Not only that, but quarterback/future Presidential candidate Ricky Dobbs was the recipient of a groundswell of media- and fan-driven support that had the senior — at the very least — on the fringe of the preseason Heisman discussion.
60 minutes into a 12-game regular-season slate, both of those lofty goals have been blow all to hell. Blowed up — thanks Emmitt — by a school coming off a two-win season and with a coach who was/is counting down the days until he’s canned.
Navy rolled up an impressive 412 yards rushing in their season-opening game against Maryland. And lost 17-14. And the statistical carnage was everywhere.
Navy had seven trips deep inside the red zone, and scored just 14 points. Dobbs struggled mightily throughout the entire game, very rarely flashing the form that electrified hardcore college fans in 2009; the now-former Heisman candidate was held to a less-than-pedestrian average of 2.2 yards on his 29 carries.
On the flip side, Maryland attempted just six passes, completing three for 16 yards; had just 11 first downs to Navy’s 26; were outgained 485-271; converted just 1-of-5 third downs; and lost the time of possession battle 39:26-20:34. And won.
Watching the game and seeing the result, it was a struggle to figure out what was bigger: the win Ralph Friedgen desperately needed as he attempts to hold on to his Terps job, or the inexplicable loss the Midshipmen suffered.
We’ll go with the latter as, even as we applaud the Terps’ effort, Navy had no business being on the wrong end of the final score. None.
Either that, or Maryland should be considered a darkhorse in the ACC this year. And, to answer your question, yes, I nearly made it through that entire sentence with a straight face.
What’s left unanswered, however, is where Navy goes from here after what could only be considered an embarrassing loss. Then again, the Midshipmen were just 6.5 points favorites coming in, so maybe myself and others should only be surprised by the fact that we had all overrated the football independent.