ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Navy football wants to get back in the ring and feast.
"For a month we were looking good on a speed bag and hitting a heavy bag that doesn’t hit back. Then we got in a game and we got hit back hard and we weren’t ready for it," said Head Coach Ken Niumatalolo.
"I got this terrible, terrible taste in my mouth," said Defensive Coordinator Brian Newberry. "It’s like you had a bad meal but you don’t get to flush it down with water and take another bite of something until you get to eat again."
Let's hope the Midshipmen prefer creole.
Navy heads to Tulane on Saturday for its first road game of 2020. The Mids are coming off that embarrassing 55-3 season-opening loss to BYU on Labor Day. Since then Niumatalolo has instituted live, padded practices with contact. The team never went 'live' in training camp because of COVID-19 precautions.
"We took off the training wheels the last two weeks," said Niumatalolo. "Just practiced normal. So, you’re hoping that you’re better."
Who will start at quarterback against the Green Wave is up in the air. Dalen Morris started the loss to BYU. Perry Olsen finished it then left the program and entered the transfer portal. Offensive Coordinator Ivin Jasper will go with Morris or one of four other QB’s.
"The cupboard is not bare," said Jasper. "Just going to continue to rep these guys and go with the best guy on Saturday."
Saturday’s game is the league opener for both teams. Navy was picked to finish fifth in the American Athletic Conference. Tulane was picked sixth.
The Green Wave is coming off a season-opening 27-24 win over South Alabama.
"Their guys are really disciplined. They know what they are doing and our kids have got to make plays. That’s really just the bottom line," said Niumatalolo. "We’re just trying to get a ‘W’, man. We got to get that bad taste out of our mouth."
You can watch the Navy-Tulane game live on WMAR on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for Noon.