It appears this was dream week for the Navy football players, going into their final four games of the season. Before the game, defensive lineman David Shaw spoke of visions of Navy's awful effort against Tulane a year ago. After the game, anchor back Grover Favors spoke of going to sleep this past week with visions of Tulane quarterbacks in his head.
"I had dreams about putting pressure on him," Favors said. "It was a dream come true."
Navy wanted to use Favors' speed to put heat on the Tulane quarterbacks this week, and the sophomore did not disappoint. Favors had one of Navy's six sacks (for a loss of 10 yards) and broke up one pass in an active afternoon.
"If you take the quarterback out of his game you have no problems," Favors said.
In all, it was a solid performance by the defense, which yielded 308 yards and gave up its fewest points of the season in the 20-17 victory. Navy gave up 90 yards on the ground, its best performance against the rush this season.
"They took the run away from us, and that hurt us," Tulane coach Buddy Teevens said. "Navy played a good ballgame."
Looking at this game as the start of what coach George Chaump is calling "the second season," Navy changed its routine the day before the game. Instead of practice, the Midshipmen relaxed. Instead of team meetings the day before, the players took in a movie.
"We saw 'The Last of the Mohicans,' " Favors said. "In the last scene there's this guy who's letting nothing stop him from what he wants.
"That was our goal, to let nothing stop us from winning the game," Favors added. "And in particular, to let nothing stop me from getting to the quarterback."
If you run out of options, pass
With injuries at quarterback turning Navy into primarily a running team this season, Tulane's game plan was to stop the option run. That sligtly opened up Navy's passing game, with Jason Van Matre throwing for two touchdown and completing seven of 13 passes for 101 yards.
First leads to a first
When tailback Duke Ingraham gained 36 yards on the first play it was the longest run of the season by a Navy player. The previous long run was a 27 yards by Billy James.
The longest play from scrimmage for Navy this season is a 63-yard touchdown pass by Michael Jefferson from Van Matre in the 18-16 loss at Air Force.
Ingraham's long run set up a 27-yard field goal by Tim Rogers, marking the first time Navy has scored in the first quarter all season.
A Wave of the past
Yesterday's win was Navy's first against Tulane. Going into the game, the Green Wave had a 5-0-1 advantage, including last year's 34-7 win at the Superdome in New Orleans.