TIME: 1:30 PM (EST)
DATE: December 28th, 2017
LOCATION: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium | Annapolis, Md.
WHERE TO WATCH: ESPN
by Paul Wiley
How the heck is one supposed to take shots at Navy? What's the angle here?
"MY PARENTS WOULD'VE BEEN PROUD IF I WENT TO YOUR SCHOOL TOO!"
"ANNAPOLIS IS GORGEOUS, THANK YOU FOR HAVING US!"
"WE RECOGNIZE AND APPRECIATE YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY!"
Maybe that's why so much has been written—here on STL and elsewhere—about the strong connections and mutual respect between the two programs that square off on Thursday. Navy has built its identity on the gridiron for more than a decade, first under now-Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson and more recently with Ken Niumatalolo. Virginia has begun to rebuild an identity with Coach Mendenhall and his crew. Those identities will be tested under the chilly lights of Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
WE LIKE STATS.
Provided by Danny Neckel
The Good For UVA
|Passing Defense||15th (179.6)||Passing Offense||128th (83.8)|
|Turnovers Lost||41st (16)||Turnovers Gained||109th (13)|
|3rd Down Offense||68th (39.8%)||3rd Down Defense||101st (43.5%)|
The Not So Good For UVA
|Team Sacks||50th (2.5)||Sacks Allowed||6th (1)|
|Rushing Defense||81st (178.3)||Rushing Offense||2nd (343)|
|Rushing Offense||125th (98.8)||Rushing Defense||65th (164.9)|
Kurt Benkert - QB
This is Kurt Benkert’s last game in a Virginia jersey. After being the first player in UVA history to throw for over 3,000 yards in a season, fans will be left wondering what a couple more seasons with him would look like. The Military Bowl will be Benkert’s last opportunity to cement his Virginia legacy and impress NFL teams.
Micah Kiser - ILB
Micah Kiser has been an absolute beast for the Hoos this year. He’s an All-ACC first-teamer and currently leads the ACC in tackles this season with 134 tackles. Over his career, Kiser has 400 tackles and 19 sacks. He also recently won the Campbell Trophy, which is touted as the academic Heisman. Kiser will undoubtedly be drafted into the NFL and, maybe, in the first round.
Quin Blanding - S
Along with Micah Kiser, Quin Blanding is most certainly going to be picked up on Draft Day. The fourth-year currently sits on 479 tackles, which shattered Jamie Sharper’s record of 435 tackles, which stood for 21 years. The All-ACC first teamer also has four interceptions and one pick-six on the season. Blanding has been as consistent as they come and will have the opportunity to build even more on his legacy against Navy.
Zach Abey - QB
Junior Zach Abey is the star of Head Coach Ken Niumatalolo’s triple-option offense. The majority of Abey’s work is done on the ground and he serves as the Midshipmens’ best rusher with 1385 yards on 280 carries. His passing has been limited and Abey has only completed 31 passes for 805 yards on the year. The Hoos have seen their fair share of running quarterbacks this year and containing Abey’s rushing ability will be key factor to watch during the game.
Malcolm Perry - RB
Navy ranks 2nd in the nation in rushing offense. Malcolm Perry and Zach Abbey are two of the major players behind this. Perry, a sophomore, has 1068 rushing yards on 122 carries and nine touchdowns. He has been a workhorse for the Midshipmen and in their snowy game against Army, he rushed for 250 yards on 30 carries. Against SMU in November, he rushed for 282 yards on 33 carries. Look to hear his name early and often.
Micah Thomas - LB
Navy’s offense is anchored by their rushing and that has kept them bowl eligible this year. The Midshipmens’ defense, however, has been more unsteady and unreliable. Senior Micah Thomas has been one of the cornerstones for the team this year and leads Navy’s defense with 81 tackles along with three interceptions.
More ridiculous bowl game name?
This poll is closed
Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl
AROUND THE INTERWEB.
Thank you for everything you have done for me! This doesn’t make up for any of it. Love you both so much. Our home is finally all YOURS. Merry Christmas! pic.twitter.com/h9wog2HfHv— Pavin Smith (@PavinSmith) December 25, 2017
Virginia vs. Navy | October 10th, 1935 | UVA 7-26 Navy