Navy put an exclamation point on its remarkable turnaround with a 31-7 victory against Army in the 120th edition of one of college football’s greatest rivalries. The Midshipmen (10-2) snapped a three-game losing streak against the Black Knights, meaning the Navy seniors beat the Army for the first time.
Here’s what we learned:
1. Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry boosted his status as a viable NFL draft candidate.
Perry ran for 304 yards on 29 carries with two touchdowns. He could be a huge addition to an NFL team on special teams or as a running back. He has the type of athleticism a team can utilize.
2. Navy defensive coordinator Brian Newberry will be a candidate to land a head coaching job.
After allowing a touchdown on the Army’s first drive of the game, Navy shut down the Black Knights the rest of the way. It was a remarkable performance. Navy hired Newberry from Kennesaw State last offseason.
3. Navy still has one more game in the Liberty Bowl Dec. 31.
The state of Tennessee is a prime recruiting area for the Midshipmen. As a result, Navy will go into that contest against Kansas State (8-4) with a sense of urgency. It should be a fun match. Kansas State junior quarterback Skylar Thompson is the fourth player in school history to record 4,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a career.
4. Rumors are already swirling around Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo, who has been mentioned in connection with some open jobs.
Niumatalolo has gotten coaching overtures in the past and has stayed loyal to the Navy. Don’t expect anything different this time around.
5. Navy will have to find a player to replace Perry next season.
Freshman Perry Olsen has impressed coaches on the scout team and could be a candidate to take over the top job. The triple-option offense requires a certain skill level, but it’s hard for defenses to contain when run effectively. Look for Olsen, who ran the triple option at Yukon High in Oklahoma, to take advantage of the opportunity.
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