Costly Penalties & Big Plays Prove Costly in Navy’s 35-17 Loss at Memphis
Memphis scored on plays of 74 and 69 yards to defeat Navy 35-17. The 69 yard run by Calvin Austin III came after Navy scored to cap off a 21 play 75 yard drive that took 11:50 off the clock. Linebacker Diego Fagot had an interception return for a touchdown. The return was negated by a penalty for playing without a helmet which was pulled off during the play. The Mids also had a touchdown pass on the ensuing drive called back by a penalty. They ended up kicked a field goal.
Costly penalties have been a theme this season. Tonight they had 4 for 49 yards but those two were huge. Memphis quarterback Seth Henigan was 8 for 11 for 215 yards and two touchdowns. He hit passes of 49, 74, and 51 yards in the first half. The Tigers defense held Navy to 232 total yards and only 43 passing.
Navy quarterback Tai Lavatai left the game in the third quarter favoring the same leg he injured earlier in the season. He had 17 rushes for 28 yards. The Mids did get 100 yards combined from fullbacks Isaac Ruoss and James Mitchell II. Navy dominated time of possession but the Memphis up tempo offense dominated the night.
It gets no easier for Navy as #3 Cincinnati comes to Annapolis next Saturday for a noon start. It will be on one of the ESPN family of networks. The Bearcats are looking to be the first G5 team to make the college football playoff.