Navy out of bowl picture after loss to San Jose St
Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo wouldn't pin the blame for the Midshipmen's 27-24 loss Saturday to San Jose State on one costly penalty.
It was, however, a prime example of the miscues that will keep Navy from having the chance to play in a ninth straight bowl game.
''We left points on the field,'' Niumatalolo said. ''They capitalized. We don't have any excuses. We didn't execute and they made plays.''
Navy (4-7) drove to the San Jose State 13 just after the Spartans (4-7) took their three-point lead. Instead of a third-and-4, a personal foul cost the Midshipmen 15 yards and left them with a third-and-19. An incomplete pass and a 10-yard loss on a running play and Navy was back on its heels.
''Their defense played hard,'' Navy quarterback Kriss Proctor said. ''There was a lot of bad execution on our part.''
Proctor rushed for 82 yards and a pair of touchdowns and passed for another 90 yards to lead Navy (4-7), which lost its fifth game by three points or less.
''It hurts not being able to go to a bowl game,'' said Navy senior Jabaree Tuani, who had two sacks and two forced fumbles. ''But we have to do everything we can now to get ready for Army.''
Brandon Rutley rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns and caught a career-high eight passes for another 101 yards for San Jose State. Matt Faulkner passed for 345 yards and the go-ahead touchdown on career highs of 33 completions and 44 attempts as the Spartans ended a three-game losing streak. Ryan Otten also caught eight passes for 101 yards.
Navy scored on its first two possessions of the second half to take a 24-20 lead. Jon Teague kicked a 24-yard field goal midway through the third quarter and Proctor scored on a 2-yard run late in the quarter.
The go-ahead score was set up by another turnover. Tuani tackled Faulkner, forcing a fumble. Jared Marks was right there to recover on the San Jose 43. Six plays later, the Midshipmen were in front.
Aaron Santiago's 21-yard run on third down and Casey Bolena's 12-yard gain on a reverse were the key plays of the drive.
The Spartans responded with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Faulkner to freshman Jabari Carr 4 seconds into the fourth quarter to regain the lead.
Rutley scored on runs of 3 yards and 1 yard, and his third 100-yard rushing game allowed San Jose State to control the game. Proctor was 9 of 20 passing.
The Midshipmen entered the game second in the nation in rushing offense, but were limited to 254 yards on the ground, their third lowest total of the season.
San Jose State's Jens Alvernik connected on a pair of field goals to match the school's single-season record of 16.
Santiago also scored for Navy, which trailed 20-14 at the half.