ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The college football season is right around the corner. With Maryland, Towson, Morgan State, Johns Hopkins, McDaniel and Stevenson all having their seasons canceled due to COVID-19, Navy is the only game in town.
For the Midshipmen all eyes are on their week one opponent.
"It’s all BYU right now. Everything is just all BYU," said Navy Head Coach Ken Niumatalolo.
Navy opens up the season on Monday, September 7 when they host the Cougars.
When the Midshipmen take the field at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Labor day at 8:00 p.m., they’ll do so with a new starting quarterback. Senior Dalen Morris takes over under center. He earned the job in training camp.
"This year I came in and had fun with it. Especially, in the midst of a pandemic, you never know when it’s going to be your last day," he said. "Things started to fall my way and took advantage of the opportunity."
After patiently waiting for three years he said maturity has his game clicking.
"As you start to grow, start to learn the system more, you can make better decisions, trust the people around you," he said.
"His play was so powerful that you couldn’t help but notice it. He just threw the ball well. He had his reads, his footwork.
"He's a really good passer," said Niumatalolo.
Over the countless practices and games as a backup, Morris never wanted to give up. He never wanted to transfer. He never wavered in his belief that one day he would get his shot.
"(I've) never been a guy that doesn’t get his way and kind of heads out. (I) kind of want to fight, stick it out to the end and see if I can finally win the job," he said. "That’s what happened here."
It has been ten years since a Navy quarterback passed for double digit touchdowns in a season. Ricky Dobbs had 13 in 2010.
"If Ricky had 13, I’m shooting for 15 then," said Morris.