If you were worried about this Navy football team coming into this season, you were not alone. With that said, the first two games of the year have given Navy fans all over the world a lot to be excited about.
East Carolina started the game with the ball, but the new Navy defense made quick work of the Pirate attack and forced a three-and-out, which would prove to be a trend throughout the course of the afternoon. The ensuing punt yielded merely 22 yards for East Carolina and gave the Midshipmen fantastic field position. Six plays later, Malcolm Perry easily kept the ball on an 18 yard run to the end zone putting the Mids up, 7-0.
The next pair of series were eerily similar as the Pirates attempted four plays before being forced to punt once again. Another short punt gave Navy very favorable field position and, eight plays later, Malcolm Perry slipped multiple defenders and dove for the pylon on an 11 yard scamper, giving the Midshipmen an early, 14-0 lead.
Navy’s defense, once again, demonstrated the new attitude that has fans everywhere excited about the future; forcing the third Pirate punt of the quarter after just six more plays. The duo of Perry and Nelson Smith were in full force on this series as they combined for more than 40 rushing yards. This dominance opened up the opportunity for Perry to drop a dime to a wide open, CJ Williams, who was streaking down the field for another score.
The Pirates would put together one of their strongest drives of the afternoon going 69 yards, over 11 plays, that should have ended in a touchdown. However, the score was negated by a penalty, forcing ECU to settle for a field goal. Failing to score a touchdown would prove problematic as the ECU defense continued to fail to slow the triple-option machine. Navy went into halftime leading, 28-3, after another Perry touchdown.
Navy received the kickoff to start the second half and preceded to build a 7-minute, 14 play, 75-yard drive that was capped off with Malcolm Perry’s 4th rushing touchdown of the day.
The following Navy drive resulted in an 80-yard touchdown toss to CJ Williams. That was the longest Navy passing touchdown since 2010, when Ricky Dobbs hit Greg Jones for an 85-yard pass. It would also cap-off Perry’s day with 156 yards on the ground and four touchdowns, with another 151 yard through the air and another two touchdowns.
Following Malcolm Perry’s exit, we got to see Perry Olsen in game action. Olsen showed off his strength when he lowered his shoulder on his first carry and allowed a linebacker to bounce off his massive frame. Olsen demonstrated a basic level of competence running the offense and was more of a bruiser than the slippery Perry. Olsen appears to have solidified his spot as Malcolm’s backup.
The remainder of the game was rather uneventful other than pointing out the defensive effort. The final score was 42-10, and the Navy defense allowed just 222 total yards of offense to the Pirates. The Midshipmen defense also forced two turnovers on the final Pirate possessions including a fumble recovery by Austin Talbert-Loving and this interception by Kevin Brennan:
Both the offense and the defense are hitting on all cylinders right now and it could not come at a better time. The Mids will face their toughest test to date when they travel to The Volunteer State to face the Tigers of Memphis. The Tigers look good so far and are sitting at 3-0, including a win over SEC foe Ole Miss.