Navy in 2013: Pivot Points, Part Two

The next three-game segment to be examined in Pivot Points is the Duke-Toledo-Pittsburgh swing. Navy's season reached a very precarious point following the losses in Durham and Toledo, but the ability of the Midshipmen to come from behind against Pittsburgh might very well be remembered as the moment that changed -- and saved -- the 2013 season.


PIVOT POINTS: DUKE, TOLEDO, PITTSBURGH

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DUKE

-- Navy’s defense gets a fourth-down stop at its own 20 on Duke’s first possession.

-- In a scoreless game, a Navy false start at the Duke 18 precedes a missed field goal on a day that would be defined by the scoring opportunities the Midshipmen failed to convert.

-- Duke converts a third and seven and scores a touchdown for a 7-0 lead.

-- Navy answers with a touchdown to tie the game at 7-all.

-- Duke, on its next possession, converts third downs of 10, 6 and 3 yards for a touchdown and a 14-7 lead.

-- Navy commits a red-zone turnover, keeping the score 14-7 Duke heading into halftime.

-- Navy’s offense gets one first down on its first two possessions of the second half, while Duke gets two touchdowns for a 28-7 lead, putting the game away. Duke’s two touchdowns occur with very little resistance; the Blue Devils face only two total third downs combined, neither of more than three yards.

TOLEDO

-- Navy’s offense scores a touchdown on its first drive. 7-0, Midshipmen.

-- Later in the first half, both defenses get stops inside their own 35 on consecutive possessions.

-- Navy fumbles and Toledo scores on the play for a 10-7 lead.

-- Navy misses a 38-yard field goal. This would not be the last kicking-game mishap of the day for the Midshipmen.

-- Navy’s defense gets a stop, having kept the Toledo offense out of the end zone for the entirety of the first half.

-- Navy scores a touchdown, converting a fourth and one and a first and 20 to take a 14-10 lead at the half.

-- Toledo scores a touchdown (its first of the game on offense) to start the second half. 17-14, Rockets.

-- Navy answers with a touchdown, converting a third and seven. 21-17, Mids.

-- Toledo responds with a touchdown, needing only one third-down conversion on its latest drive. 24-21, Toledo.

-- Navy punts. Toledo scores yet another touchdown in a complete reversal of the first half. The Rockets again need only one third-down conversion on their drive. 31-21, Rockets.

-- Navy’s defense finally finds its footing, forcing two punts. Navy scores 10 points late in regulation to force overtime at 31-31.

-- In overtime, Toledo scores its first touchdown after converting a fourth and one and a third and eight. Navy counters with a touchdown following a third-and-six conversion. 38-38.

-- In the second overtime, Navy converts a fourth and one en route to a touchdown but misses the PAT. Toledo scores and makes the PAT to win, 45-44.

PITTSBURGH

-- Navy gets a red-zone stop on Pittsburgh’s first drive, a 16-play march. 3-0, Pittsburgh.

-- Later, after two three-and-outs from Navy’s offense, the defense forces a fumble. The Midshipmen promptly score on a 58-yard touchdown pass. 7-3, Navy.

-- After more displays of resistance by each side’s defense, the pace of the game picks up. Pittsburgh scores a touchdown, facing only one third down, to take a 13-7 lead.

-- Navy throws an interception at the Pittsburgh 1 just before the half.

-- Navy’s defense gets three-and-outs on Pittsburgh’s first two possessions in the second half, keeping the Midshipmen within striking distance. Late in the third quarter, Navy’s offense starts an 8:15 touchdown drive. When the drive ends, Navy owns a 14-13 lead early in the fourth quarter.

-- Pittsburgh responds with a 6:21 touchdown drive. The Panthers convert a combination sequence of second and 21 followed by third and 11. The Panthers also get a two-point conversion for a 21-14 lead midway through the quarter.

-- Navy’s offense, facing one of the most urgent moments of the season, scores a tying touchdown with 3:52 left. The Midshipmen convert a third and five en route to the end zone.

-- Navy’s defense does its part, getting a three-and-out against Pittsburgh’s offense to set up good field position for the offense.

-- The offense converts three third downs on its next drive. The Midshipmen kick a last-play field goal for a massive 24-21 win.

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