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Navy's ground success no surprise to Texas State

Associated Press Published: November 17, 2012

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — No one, least of all Texas State coach Dennis Franchione, was surprised to see Navy's running game prosper.

The Bobcats couldn't contain the Midshipmen and their relentless triple-option attack, and it cost them a chance to halt a three-game losing streak.

"I think sometimes the speed of it is tough to prepare for," Franchione said after absorbing a 21-10 loss at Navy on Saturday. "Your scout team can never run it at the speed they do. ... Their option game is very unique."

Texas State did a credible job of limiting Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds' contributions on offense, but had far more trouble containing fullback Noah Copeland, who ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns.

"It's hard to say we're satisfied because you always want to hold them to one less score," said Bobcats nose tackle Blake McCullough. "I thought we held them good. We held our responsibilities and controlled the line pretty good."

That made it hard for Reynolds to function effectively — he ran for 50 yards and passed only eight times — so the Mids turned to Copeland, who showed he can do more than block and serve as a decoy.

"It feels nice just to contribute more, even if it's just running now," said Copeland, a sophomore who helped Navy prevail in its 10th straight senior day game. "The last couple games, I just had to do my role. It's all about doing your role rather than running the ball and stats. It really doesn't matter about stats, as long as you can do your role and win the game."

Copeland scored on runs of 15 and 16 yards as the Midshipmen (7-4) won for the sixth time in seven games. Fellow fullback Chris Swain added 45 yards as Navy adjusted when Texas State limited quarterback Keenan Reynolds' effectiveness by using a different front alignment than the Mids prepared for.

"Take what they give us," Reynolds said. "They were trying to take away the quarterback, so the A backs and the fullback have a great game."

Shaun Rutherford threw a touchdown pass to Isaiah Battle for the Bobcats (3-7), who dropped their fourth consecutive game. After scoring 55 points in a loss to Louisiana Tech a week ago, Texas State's offense was held in check for much of the game despite offensive totals that might have suggested otherwise.

"I can't be critical of the way our defense played," said Bobcats coach Dennis Franchione. "We held them to 14 essentially. Except for the turnover on the second-half kickoff, I thought we played pretty good. If anybody had told me we'd hold them to 14 without the fumble, I'd have said we'd have won the game."

A week after yielding 487 offensive yards in a 41-31 loss at Troy, the Mids' defense surrendered 405 yards but did not allow a touchdown until the fourth quarter.

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