Navy 26 Army 14

Defense rises to challenge

Rewind

December 04, 2006|By Gary Lambrecht

The way Navy senior linebacker Rob Caldwell sees it, the Navy defense never forgot the tongue-lashing it took from coach Paul Johnson after a 49-21 rout of Eastern Michigan on Nov. 11. Johnson thought the unit took it a little too easy at times against the Eagles, who cut a 28-0 deficit to 28-14 early in the second half and totaled 358 yards of offense.

"Ever since Coach Johnson called us out after the Eastern Michigan game and questioned our intensity, we've accepted that challenge," Caldwell said.

A week later, the defense shut down lowly Temple in a 42-6 pasting. And on Saturday, the Navy defense scored nine fourth-quarter points and set up a fourth-quarter field goal with an interception as the Midshipmen pulled away to win.

Senior cornerback Keenan Little returned an interception for a touchdown and Tyler Tidwell had two of Navy's four sacks on consecutive plays, the second resulting in a safety.

Not since a 21-20 victory over Massachusetts on Sept. 9, when Navy committed four turnovers at home, did the Mids need their defense so much to put down an opponent.

During Navy's four-game winning streak, the defense has allowed an average of 13.5 points.

Gary Lambrecht

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