2014 Poinsettia Bowl final score: Navy downs San Diego State by an unsightly 17-16
Seven total turnovers, including four in the fourth quarter, made for a game you won’t remember all that fondly. Unless you’re a Navy fan.
The Navy Midshipmen ride into 2015, when they’ll join the American Athletic Conference, at 8-5 and in possession of an epoch of a winning streak over archrival Army and a bowl win in home-away-from-home San Diego. Those are all pretty things! This game was not.
Each team had a consistent blunder theme throughout.
Navy’s was simple. It turned the ball over four times. San Diego State, which had three turnovers of its own, was even more damned by failing to capitalize on opportunities. Those four Navy turnovers, multiple of which gave SDSU friendly field position, resulted in all of six Aztec points.
Buy hey! Let’s praise these defenses!
The difference in the game was the Midshipmen’s ability to close out drives. That’s a ridiculous thing to say about a team that turned the ball over four times, but Navy produced a 10-play touchdown drive early in the first, a 92-yard touchdown drive early in the third, and a clock-killer late in the fourth that burned up two SDSU timeouts and included the go-ahead field goal. The Aztecs had 93 seconds to get into field goal range, but kicker Donny Hageman, who’d drilled three so far, missed wide right to seal it.
Fullback Chris Swain led the way for Navy with 72 yards rushing.
Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds, already the FBS career record holder for rushing touchdowns by a QB (62), tacked on two more. He’ll be back next season, needing 14 to break Montee Ball’s record for rushing touchdowns by anybody (77).