Today's game

September 22, 2007|By SANDRA MCKEE

Matchup -- Duke (1-2) at Navy (1-2)

Time -- 1:00 p.m.

Site -- Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium

TV -- CSTV

Radio -- 1090 AM

Series -- Navy leads, 19-12-5

Navy offense vs. Duke defense -- Navy will give Duke something to think about when the Midshipmen's complex offense takes the field. Navy leads the country in rushing offense, averaging 378.7 yards, which is more than 30 yards a game better than the second-place team, No. 5-ranked West Virginia. QB Kaipu-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, who left last week's game with two sprained ankles, has practiced all week and is expected to start. Kaheaku-Enhada leads the Mids' rushing attack with 254 yards on 39 carries and four touchdowns. Junior SB Shun White is next in rushing yards with 204 on 23 carries and is also the team's leading receiver with 85 yards on four catches. A big part of the Duke defense that will try to hold the Mids in check is sophomore LB Vincent Rey, who has 34 tackles to rank third in the Atlantic Coast Conference and 14th nationally. He was the ACC Player of the Week last week after helping Duke to a 20-14 victory at Northwestern that ended the school's 22-game losing streak. A year ago, Navy handled the Blue Devils, 38-13.

Navy defense vs. Duke offense -- It will be another major test for Navy's young, developing defense. The Blue Devils return all five offensive line starters, one of only two ACC teams to have that advantage. Navy coaches cut deep into the playbook to simplify the amount of information the Mids have to remember in hopes of coming up with a solid, consistent performance. Defensive coordinator Buddy Green said the top priority will be to stop Duke's running attack, but a close second will be to put pressure on sophomore QBs Thaddeus Lewis and Zack Asack, who have completed 32 passes to 10 receivers for 379 yards and two touchdowns. The running backs also have caught 13 passes for 131 yards and one touchdown, and the tight ends have four catches for 35 yards and two touchdowns. Navy expects senior ILB Irv Spencer (ankle) to be ready to go and will hope to see improved performances from sophomore ILB Ross Pospilsil (eight tackles last week) and freshman FS Wyatt Middleton (seven tackles), both of whom made their first career starts against Ball State. And the Mids also look for senior rover Ketric Buffin to continue to show his knack for intercepting the football. Buffin has three interceptions in three games.

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