The Washington Times - September 17, 2011, 11:25PM

Yes, Navy lost to South Carolina on Saturday.

There’s little doubt, though, the Midshipmen made a positive impression.

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Put simply, South Carolina had Marcus Lattimore and Navy didn’t. Lattimore was exceptional, and Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier was smart enough to take advantage of having arguably the nation’s best tailback and didn’t get cute (at least not often).

As for the predictions …

1. Navy will have a 10-play drive.

CORRECT. Try three of them, plus a nine-play possession. In fact, the teams combined for only 15 possessions, and South Carolina had four drives of at least 10 plays (as well as another that last nine snaps). Impressive ball control work by both sides.

2. Marcus Lattimore will run for at least 140 yards.

CORRECT. And then some. Lattimore rushed for 246 yards and three touchdowns for the Gamecocks, and accounted for 271 of South Carolina’s 458 total yards. He was the best player on the field.

3. Navy will rely heavily on safety Tra’ves Bush.

CORRECT. Per the participating chart, outside linebackers Mason Graham, Jarred Shannon and Keegan Wetzel all sat out with injuries. Meanwhile Bush earned his third career start and made 12 tackles (one for loss), which ranked second on the roster behind first-time starter Brye French.

4. Navy will allow a point in the first quarter for the first time this season.

CORRECT. Lattimore’s first touchdown came with 4:47 remaining in the first quarter, the first score allowed by the Mids in the first quarter this year. At the end of the first period, it was tied at 7.

5. South Carolina will win, but not without a few headaches.

CORRECT. There might have been more headaches than originally anticipated for the Gamecocks, who never led by more than a field goal. Still, they avoided a rerun of the 1984 loss in Annapolis. Those worried about the Chicken Curse can sleep easy for at least another week.

Record vs. South Carolina: 5-for-5
Season record:
11-for-15

Patrick Stevens