TV gives Mids sneak peek at Colo. State

Navy ticket sales top 13,000

College -- Navy notebook

December 10, 2005|By KENT BAKER | KENT BAKER,SUN REPORTER

The Navy football team will be breaking new ground when it plays Colorado State for the first time in the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 22, but the territory won't be totally unfamiliar, thanks to television.

"They played on ESPN Friday night a couple of times before our Saturday games," said linebacker Tyler Tidwell. "I remember watching their tailback [Kyle Bell] with [fellow linebacker Matt] Wimsatt and talking about what a heck of a hard runner he was. The defense didn't like playing against him. And now here we are about to see him."

"I know they've got some talented players," said coach Paul Johnson. "The quarterback [Justin Holland] has a very strong arm and they've got a great receiver [David Anderson]. Their defense has had a lot of injuries, but you know any Sonny Lubick team is going to be good on defense."

Holland is 209-for-336 passing (a 62 percent completion rate) for 2,804 yards and 20 touchdowns. Anderson has 77 catches for 1,095 yards and eight touchdowns. Bell has run for 1,166 yards and nine touchdowns.

It is on defense where the Rams look particularly vulnerable, so if Navy's triple-option attack is clicking as it was against Army, this could be a high-scoring affair.

"They run similar things to Notre Dame, Rutgers, a lot of teams we've played," quarterback Lamar Owens said. "But we're going to run what we run, no matter who we play. We just have to do what we do and not be concerned about the numbers they give up."

Colorado State (6-5) was last in the Mountain West Conference against the run, allowing 200.6 yards a game.

"This is my last game," said Owens, a senior. "We're going to have fun in San Diego, but we're going to be ready to play come kickoff time."

On the other side, Tidwell said the Rams "are bigger than us, but [the opposition] is always bigger than us. They really like to pass the ball, so it's going to be important to get pressure on their quarterback."

He said Colorado State is similar to Rutgers, which outmuscled the Midshipmen in a 31-21 victory, and New Mexico, the bowl foe last year in a 34-19 Navy win.

Johnson resumed practices for the Midshipmen (7-4) on a light basis. Full-scale preparation will start next week and continue at the University of San Diego on Dec. 18.

Ticket goal in sight

Navy is well on its way toward achieving the goal of selling 20,000 bowl tickets to a game all the way across the country.

Earlier this week, the figure sold had exceeded 13,000 with more than two weeks remaining.

An estimated 18,000 supporters followed the Midshipmen to the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco last year, and more than 20,000 purchased tickets to the 2003 Houston Bowl.

Athletic director Chet Gladchuk accepted the Poinsettia invitation well in advance to get a head start on sales and is asking backers who can't make the game "to buy two tickets for our midshipmen to attend. We strongly encourage Navy fans to buy their bowl tickets from the [Naval Academy] Athletic Association."

Et cetera

Sophomore wide receiver Kyle Kimbro will miss the bowl game with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the right knee. He joins fullback Matt Hall and slotback Karlos Whittaker, who suffered similar injuries, on the sideline.

kent.baker@baltsun.com

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