Lavatai leads Navy to a comeback win over UCF 34-30

All season the Navy football team has been waiting for someone to take over the starting quarterback position. On Saturday sophomore Tai Lavatai did just that. He had 21 carries for 66 yards and two touchdowns in Navy’s 34-30 win over UCF. The Midshipmen also got good production from their fullbacks. Isaac Ruoss and James Harris II combined had 31 carries to 137 yards and a touchdown.

Navy (1-3, 0-1) did face a lot of adversity in this game. The offense fumbled twice inside their own 20. One of those was by Carlinos Acie on the third play of the game. He finished with 11 rushes for 85 yards in a nice bounce back performance. Linebacker Diego Fagot had a bad late hit out of bounds that kept a UCF (2-2, 0-1) drive going before halftime. The Knights ended up kicking a field goal on that drive. Fagot played well in the second half. He finished with 11 tackles and a key forced fumble in the fourth quarter. Navy scored the last 17 points of the game to comeback from a 30-17 deficit after three quarters.

Special teams was a big part of this game. After having a disastrous first three weeks the Navy special teams played really well. They blocked a punt that was recovered for a TD late in the second quarter. A blocked extra point was huge because it forced UCF to need a touchdown on their last drive instead of being able to kick a tying field goal. That drive ended with an interception in the end zone on fourth down.

Navy is in the middle of a brutal schedule. Next week 5-0 SMU comes to Annapolis for a 3:30 kickoff on CBSSN.

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