Longtime Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell gives some love to the Navy football team and star quarterback Ricky Dobbs in Saturday’s Post. Boswell notes in his lede that Dobbs is just one touchdown short of the NCAA record for TDs in a season by a quarterback. The record, 23, is held by Florida’s Tim Tebow and former Air Force QB Chance Harridge. Since Dobbs still has two games left — against Hawaii and Army, both not exactly defensive juggernauts — it’s very likely Dobbs will soon enter the NCAA record book.
Until I read Boswell’s column, I didn’t quite realize how extraordinary Dobbs’ season has been. He has 22 rushing TDs, four TDs passing and 1,549 total yards. Those numbers are sick, and making them more remarkable is the fact that Dobbs missed the Wake Forest game and most of another contest.
Boswell also offers insight into the rigors of playing football at the Academy, where the players are always exhausted from a daily schedule that their peers in college football don’t have to deal with:
Few begin to grasp the demands of attending the Naval Academy, much less playing major college football at a size, speed and talent disadvantage on top of it. In his second full year as head coach, [Ken] Niumatalolo, who played at Hawaii, still shakes his head. “On team flights, we tell the attendants, ‘Please serve the food before we take off. If you wait, they’ll all be asleep and miss the meal.’ For bed check, we ask them to leave their doors ajar so we won’t wake them when we check. And they’re always half-sick.”
The Midshipmen got a much-needed bye this week before traveling to Hawaii next Saturday for game against the Warriors (4-6), which will be broadcast on ESPNU. But for those who need their fix of Navy football right now, take a look at this excellent YouTube video on the Mids’ victory over Notre Dame earlier this month, which includes some behind-the-scenes looks at the team before and after the upset win in South Bend: