Some Navy vs. East Carolina Thoughts . . . .



I've been reading a lot of posts in support of an East Carolina "dog" play at +10.5. I've been reading a lot of good things about Navy's team for 2006 since Spring Camp. They bring back a bunch of experienced players from last season, but they have been flying under the radar this year mostly due to their starting QB graduating last season. I know East Carolina brings back a decent team this season and that they were "ATS Darlings" last year, but I'm not sure their "rush defense" can hold Navy's powerful option game.

Here's an article that reflects Navy's recent scrimmage. The defense does not concern me because I think they will get it together with 9 starters returning on that side of the ball. The good news here is that the offense is primed to shine again -- even with a new QB, or QBs! If the line can get down below -10, I like Navy here.

The Washington Timeswww.washingtontimes.comNavy offense runs well in scrimmage

By Corey Masisak
Published August 13, 2006

ANNAPOLIS -- Both the first- and second-team offenses were turnover-free and moved the ball with efficiency during Navy's first preseason scrimmage at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium yesterday.
The quarterbacks made good decisions, while the ball carriers made defenders miss and had room to roam thanks to effective blocking up front. It was enough to make coach Paul Johnson sound almost, well, happy.
"I thought they did some good things. I think it was a real positive," Johnson said. "I don't think the first- or second-team offense had the ball out [on the ground], knock on wood. That's a positive from one side anyway."
The man in charge of the other side wasn't nearly as pleased. Defensive coordinator Buddy Green watched the offense move the ball with a mixture of long drives and big plays, and teetered between stewing on the sideline and venting his anger at players.
"I didn't think we played very well at all," Green said. "There were stupid mistakes like being offsides on a possession down, a pass interference on a big play and too many bad angles and missed tackles. We let the quarterbacks scramble and get some big yardage. From the defensive side, I thought it was very poor."
Starting quarterback Brian Hampton led all rushers with 71 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown. He shrugged off a couple of early erratic throws to finish six of nine for 76 yards passing and another touchdown, a 23-yarder to Jason Tomlinson.
There are three players behind Hampton, a senior, vying for the backup job, and all performed well yesterday. Sophomore Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada rushed for 46 yards, including a nifty 17-yard scramble for a score. Junior Troy Goss rushed for 45 yards and sophomore Jarrod Bryant racked up 61 yards and a score. Bryant completed only one of seven passes, but four were dropped by inexperienced wideouts.
Bryant's 23-yard completion to sophomore Curtis Sharp was a highlight-reel grab. Sharp, listed at 6-foot-4 and 237 pounds, leapt high in the air to corral the ball and managed to get a foot down in bounds near the sideline. Sharp, among a group of wideouts competing to play opposite Tomlinson, a senior who led all receivers with three catches for 46 yards.
"Curtis has really been stepping up and doing well this year," Tomlinson said. "Even in the spring, he was doing a lot better with catching the ball better and he is pretty good at blocking."
Slotback Reggie Campbell touched the ball only four times, but each time he wowed the several hundred fans in attendance with his explosive and elusive maneuvers. He racked up 53 yards on three option pitches and turned a short pass into a 10-yard gain.
He also was part of the biggest hit of the day. Campbell, listed at 5-foot-6 and 165 pounds, found an opening down the right seam but missed a pass from Hampton and then was drilled by maybe the only other guy on the roster who stands at his eye level -- 5-foot-7 safety Ketric Buffin.
Campbell needed a minute to catch his breath after the 165-pound Buffin cemented his growing reputation as a big hitter despite his diminutive size.
"That is what everybody says to me," Buffin said. " 'You hit so hard, how can you be so small?' I think [hitting] is an attitude."
Haven't really looked at this game.

Obviously the first thought(s) about the game was this for me:

1. Navy running against ECU
2. ECU ats magic at times from last year.

Good read bro
I was looking at this one as well. Holtz will do a good job at ECU but not many jobs are secure. This team will be tough to read early on.

Here's a look at their scrimmage.

Scrimmage opens door for changes
August 13,2006

SUN JOURNAL STAFF ECU coaches say Saturday’s intrasquad game was revealing
GREENVILLE — It may have just been a scrimmage, but East Carolina’s first intrasquad contest on Saturday was quite revealing.
After going through about 125 plays, Pirates head coach Skip Holtz already is beginning to trim down the list of players at each position as he decides who deserves to get on the field.
And few positions are secure.
Junior running back Chris Johnson, who led the Pirates in rushing with 684 yards last season, was complimented by both Holtz and offense coordinator Steve Shankweiler, yet both noted the standout play of sophomore Dominque Lindsay and senior Brandon Fractious.
“I think competition brings out the best in everybody, especially when the two behind you are good enough to take your job,” Holtz said.
Holtz credited the guys in the backfield for making smart, quick moves to get open.
“I thought the running backs did a really good job of pushing it north and south, getting us four or five yards, instead of always looking for that home run ball, where they’re bouncing sideways,” Holtz said.
It wasn’t all smiles, though.
Penalties were a major concern, with most of them coming at the hands of the second and third-team players.
Johnson had a 30-yard run called back, for example, which could decimate an offensive drive if it happens in the regular season. Shankweiler said he used the penalties as an opportunity to show the younger players the effects those mistakes have on a team.
Holtz credited the team for making tough tackles and showing an understanding of the offense, but was quick to point out that that doesn’t equal success.
“Now, we’ve still got to learn how to win,” Holtz said. “We had way too many penalties today. We missed too many tackles on defense.”
Senior fullback Patrick Dosh said the offensive line communicated well, while James Pinkney did a good job of remaining in the pocket until he had to release the ball. After the scrimmage, Dosh said that the defense may have had a slight advantage.
“It seems like … in the first couple scrimmages the defense is usually a little bit ahead of the offense because it takes a little bit longer to install things,” he said.
Today, the Pirates have their first day off from practice since the preseason began on Aug. 4, although they will view film and have a weight training session.
As next week’s practice begins, Holtz said he’ll begin dwindling down the players as the team prepares for its Sept. 2 season-opener at Navy.
*Rung by Bell
Dosh sported a sizeable bump on his bottom lip — but it wasn’t from the scrimmage. Sophomore linebacker Pierre Bell, a West Craven graduate, delivered the blow during Friday’s practice.
“We were going, like, three-quarter speed and he just pops me,” Dosh said. “I’m like, ‘Come on, Pierre, it’s got to be like that?’ But, it’s good for me. It’ll heal up. I’ll be all right.”
watched the Navy vs. Air Force game from last year...Navy is just an damn efficient team on offense and they defend the pass especially well too...I could see them up 14 in the fourth and intercepting ECU to cover...won't be betting it as I think it will be right around the number...
Navy is a damn good football team and will improve from last season... I think this is a weak line and they can really handle ECU. If you can get this at 10 or less you have to hit it. You have a solid team, tons of returning starters in a proven and effective system. Work ethic and getting out to a slow start will not be issues here with Navy. I've heard good things about their practices all summer. I will probably put a unit or two on this play.
Remember this as well guys, one of the most important positions in defending against the "option game" is the linebacker spot. ECU utilizes 3 LBs in their scheme, but they bring back NO experienced players to these positions! All starters will be JUCO transfers or back-ups from last season. ECU's front defensive 4 are experienced and will be decent, but linebackers are key here.

On the other side of the ball, Navy returns all but one starter on their offensive line this year.

This is the first ever meeting between these two schools and the only other recent option team that I can see ECU has played against is Rice -- and we all know that there is a major difference between the success of Rice's former option game and Navy's.

Nice thread here guys. From what I understand from a friend in Greenville, Holtz is really doing a nice job down there changing the entire attitude associated with the program and getting some better players in. Navy really does a great job with the option though and are an extremely disciplined football team. I'd have to think this will be a tough game for ECU to prepare for especially without experienced LB's as Denny mentioned.
Timh said:
Nice thread here guys. From what I understand from a friend in Greenville, Holtz is really doing a nice job down there changing the entire attitude associated with the program and getting some better players in. Navy really does a great job with the option though and are an extremely disciplined football team. I'd have to think this will be a tough game for ECU to prepare for especially without experienced LB's as Denny mentioned.

Timh, I'll be expecting an assessment of your Maryland team soon. I'm sure you've been keeping up with them between your fishing adventures.
Den - will do, in fact I wrote one up for some other people that had asked and I'll post it over here as well and add to it as the preseason progresses.
Timh said:
Den - will do, in fact I wrote one up for some other people that had asked and I'll post it over here as well and add to it as the preseason progresses.

Navy Notebook

Mids QBs may be branching out

By Gary Lambrecht
Sun reporter

August 15, 2006

Navy football coach Paul Johnson looks at his quarterbacks and sees all kinds of possibilities.

Barring injury, senior Brian Hampton looks like a lock to line up behind center in the season opener Sept. 2 against visiting East Carolina. Hampton did nothing to change that likelihood in Saturday's first intrasquad scrimmage. Against the first-team defense, he rushed for a team-high 71 yards and a touchdown and completed six of nine pass attempts for 76 yards.

As for the rest of the quarterbacks, things could get interesting, since junior quarterback Troy Goss and sophomores Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada and Jarrod Bryant are good athletes with a solid grasp of the spread triple-option offense. In light of that, the threesome is getting work at other skill positions.

Goss and Kaheaku-Enhada are spending time at wide receiver, while Bryant is getting some repetitions at slotback.

Playing multiple positions is nothing new at Navy, where Hampton began as a slotback and a kick return man. But the trio of backups is so close in ability that Johnson lumped them together as a collective No. 2 quarterback on yesterday's depth chart. Goss, the most experienced, opened camp as the top backup.

"We've had a hard time separating the quarterbacks," Johnson said. "You'd like to have [a bigger] difference between them. We'll just roll those guys around, because I think they're good athletes and we want to try to get them on the field. They all bring something to the table."

Saturday, each quarterback led the offense on at least one 70-yard drive for a touchdown.

Singleton steps up
On the strength of a strong first 10 days of camp and a fine scrimmage, junior slotback Zerbin Singleton has moved ahead of senior Trey Hines and is now listed as the starter opposite junior Reggie Campbell.

Singleton, 5 feet 8, 164 pounds, who transferred from Georgia Tech in 2004, scored on a 35-yard run off an option pitch and caught a 23-yard pass Saturday.

"[Singleton] has really played hard and busted his tail. He's earned it," Johnson said.

After sitting out the 2004 season, Singleton played mainly on special teams last year.

Making big impact
When junior cornerback Greg Thrasher, who started 10 games last year, decided to sit out 2006 to concentrate on academics, it opened up a game of musical chairs in the defensive backfield and created a spot that sophomore Ketric Buffin appears poised to grab.

Senior defensive backs Jeremy McGown and Keenan Little are settling on the corners, and were pretty much guaranteed starters as camp opened. Senior safety DuJuan Price has rejoined contact drills in practice after nursing a sore quadriceps last week.

In the meantime, Buffin is securing a spot as the Midshipmen's starting rover. Buffin, 5-7, 164, has been physical throughout camp. On Saturday, he helped cause an incomplete pass by leveling Campbell, who needed a minute to catch his breath while lying on the field.

"Every game we go into, we're smaller than everybody else," Buffin said. "We all have that chip on our shoulder. I've just got a bigger one because I'm so small."

Hall on way back
Junior Adam Ballard has established himself as the No. 1 fullback, but his best competition is returning to the practice field. Senior Matt Hall, who has missed the past week of practice with a hamstring problem, is expected to rejoin the Mids today.
Ballard rumbles up depth chart

By Corey Masisak
Published August 20, 2006
Adam Ballard appeared ready for the start of the season yesterday when he took a handoff during Navy's second scrimmage and ripped off about a 10-yard run, finishing it with a punishing collision that a defensive back clearly took the worst of.
The hit drew a mixture of cheers and gasps from the small crowd at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, but coach Paul Johnson wasn't satisfied. He walked over to Ballard and told the junior fullback to make a cut and score a touchdown the next time.
"[Johnson] expects a lot out of me and I can't fault him for that," Ballard said. "I expect a lot out of myself as well. I guess I'll make that guy miss next time."
So Ballard went and did as instructed. Moments later, he took a handoff and rumbled 13 yards, bullying his way through some arm tackles near the goal line.
He finished the day with 100 yards on 14 carries, and while senior Matt Hall is still sidelined by a hamstring injury, Ballard has entrenched himself as the No. 1 fullback.
"Man, the offensive line did a great job today," Ballard said. "They were playing so well, it didn't matter who was playing fullback today. They made my job really easy."
The first-team offense scored on three of its first six possessions, but penalties on both sides of the ball and fumbles by the second- and third-teamers made the day a bit sloppier than last week.
Senior quarterback Brian Hampton finished with 97 yards on 16 carries and completed five of 10 passes for 63 yards. He hit sophomore Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada in stride for what would have been an easy 70-yard score, but the part-time quarterback/wideout dropped it.
When the first-team offense went out for a seventh drive, Hampton tried to air it out again, this time for senior Jason Tomlinson, but the ball was well underthrown and fellow senior Jeremy McGown picked it off.
"I thought Jeremy played well at corner," defensive coordinator Buddy Green said. "He's valuable. We need four of him. We need all four people back there playing like him."
Hampton's time to shine

By Corey Masisak
Published August 20, 2006
Brian Hampton did not spend a lot of time in one place when he was growing up.
His father, Charles, spent 22 years in the Air Force, and the family moved around a lot. From Wyoming to Guam, Hawaii to Los Angeles and Ohio to finally Illinois, Hampton spent all but the final two years of high school living on various Air Force bases.
"It was an experience for him," Charles Hampton said. "It gave him the opportunity to meet a lot of people and experience a lot of different cultures. A negative part was that we weren't always near other family members. I think it was an advantage for him, though, because I think he relates well and communicates well with people."
Said Hampton: "I was your typical little Air Force brat."
Once he made the decision to continue his college football career at Navy, change remained a constant. Recruited to play quarterback, he shifted to slot back during his freshman season. He earned playing time by returning kicks.
Now Hampton enters his final season at the academy, with one more metamorphosis to complete. Hampton is settling in as the starting quarterback and point man for the Midshipmen's triple option attack.
"I've been looking forward to this for a long time. I've always wanted to lead the team out onto the field," Hampton said. "Coming off last season, I was thinking, 'This is my turn. It is my opportunity to lead this team in the direction I want them to go.' "
Coach Paul Johnson's offenses have lit up the scoreboard since he revived the floundering program. This team boasts as impressive an arsenal of talented skill players as Johnson has had in the past four seasons. How this potentially high-octane offense succeeds or fails rests not only with Hampton's strong arm or equally stout legs, but maybe most importantly with his mind.
Decision-making, first and foremost by the quarterback, is the key for the Mids. If Hampton makes the correct reads and the ball is placed in the right hands, there could be an offensive juggernaut in Annapolis this fall, one that could challenge the program's modern record for points (410), set last season. If not, the offense could struggle.
"He is still making some of the same mistakes. It is not where I hoped it would be, but we've got a lot work left," quarterbacks coach Ivin Jasper said early in preseason camp. "He has earned his chance to do it, and the way I see it, it is my job to get him ready."
Hampton can easily throw the ball as far as, or farther than, any of his three predecessors -- Craig Candeto, Aaron Polanco and Lamar Owens. Whether he can be as accurate as Polanco remains to be seen.
His physique is more sculpted than the aforementioned three. Hampton bench presses in excess of 300 pounds and, combined with his powerful legs, makes him a tough to bring down. Jasper compared his running style not to any of the recent quarterbacks, but record-setting Chris McCoy, who piloted the offense in the mid-1990s.
During a hurry-up offense drill last week, Hampton's flashes of brilliance and futility came just moments apart. On one drive, Hampton connected on a couple of passes and marched the offense down the field. The highlight was when he took off into the middle of the defense, easily juking past two defenders and running right through an attempted tackle by inside linebacker Rob Caldwell.
The next drive did not go as well. Hampton earned a profanity-laced earful from Johnson after taking a sack on third down, and then held the ball too long again on fourth down and his pass was batted down.
"When you take a sack in a one-minute drill, you aren't exactly being a rocket scientist," Johnson said afterward.
Hampton and the first-team offense moved the ball with efficiency and without turnovers during the first scrimmage of the fall Aug. 12. The unit also played well in the team's second scrimmage yesterday.
Johnson has been pleased with Hampton's progress more often than not. He's also not ready to draw any comparisons to Candeto, Polanco or Owens.
"I thought Brian did OK," Johnson said. "He made a really bad throw on his interception and he missed a check or two, but he's getting there. He also made some really good throws too.
"I don't know how you can compare [Hampton to the previous quarterbacks]. Let's let him play a few games before you compare him to guys that have played. He hasn't been a starter and played one whole game yet, so I am not ready to compare him to guys that led their teams to bowl games. That is not fair to him."
Hampton has more game experience at quarterback than Owens did before he took the job full-time last season. Because Owens struggled with hand cramps early in the season, Hampton took snaps in meaningful situations, not just in mop-up duty.
He ran for 160 yards and two scores, while completing six of 19 passes for 99 yards, including a touchdown pass against Notre Dame. Ten of those attempts came against Stanford with Navy behind and forced to throw on nearly every play.
"It helped me a lot to get some experience," Hampton said. "The first game I was telling everybody it was an eye-opening experience. Don't get me wrong, my mind wasn't somewhere else, but I was shell-shocked. I was praying to God that the camera wasn't looking at my eyes.
"It all comes down to decision making. I have the tools to go ahead and do what we need to do out here on offense, but I just need to make better decisions and the offense will succeed."
Pirates linebackers battle inexperience
Stopping the run goal for ECU trio

