has a pretty good stable of running backs and look for the Pirates to try to establish a strong running game early. Darius Pinnix and Demetrius Mauney each had 100-yard rushing games in the recent win over Gardner-Webb. The Navy defense must prevent ECU from getting confidence in their ability to run on the Mids. Otherwise, we’ll see long Pirate drives that wear down the Navy defense and put points on the board for the wrong team.
Key 2 – Option, Option, Option
The last time Navy hosted East Carolina back in 2015, the Mids piled up 415 yards rushing yards, 28 first downs, 45 points and controlled the ball for 36:38 of the game. This is what Navy must get back to. It keeps the Mid defense off the field while wearing down the opponent’s defense. Trying to be Oregon or Alabama will not work. Be Navy and that means mostly the option. Be Navy and that means mostly the option.
Key 3 – Malcolm Perry Shines
This is a key for Navy football every week because in a triple-option offense the quarterback is the most important player on the field. This is because he’s making split-second decisions that will decide the course of the game. He either runs himself, hands off the ball or passes. Against Holy Cross Perry looked good with 42 yards rushing on 10 carries 103 yards passing (6 for 9 on completions). This was a solid performance that needs to be duplicated every week. Perry has the athletism and experience to be dominant but it’s also a team effort. Other players must make blocks, catch passes and pitch outs, and secure the ball.
Saturday’s game kicks off at 3:30 pm ET. Watch on the CBS Sports Network.