underway with Navy's defense this season. Since joining the AAC in 2015, the Midshipmen and their bend-but-don't-break zone defense has had major issues stopping the pass. Last year, Navy ranked 123rd out of 128 in QB Rating defense. This year's unit is trying something completely new; man-to-man and getting after the quarterback. The sample size isn't big enough yet to determine how this significant change will play out. In Week 1, Florida Atlantic threw for 286 yards
but was also picked off twice. That alone is a positive sign considering Navy posted only seven interceptions all of last season. In Week 2, the secondary didn't get much of any test playing Tulane's option. And this week, Cincinnati doesn't pose much of a threat with a team passer rating below 100. The real test starts in two weeks with a trip to Tulsa and then two weeks after that at Memphis. Over two-plus seasons, Navy's league games are 12-6 O/U. But if you eliminate Tulane and Temple, that number jumps to 12-2 O/U.
“I want to see us on that side of the line of scrimmage. Because I know this: If we play like that in the secondary we’re going to get killed,” Niumatalolo says. “I want to attack. I’d rather go attack the quarterback and be at that level and make him make a decision than staying back. We have to be more disruptive. If not, we’re going to get torched.”
“You can mix it up by bringing five or six, really put pressure on the quarterback to make a decision and try to throw the ball into a tight space,” O’Brien said. “Hopefully, we can put the quarterback in a tough spot and make him make a bad throw.”