Know Your Foe: Getting to know Navy ahead of first conference game

UConn quarterback Bryant Sherriffs carries the ball in the game against the Maine Black Bears at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., on Thurs., Sept. 1. The Huskies lost 21-24 to the Black Bears. (Jackson Haigis/The Daily Campus)

The UConn Huskies will look to improve on their 1-0 record when they visit the Navy Midshipmen Saturday afternoon in Annapolis, Maryland. With kickoff just days away, here’s a look at UConn’s first conference opponent of the season.

The 2015 season for the Midshipmen saw the team 11-2 and 7-1 in the American Conference, including a 28-18 victory over UConn. Navy reached as high as 18 in the AP and Coaches’ polls. The season ended with a 44-28 victory over Pittsburgh in the Military Bowl.

The Midshipmen took care of business against the Fordham Rams in their home opener last weekend by a score of 52-16. The win, while impressive, certainly came at a cost as starting quarterback Tago Smith will miss the remainder of the season due to an injury.

Smith served as a backup to famed Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds between 2013-2015 and after finally landing the starting job, Smith lasted just over a quarter. Navy racked up 184 yards of offense and 21 points in the first quarter, with Smith running in two touchdowns himself. Smith looked as if he was picking up right where Reynold’s left off in leading Navy’s famed triple-option offense.

Smith eventually went down on a non-contact play early in the second quarter. Tests on Monday confirmed that Smith had torn the ACL in his right knee.

The story then flipped to freshman Malcolm Perry, Navy’s fourth string quarterback. Perry wasn’t even dressed for the game but was soon pulled out of the stands by the Navy coaching staff to suit up. He made his debut late in the third quarter and put together a 90-yard touchdown drive.

Senior Will Worth will step in for the injured Smith and take over the role as starting quarterback, throwing for 78 yards and a touchdown through the air while running for 28 yards and a rushing touchdown.

Senior wide receiver Toneo Gulley hauled 57 yards on the day and had the game’s only receiving touchdown.

Junior running back Chris High lead the rushing attack for Navy with ten rushes for 176 yards and two touchdowns. Expect High to be the workhorse again for the Midshipmen in their run-heavy offense.


Connor Donahue is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at connor.f.donahue@uconn.edu. He tweets @conn_donahue.