Report Card: Navy vs. San Jose State

Navy's eight-year consecutive bowl streak ended on Saturday with a 27-24 road loss to a struggling San Jose State Spartan team. Navy managed just 344 yards of total offense against a Spartan defense that entered the game ranked 96th in the nation in defense. The San Jose State offense posted 465 total yards and had 27 first downs. The loss drops the Midshipmen's record to 4-7.

San Jose State stacked the box with as many as 10 defenders in order to stop the Navy's option attack. Navy countered with play action passes but Kriss Proctor struggled throwing the ball. Proctor hit 9 of 20 passes for 90 yards with no touchdowns. He was sacked three times. The most costly sack was with a little over a minute remaining in the first half. Proctor had protection but got happy feet and scrambled into pressure before being sacked for a loss and fumbling. On the play slotback John Howell was running uncovered down the field. San Jose State recovered the fumble and drove for a field goal to take a 20-14 halftime lead. Proctor may be a senior but his inexperience shows in the passing game. He consistently locked on one receiver and often scrambled prematurely. He badly missed a wide open Aaron Santiago in the first quarter on a short throw. Santiago later had a reception for 14 yards. There were at least five instances where Proctor overthrew wide open receivers. Wide receiver Matt Aiken (1 rec., 9 yards) but was open deep a few times. Brandon Turner (4 rec., 47 yards) caught a 29-yard pass to set up a touchdown that gave Navy a 14-10 lead. Turner was also able to get open deep but Proctor wasn't able to connect. Slotbacks John Howell and Gee Gee Greene were all wide open for passes that would have produced huge gains and touchdowns but were overthrown or not seen by Kriss. Casey Bolena caught one pass for 20 yards. The offensive line allowed three sacks but Proctors uncomfortable nature in the pocket often caused him to scramble into pressure. Proctor's has to keep the other team honest but he failed miserably against the Spartans. He should have thrown at least three touchdowns.
Navy rushed for 254 yards, averaged 5.2 yards per carry and scored three touchdowns. The Midshipmen, who entered the game second in the nation in rushing offense, were limited to 254 yards on the ground, their third lowest total of the season. Kriss Proctor led the Mids with 82 rushing yards on 20 carries and scored two touchdowns. Proctor continues to miss too many option reads. Proctor made a terrible decision to pitch it to Gee Gee Greene (7 att., 47 yards) who had a number of nice runs making people miss. Green made a tremendous block on Santiago's career long 35-yard touchdown run. Santiago ran 6 times for 62 yards and a score. Fullback Alexander Teich carried 11 times for 49 yards. Casey Bolena carried once on a reverse for 12 yards that set up a Proctor two yard touchdown run. Guard John Dowd drew a costly personal foul for a late hit that caused Navy drive to end and attempt a field goal but Beltran dropped the snap.
San Jose State quarterback Matt Faulkner completed 33 of 44 passes for 345 yards and threw a touchdown. The Mids secondary which had played well the last two weeks, struggled to cover the Spartan wide receivers. Matt Warrick tipped a pass and outside linebacker Tra'ves Bush (7 tackles, Int.) intercepted it on the rebound to set up Navy's first touchdown. Running back Brandon Rutley caught eight passes for 101 yards as the Spartans were able to move the ball all day. Jabaree Tuani (6 tackles, 3.5 loss), had a tremendous game. Tuani recorded both of Navy's sacks and forced two fumbles. On one of his sacks Tuani forced a fumble and it was recovered by nose guard Jared Marks (1 tackle). Tuani was the only Navy player who was able to generate pressure. David Sperry (11 tackles) had a rough game after playing well the previous two weeks. Plebe Parrish Gaines (6 tackles) continues to struggle in coverage. Free safety Chris Ferguson (5 tackles) was often late with help as the Spartan spread Navy out and picked them apart.
San Jose State's running back Brandon Rutley ran for 132 yards on 27 carries. The Spartan entered the game ranked just 108th in the nation in rushing but Navy's struggling defense couldn't contain Rutley. Matt Brewer (11 tackles, 1 pass defensed) was active but was often late to fill the holes. Matt Warrick made 12 tackles and broke up two passes but missed tackles continue to be an issue for him. Rover Kwesi Mitchell made 9 tackles. Brye French was in on 7 tackles, and had two pass defensed. Defensive end Josh Jones made five tackles but was often knocked off the ball.
Jon Teague made a 24-yard field goal in the third quarter. Teague wasn't able to get off a field goal attempt to tie the score after holder Pablo Beltran mishandled the snap. Beltran didn't punt the ball well averaging 35.2 per punt and placing only one inside the 20-yard line. Teague had one touchback on his kickoffs and Navy, for a change, and did a solid job covering kickoff returns. Matt Aiken returned a punt 11 yards but for some reason fair caught a punt inside his own 10-yard line late in the game. Marcus Thomas did a good job on kickoff returns averaging 22.7 yards on his three returns.
Ken Niumatalolo was worried about a letdown and it came true. The criticism after the game against offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper's passing too much was misguided in my opinion. San Jose State was daring Navy to throw the ball with 9 in the box and firing their corners at times. Proctor missed at least six wide open receivers. The players have to take responsibility and Proctor had to hit a few pass plays. Defensive coordinator Buddy Green unit after two solid performances badly outplayed by the Spartans.
Head coach Ken Niumatalolo said it best, "My worst nightmare came true. We were sleepwalking to start the game. We left a ton of points out on the field offensively. We had some uncharacteristic mental lapses that really hurt us," Niumatalolo said. "We didn't deserve to win. We played horribly, and it starts with me. Obviously, I didn't do a good job of getting us ready."

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