Play it again

November 18, 2007|By SANDRA MCKEE

What went right

Navy's defense played better, forcing Northern Illinois to punt four times - a season high - and the defense also picked off a pass and had two sacks and several hurries. All major improvements.

What went wrong

The defense couldn't stop Northern Illinois on fourth down, as the Huskies went 7-for-7, while Navy was 0-for-1.

Defining moments

Senior free safety Greg Thrasher, starting for the injured Ketric Buffin, stopped a potential game-tying drive by Northern Illinois when he intercepted a pass tipped by Corey Johnson with 8:27 to play in the second quarter. Backup quarterback Jarod Bryant led a 53-yard Navy march to a 21-7 lead.

What it means

The Midshipmen can celebrate their fifth straight winning season.

Up next

The Mids (7-4) will face archrival Army (3-8). Navy beat the Black Knights last year to wrap up its fourth straight Commander in Chief's Trophy. Navy has already secured a share of this year's trophy. Because of Navy's victory over Air Force, and Air Force's subsequent victory over Army, a Navy loss to Army would leave this year's service academy series in a three-way tie. As defending champ, Navy would retain the trophy. To win the trophy outright, Navy will have to beat Army. The Black Knights are coming off a 49-39 loss to Tulsa.

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