Sunday, November 20, 2022

Navy Stuns UCF, 17-14

Navy (3-7) traveled to Orlando to take on #17 UCF (8-2) in what will be the last meeting between the two schools in the American Athletic Conference.  For the first time this season, the Midshipmen scored on their opening drive of the game and never fell behind the fifth best rushing team in the country.

Navy quarterback, Xavier Arline led the Mids in what was arguably their best played game of the season. The junior signal caller carried the ball 18 times for 24 yards and a TD.  He attempted just one pass that fell incomplete.

Daba Fofana led the rushing game with 114 yards on 20 carries.  John Marshall led the defense with 10 tackles, four sacks, and a forced fumble.

Vincent Terrell II scored Navy's second touchdown, an eight-yard carry, following a UCF field goal that cut the Midshipmen's lead to one.  Mbiti Williams Jr. picked off a UCF pass as time expired in the second quarter.

UCF's Mikey Keene connected with Javon Baker for a 28-yard touchdown on their first drive of the second half.  The Knights converted a 2-point conversion to tie the game 14-14.

Bijan Nichols kicked a 45-yard field goal with 8:22 remaining in the third quarter that would give Navy the lead for good 17-14.

Stat of the Game - Navy won the game without completing a pass.

Player of the Game - Navy's John Marshall set a school record with four sacks in the game and forced a fumble that led to the game winning field goal.

Play of the Game - Daba Fofana broke a 46-yard run to the UCF six yard line on Navy's first drive.  Three plays later, Fofana pounded the ball into the end zone giving Navy a 7-0 lead.

Play of the Game #2 - Navy cornerback, Mbiti Williams Jr. picked off a John Rhys Plumlee pass at the Navy 14 yard line.  The interception as time ran out prevented the Knights from putting points on the board at the end of the first half.

That's Ball Control - On Navy's two touchdown drives in the game, the Mids averaged 12 plays and 6:43 time of possession.  UCF had four possessions in the first half and six in the second half.

Records - Navy (4-7) and UCF (8-3)

Next Week - UCF will travel to USF on November 26.  Navy will play Army on December 10 in Philadelphia.

Postgame Press Conferences - 



Saturday, November 12, 2022

Navy Falls Short in Comeback Against Notre Dame

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish jumped out early and took a commanding lead against host Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.  Notre Dame quarterback, Drew Pyne connected on two touchdown passes in the first quarter and two more in quarter number two.  He also scored on an 11-yard run giving Notre Dame a 35-13 lead at halftime.  

Navy fought back in the second half, outscoring the Irish, 19-0.  The Mids were a successful onside kick away from having a chance to tie or win the game in the fourth quarter, falling just short 35-32.

The Notre Dame offense was connecting on all cylinders in the first half.  The Irish scored touchdowns on their first three drives, missed a field goal on their next possession, and then scored on each of their next two possessions before halftime.

Pyne completed touchdown passes to Audric Estime (30 yards) and Braden Lenzy (38 yards) in the first quarter.  He found Chris Tyree open for a 5-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter.  Pyne ran the ball for an 11-yard touchdown before completing a 37-yard touchdown pass to Jayden Thomas with just over a minute remaining in the half.

On Navy's second possession of the game, Xavier Arline connected with a wide open Mark Walker for a 34 yard completion moving the ball to the Notre Dame 36 yard line.  Two plays later, Daba Fofana put Navy on the scoreboard with a 36-yard carry near the end of the first quarter.  Fofana finished the game with 133 yards on just 15 carries.

Arline was also able to find the end zone on the ground with a 2-yard carry late in the first half.  Arline finished the game with 63 yards rushing on 12 carries.

Navy came out in the second half and looked like a different team.  The Navy defense held Notre Dame scoreless giving the offense an opportunity to chip away at the Irish lead.

Bijan Nichols kicked a 26-yard field goal on Navy's opening drive of the half.  Nichols, a team captain, was able to play his first game of the season today after battling an injury.

Arline completed a 23-yard touchdown pass to Mark Walker early in the fourth quarter.  He also ran for the two-point conversion.  Late in the game, Maasai Maynor connected with Maquel Haywood for a 20-yard touchdown,  Vincent Terrell II converted the two-point conversion cutting the Notre Dame lead to 3.

Navy was unable to convert an onside kick and Notre Dame was unable to run out the clock.

Play of the game - Notre Dame completed a 38-yard touchdown pass from Drew Pyne to Brandon Lenzy.  Lenzy was covered well by Mbiti Williams Jr. but somehow caught the ball behind the back of the Navy defender and maintained control for Notre Dame's second touchdown.

Player of the game - Notre Dame's Drew Pyne completed 17 of 21 passes and four touchdowns.  He also had a rushing touchdown and had a part in each of Notre Dame's scores.

Notre Dame quarterback, Drew Pyne on Braden Lenzy's touchdown - That was unbelievable.  I threw it up and it was an unbelievable catch.  I haven't seen anything like it before in my life.  I am so happy for him.

You hate to see that - Xavier Arline went down with what appeared to be an ankle injury in the fourth quarter and did not return to the game.  Arline is starting at quarterback since Tai Lavatai went out with a season ending injury.
Daba Fofana

Navy fullback, Daba Fofana - The O line was moving people the whole time.  In the first half we were able to take advantage of that.  the in the second half they started keying in on our run game and that was able to open things up for our passing game.

What a turn around - The Navy defense contained the Irish defense in the second half and sacked Pyne five times for a loss of 25 yards.  Collin Ramos and John Marshall each had 1.5 sacks and Rayuan Lane had 1.

Unsung hero - Dashaun Peele tipped a Drew Pyne pass that was intercepted by John Marshall.  Navy scored a touchdown on the ensuing play.

Ken Niumatalolo
Navy coach, Ken Niumatalolo - I am proud of our players.  I don't know if I have ever been more proud of a team after a game, win or lose.

Notre Dame coach, Marcus Freeman - As I told the team, first and foremost, no victory should be taken for granted.  Congratulations on a hard-fought win.  I challenged them on Friday.  I challenged them at halftime.  The one thing you know about Navy is they will never quit.

Records - Notre Dame improves to 7-3 and Navy falls to 3-7.

Next week - Notre Dame hosts Boston College next week and Navy travels to Central Florida.