The pandemic caused the Navy Midshipmen to face obstacles last year, like many other programs in college sports, but now the football team is ready to get back to its winning ways.
Because of vacancies at defensive tackle during last year’s summer workouts, the Navy defense allowed 55 points to BYU in Week One, and head coach Ken Niumatalolo didn’t have his option offense in order, the team’s website reports. Last year, the offense tallied just 13 points over the last three games.
But the Midshipmen are better prepared this summer.
“I just knew we had to get back to do what we do. That’s all I was concerned about,” Niumatalolo said at the team’s Media Day earlier this month. “Last year, we couldn’t do any of this stuff and we’re doing it now.”
Success for the Navy program starts at the quarterback position, and they will need solid play from sophomores Xavier Arline and Tai Lavatai to begin the month atop the depth chart, with junior Maasai Maynor also a contender, the outlet reports.
Niumatalolo said he wants strength in numbers this fall.
“I think of the year of Will [Wort]. Will came in played awesome — we thought we had Tago [Smith] and Tago got hurt in the first game and Will wins nine games before getting hurt in the conference championship game,” Niumatalolo said. “With what we do on offense, you need more than one quarterback.”
Navy and Marshall meet on the gridiron for the first time when they square off on CBS Sports Network on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Niumatalolo plans to wait until the first offensive series against the Marshall Thundering Herd to unveil his starter for the season opener.