The storyline for this games will be Navy’s Ricky Dobbs and the triple option, and it should be. Last season, Dobbs and Midshipmen offense made some teams look silly. The compiled wins against bigger, stronger and faster teams such as Missouri, Notre Dame, and Wake Forest. They also held their own against some really big boys like Pitt and Ohio State. It’s a slow deliberate offense. It won’t be lighting up the scoreboard, but even in stalled drives, it will tiring.
Maryland’s defense has had plenty of time to prepare for this defense, but that still does not guarantee success. As much as Freidgen tries to simulate the offense, he does not have the staff to replicate the skills of Dobbs . The Terps do have a size and speed advantage, but against well orchestrated and timed blocks, it will have to be the discipline that keeps Navy from advancing the ball. The closest thing to the triple option that Maryland faced in 2009 was James Madison’s offense led by Drew Dudzick, and 1AA powerhouse moved the ball at will against them. This is a new year and hopefully the Terps will have more success.
In the end, Navy will score its points; however the game will be decided by the Terps’ offense against the Mids’ D. Jamarr Robinson will need to exploit the Navy defense. He has strong running backs and faster receivers, but he is also working with a young o-line. The Navy D boasts a small but tough d-line. The biggest weakness for the Mids is their linebacking corp, where they lost all starters from last season. The Terps offense will have to find the perfect balance of putting points on the board while also giving their defense a rest. If they don’t, they may never see the ball on offense.
I think this will be a competitive game. I fully expect Navy to win this game- 23-20. It’s a good rivalry for Maryland and I hope it continues into the future.