The Mids will be looking to rebound quickly after the shocking and embarrassing 55-3 opening defeat at the hands of BYU.
Here are the three keys to make that happen in New Orleans against Tulane.
Better line play
Maybe this was to be expected. No team has had the correct preparation for this football season, but the lack of practising in pads with contact is always going to bite a triple-option team like Navy that relies on timing in their blocking assignments more than any other. Expect to see the rust to have been shaken off a little on the offensive front, while the defensive line should be more disruptive. There will still be some kinks to work out – and the defense as a whole must tackle better – but the line play simply has to be better than last week almost by default.
Run the ball better
Navy needs to win the rushing battle against Tulane in order to win. The lack of Malcolm Perry was a serious issue last weekend as the Mids managed just 119 yards on the ground while BYU went for 301. There were simply no explosive plays and the Cougars shut everything down when the Mids fell behind big on the scoreboard. The QB situation is up in the air after incumbent Dalen Morris looked bad against BYU and backup Perry Olsen entered the transfer portal this week. No other QB on the roster has taken a varsity snap, but don’t be shocked if there is a change at some point if things aren’t going well.
Win the time of possession
It has to start at this simply for Navy. The triple-option needs the grind to be effective. BYU held the ball for 37:20 of the game last time out, limiting Navy to just 22:40 with the ball. That is not a time of possession that Navy can have if the Mids want to win. The seven first downs – against 28 for BYU – tell their own story and the Navy offense knows that it needs to find a way to keep the chains – and the clock – moving as much as possible on Saturday.