Navy Three Keys: Air Force

Three keys Navy

The Mids have had a couple of weeks to process their improbable comeback win over Tulane and they face Air Force this weekend in the first leg of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy of 2020.

Here are the three keys:

Prepare as best possible
Well, this is awkward. The Mids are preparing for a confrontation with the Falcons without any real idea of what they will be going up against. The Covid-19 pandemic has shuttered the Mountain West Conference schedule until October 24, so the Mids have zero game tape of Air Force. The Falcons, in contrast, have two Navy games to watch and learn from earlier this season. Obviously, this presents a problem for Ken Niumatalolo and his staff. All the Mids can really do is prepare for the type of offense that the Falcons run and hope that there aren’t too many wrinkles thrown in.

Make the QB uncomfortable

When it was announced in July that Donald Hammond III was “no longer a cadet in good standing” it threw the Air Force quarterback situation into turmoil. Hammond was outstanding for the Falcons in 2019 when he passed for over 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns while rushing for over 550 yards and another 13 scores. His backup from last season was Isaiah Sanders, but he has transferred to Stanford. This means the remaining passes on the roster have combined for two passes and 11 yards. Pressuring whoever starts into a mistake early will be important.

Play like the second half of Tulane

The Mids were staring 0-2 directly in the face against Tulane when they were down 24-0 at the half. Somehow, someway, Navy was able to turn that around and win the game with a 27-0 run. It was a game as ridiculous as those stats sound, but it is the type of game that a winning season can be built on. Jamale Carothers went for 127 yards on 25 carries and he should be the focal point of the offense in this one.

Saturday’s game kicks off at 4:00 PM MT / 6:00 PM ET. Watch on the CBS Sports network.