Opponent Watch: 2019 Navy

They’ll be breaking in a new DC next year. Pehrson’s son is currently employed at UH and is helping with Recruiting.

“No Coach has had more impact on Navy football than Dale Pehrson,” said Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo. “In his 23 years here, he has coached thousands of young men, recruited hundreds, beaten Army 16 times, 15 Bowl games, won 10 CIC’s, beaten Notre Dame 4 times, and won 11 games in a single season - most in school history. As great of a coach as Dale is, he is even a better person. I wish Dale and Marty the best of luck as they enter the next chapter in their lives!”

Niumatalolo very publicly addressed the defensive deficiencies during the offseason by overhauling the coaching staff on that side of the ball. Navy has five new defensive assistants, including coordinator Brian Newberry.

Navy will begin to address its offensive issues when spring practice begins on Monday. Niumatalolo revealed during an interview with The Capital last week that Malcolm Perry is returning to quarterback and the coaching staff will tailor the offense to suit his skill set.

“I think some of the things I’ve cried wolf about before have kind of fallen on deaf ears. It’s not falling on deaf ears anymore,” Niumatalolo said. “I’ve been way more vocal this offseason because the truth has got to come out. Our league is getting better and better – so the gap is definitely widening.”

Niumatalolo engaged in several spirited meetings with long-time athletic director Chet Gladchuk regarding the future of Navy football. There was healthy debate about what improvements are absolutely necessary, but the coach was pleased with the progress.

“Chet and I had some long, hard discussions about this during the offseason,” Niumatalolo said. “I think everybody recognizes that coaching, playing and recruiting have got to be better, but support from the athletic director and administration – the superintendent and commandant – is also needed in order to compete at this level.”

Funny, I didn’t see any mention of how to play dirty and get away with it.

4 Likes

Niumatalolo should know not to have such high expectations of Chet. Chet will probably organize an alum volunteer facility improvement project.

I would guess he wants additional latitude on recruiting and relaxed expectations for players on campus so they can spend more time on FB.

1 Like

Relaxed recruiting? Sorry, No. You are going to the Naval Academy to become a naval or marine officer first, not a football player. The taxpayers are paying for your scholarship. If you can excel at athletics while at one of our military academies, that’s great.

As the fine young men and women have decided they want to serve our country, I am grateful. I expect them to act with honor and integrity. Regrettably, I have not seen that carried though under Coach Niumatalolo.

3 Likes

If he expects the commandant to relax the requirements for the academy, he is in for a big disappointment. The kids know what they are in for when they sign up; if they don’t they soon find out. I want and expect our military academies to be just that – institutions dedicated to the education and development of officers to serve our nation. They have always been bastions of academic excellence and high standards of conduct. I think every cadet or midshipman to adhere to the same standards as every other member.

Navy Midshipmen

Head coach : Ken Niumatalolo (87-58, 13th year)

2018 record and S&P+ ranking : 3-10 (101st)

Projected 2019 record and S&P+ ranking : 4-8 (118th)

Five key points :

1. Niumatalolo’s success almost cost Navy, because the status quo was pretty good. It isn’t anymore. Navy is reinvesting following a 3-10 collapse.
2. While the infrastructure is rebuilt, Niumatalolo is counting on a coordinator change to bring life back to a defense that both bent and broke last fall.
3. There’s potentially an exciting young secondary in place, but the pass defense might improve just in time for the run defense to regress with new DEs and ILBs.
4. Offensive improvement depends on QB improvement. Malcolm Perry is explosive but inconsistent. The slotbacks need to be more involved, too.
5. The schedule is rugged, as usual. S&P+ projections tend to underestimate service academies, but Navy is a double-digit underdog in eight games. It’ll be tough finding six wins.

Outlook: Niumatalolo didn’t shy away from taking responsibility for last season’s decline, telling the Capital Gazette, “It all starts with me. I’ve got to coach better and I’ve got to find a way to get our team to play better.” The defensive coordinator change could help the Midshipmen get back on track after they allowed more than 33 points per game last season for the first time since 2007.

2019 Schedule

Aug. 31 Holy Cross

Sept. 14 East Carolina

Sept. 26 at Memphis

Oct. 5 Air Force

Oct. 12 at Tulsa

Oct. 19 USF

Oct. 26 Tulane

Nov. 1 at UConn

Nov. 16 at Notre Dame

Nov. 23 SMU

Nov. 30 at Houston

Dec. 14 vs. Army

There’s also the factor of Navy’s move to the American Athletic Conference four years ago. Playing in a conference means opponents can get familiar with the offense. Navy’s triple-option isn’t new to conference rivals. Niumatalolo pointed to Johnson’s up-and-downs coaching Georgia Tech and believes it’s cyclical.

“I can tell people are working on us in the offseason,” Niumatalolo said. “You can tell they have a package for us. In years past, they maybe started in camp. More last year, we weren’t as good. That’s just the truth. Teams were better last year. At one point, five of our opponents had like one loss. You can tell they prepare. Some of it, we had to adjust on the run. They’d line up totally different. We’ll have a better idea. There were four or five games where you throw out the game plan because they lined up totally different than we thought.”

JoeTalk preview of Navy from Underdog Dynasty pawdcast

1 Like
2 Likes

57 ???..Geez. This sounds like Texas back in the day…