Jaymes Powell Jr., Staff Writer
GREENVILLE - Over the past two seasons, East Carolina's run defense has surrendered nearly three miles of rushing yardage.
And while the entire defense shared the blame of allowing 200-plus-yard rushing performances 13 times during that span, it was ECU's veteran linebackers who often caved in.
This season, ECU will have three new starters at linebacker. While the potential downside is obvious, the Pirates hope their dramatic inexperience at the position will provide youthful energy and aggression for a unit with a recent history of collapsing.
"We've got some good, physical and very athletic young players," ECU linebackers coach Thomas Roggeman said. "We're trying to get them battle-tested before the season starts."
Last season's starting linebackers, Chris Moore, Richard Koonce and Josh Chilsom, were all seniors. Replacing them likely will be a junior college transfer, a sophomore and a redshirt freshman who is a converted defensive back.
"We have the talent and athletic ability to do it," said sophomore Pierre Bell, who played in all 11 games for the Pirates last season and started the final two games. "All we have to do is learn the scheme and everything will take care of itself."
Bell and redshirt freshman Jeremy Chambliss, who played strong safety in high school, are projected to start outside. Fred Wilson, who transferred from Georgia Military Academy, will open at middle linebacker. True freshman Lorenzo Osborne figures to get significant playing time.
The lack of experience -- Moore started for four years and Koonce for three -- concerns ECU's coaches. But the Pirates hope with enough work during preseason practice, the young unit can thrive in what ECU expects to be an improved defense.
While ECU (5-6 last season) was picked to finish last in a Conference USA coaches poll, the Pirates feature several potential star players, including receiver Aundrae Allison, quarterback James Pinkney, defensive end Marcus Hands and cornerbacks Travis Williams and Kasey Ross.
That leaves the linebacker corps as the largest question mark.
"You've got one linebacker who has played," coach Skip Holtz said. "We've got a lot of guys who have never played football before. We need to get them as much experience as we can."
Roggeman said the key is getting the youngsters familiarized with offensive concepts.
"With young guys, you have to throw a lot of reps at them in camp. They've got to see these blocking schemes over and over again," Roggeman said. "We're just going to keep reinforcing it."
That repetition could be beneficial for the Pirates, who allowed a combined 4,960 rushing yards in the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
Bell, however, said the fear of being the weakest links can be a good thing.
"We can take that, run with it and use it as motivation," Bell said. "We can be better than the linebackers who were here last year and stop the run."
Chambliss said there is a slight fear factor involved, but nothing a little aggression and old-fashioned linebacker fury can't cure. "There is a little pressure on us," said Chambliss, who added that he played the run well in high school. "We have to go out and play and make a difference in the game. Go out there, hit open doors hard and just be ready. A lot of teams are going to want to run the ball on us. We have to stop them."
Well, you on them or what?

I got them at -12 and Vanzack has 'em at -11.5.

I love Navy. They do the things that you need to do to have a great ATS record. Control the lines, run the shit out of the ball, and control TOP.
rjurewitz said:
Well, you on them or what?

I got them at -12 and Vanzack has 'em at -11.5.

I love Navy. They do the things that you need to do to have a great ATS record. Control the lines, run the shit out of the ball, and control TOP.

YES! At -11.5! I have it posted in my finalized thread. :cheers: