First half thoughts, in bullet points


Grant Durham, the Army Cadet Spirit Band conductor, watches the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia.  (Rob Curtis/staff)

Grant Durham, the Army Cadet Spirit Band conductor, watches the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia. (Rob Curtis/Staff)

A hard-hitting and sometimes sloppy first half is over, and Army leads 3-0. Here’s some thoughts and observations from deep inside the Military Times HQ in Virginia:

  • Somebody on Navy has gotta help Ricky Dobbs out. Two huge holding penalties negated beautiful Dobbs’ passes that would have changed the storyline in the first half. Outside of Dobbs, the Mids running game can’t get going either. The man needs someone to step up.
  • Army’s defense is stuffing the fullback. Navy’s Vince Murray, the second-most important cog in Navy’s ground attack, has only nine yards on the ground and one fumble.
  • Army’s offense cannot sustain a drive. The Mids’ D deserves a lot of credit for largely bottling up Army. Especially impressive was Navy’s effort after the Black Knights returned an interception deep into Navy territory. Army had to settle for a field goal, and they’ve been unable to threaten since.
  • Army must somehow, someway get a big play. The Black Knight defense is strong, but a field goal will not win this game. Navy’s speed is apparent on the triple option, and sooner or later they will score a TD in the second half. Perhaps some trickeration is in order in the second half.
  • Speaking of trick plays, Damion Hunter’s pass was quite the duck — so awful it was actually a thing of beauty.
  • Worst timeout: Why did coach Ken Niumatalolo try to draw Army offside on 4th down on Navy’s first drive? Navy was deep in their own territory, and Army was not fooled. It didn’t end up making much difference, so sorry for the rant, but wasted TOs drive me nuts.
  • Worst announcing flub: Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson have done a good job, but I cringed when Lundquist forgot that the Miracle at the Meadowlands occurred … in the Meadowlands. Danielson was also guilty, as the two men briefly reminisced about Veterans Stadium before Lundquist corrected himself.

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