Score - Navy: 34 San Jose State: 31
It was a Friday night thriller as Navy pulled off the 34-31 victory over a San Jose State team that was poised for the upset.
Both teams piled up the yardage and the points, but it was the Midshipmen who were able to put together a few more scoring drives to come away with the victory. Navy gained nearly 400 yards of total offense and was tremendous on third down, converting 11-of-16 opportunities. The Mids also scored on all five of their trips to the red zone, showing what an efficient offense this can be when it’s in rhythm.
For one of the few times this season, Keenan Reynolds actually struggled against San Jose State’s defense. Reynolds threw two interceptions and was limited to under 60 yards rushing.
Fortunately for Navy’s star quarterback, the rest of his teammates in the backfield were ready to help him out. It was a very balanced rushing attack for Ken Niumatalolo’s group as four different players rushed for at least 40 yards. Darius Staten also had two big second half touchdown runs.
It was also a fantastic game for Navy kicker Nick Sloan. He converted both of his field goal attempts, which were both from beyond 40 yards. Sloan’s consistent kicking proved to be the difference in the game.
While it wasn’t the huge performance we’ve seen from many Navy running backs over the years, Darius Staten picked up tough yards and gave the Midshipmen huge momentum with his two touchdown runs in the second half. Staten finished with 96 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.
Navy is now 10-1 and ranked No. 23 in the polls. The Mids have a great chance to move up in the polls as they’re off next week and then finish the season against Army. Considering the way this team is playing, they could very easily wind up in the Top 15 in the country by the end of the regular season. But, none of that matters if they don’t beat Army.