THREE THINGS WE WATCHED
Reviewing items The Gazette identified as keys prior to Air Force's game Saturday at Navy.
No individuals in the game on either side had anything that could be considered a breakout performance unless you count Air Force's specialists - punter David Baska had a 57-yard punt and put two of three inside the 20 and kicker Will Conant booted a 45-yard field goal. Having already declared that the program is in "full development mode," coach Troy Calhoun said the value of a game like this with a CBS audience and record crowd will be felt in the future. "You need to play in these contests," Calhoun said. "Especially for a quarterback or anybody, it's important to have your feet wet in games like this."
The Navy quarterback was not impressive in the first half, and therefore neither were the Midshipmen. He made a few "dumb plays," was sacked, nearly threw a reckless interception while avoiding another near sack and he went into the half with 54 total yards and having led the Midshipmen to just seven points. He finished with 180 total yards, three rushing touchdowns and helped Navy to a 21-0 advantage in the second half.
This one had the potential for a wild finish, but Navy made the plays to prevent it. First, it stopped Air Force on a 4th and 2 early in the fourth quarter as the Falcons were driving in its territory while down four points. Then came a forced and recovered fumble and two late interceptions.