Navy Football: Midshipmen have high expectations in 2018

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(Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

2018 Navy Schedule

19/1/2018Navy@ Hawai’i
29/8/2018Navyvs Memphis
39/15/2018Navyvs Lehigh
49/22/2018Navy@ SMU
59/29/2018 BYE
610/6/2018Navy@ Air Force
710/13/2018Navyvs Temple
810/20/2018Navyvs Houston
910/27/2018Navyvs Notre Dame
1011/3/2018Navy@ Cincinnati
1111/10/2018Navy@ UCF
1211/17/2018Navyvs Tulsa
1311/24/2018Navy@ Tulane
1412/1/2018 BYE
1512/8/2018Navyvs Army
Trip to Hawaii

Navy opens the year with a long trip to Hawaii. Coach Niumatalolo, a native of Hawaii, has a record of 1-1 against his alma mater. However, Niumatalolo has admitted that travelling from Annapolis to Hawaii can be quite difficult. In addition to the extensive trip for the players, the reformation of the Brigade of Midshipman from summer training and start of academic classes, can be overwhelming. The opener in Hawaii will be a challenge to start the season, but Navy should come out with a win.

Following the island trip, Navy hosts Memphis and Lehigh. While Memphis is a competitive conference opponent, Navy plays extremely well at home. Navy should win both games at home.

The team then travels to Dallas to face a struggling SMU team. At this point in the season, the Midshipman should be finding their rhythm offensively. This will also be around the time when Malcolm Perry will be receiving national attention for his dominance in the first three games. Navy should finish up the fourth week of the season with a record of 4-0.

A Tough Stretch

Navy gets a bye week after Week 4. This will be a good week for the players to heal any nagging injuries before the toughest stretch of games of the season. The team then heads to Air Force, where they have lost the last two games played in Colorado Springs. Following the trip to their fellow service academy, Navy hosts Temple and Houston. Both teams have the potential to knock Navy off at home. These games will play a big factor in who makes the AAC Championship game. Navy will likely drop one of these three games, bringing them to a record of 6-1.

Back to the West Coast

The Midshipmen will head to San Diego as a neutral location against Notre Dame. Two years ago Navy upset Notre Dame in Jacksonville, Florida. This win was the fourth win in 44 years against the Irish. Navy will win their fifth win in 46 years this season in San Diego.

Year in and year out, Navy plays Notre Dame very well. The late October game will be warm. And the greater temperature difference between San Diego and South Bend compared to San Diego and Annapolis, in addition to the massive Navy presence in San Diego, will give the Midshipman the environmental advantage needed to beat Notre Dame.

Look for Navy to drop a game at Cincinnati coming off the emotional win against Notre Dame. The team will regain steam beating UCF in Orlando. This win, versus self-proclaimed 2017 National Champions, will give them the momentum to win the last two games against Tulsa and Tulane. Finishing up the regular season(minus the Army game) with a record of 10-2. This should be enough for the Midshipman to win the western side of the conference.

A Strong Finish

After winning the AAC championship game, Navy will head up to Philadelphia to face an Army team who has won the past two meetings. Records and game plans mean very little in this annual match-up. All that matters is the “will to win”…and maybe some luck here or there. Navy will rely on its dominant defensive line to stop their rival’s triple option and take back the commander-in-chief trophy from Army Black Knights of West Point.

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