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By David A. Clarke Jr.
Planning for the last attack doesn't make Americans safer
Topic - Kriss Proctor
Always kidding, always joking, Navy wide receiver Brandon Turner put on his most serious face recently as he approached Danny O'Rourke, his old position coach.
Navy's failure to win the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy the past two years — and the opportunity it receives Saturday when it visits Air Force — has not been far from the minds of the Midshipmen's seniors.
As the first quarter drew to a close Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo knew he had a decision to make.
Navy didn't produce a flawless season.
There's nothing in sports quite like an Army-Navy football game. The color and pageantry, emotion and ebullience, are marvelous to behold. And when the nation's two highest elected officials are in attendance, as President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were Saturday at FedEx Field, we are reminded anew just how important and unique is this 111-year-old sporting spectacle. The problem, you see, is that they insist on playing a 1925 football game as part of it.
While the Mids' bowl streak will end at eight years, they still have a Dec. 10 date with Army at FedEx Field. In short, there is plenty of meaning left in Navy's season.
San Jose State slowed Navy's rushing offense, and Brandon Rutley took care of the rest.
Navy quarterback Kriss Proctor rushed for 107 yards and John Howell scored the go-ahead touchdown as the Midshipmen — who didn't complete a pass all game — stayed in bowl contention by beating SMU 24-17 on Saturday.
The end of Navy's six-game losing streak last week against Troy meant the Midshipmen's aspiration of playing after Christmas remains alive.
Brandon Jones blocked a go-ahead 34-yard field goal attempt by Jon Teague with 4:43 to play and Rutgers won its fourth straight game, a 21-20 victory over struggling Navy on Saturday.
Five games into the season, Rutgers is full of surprises.
Navy entered Saturday's game having just hurdled the haunting memory of the botched extra point attempt that handed them a one-point loss against Air Force a week earlier. After another seemingly benign field goal kick went awry against Southern Miss, they'll have to do it all over again this week.
Accepting a second straight loss to Air Force won't be easy for Navy as it moves forward in its season.
Navy endured a year of misery after losing to Air Force last season.
Football coaches are fastidious sorts, quick to offer a reminder of details great and small.
"I'd say courage is the word I'd describe No. 4-5 today," quarterback Kriss Proctor said. "Offense couldn't get it done, defense got us the ball back and 4-5 went out there and won us the game."
"Sometimes it's just a slippery slope," quarterback Kriss Proctor said. "You get down and it's hard to recover and you stay down, no matter how hard you work and how hard you try. Sometimes, the dice roll and they land on what they land. All you can do is learn from it and move on."