Utah's first meeting with Navy went pretty well. They extended their bowl winning streak to 7 games and increased their bowl winning percentage to 77% (both the best in the nation - If BC loses their bowl game, then the Utes will have the longest bowl winning streak when the bowl games end as well).
Brian Johnson started out a little sluggish. The last few games he has been "Airmailing" his passes (thanks Dude) and it looked like he was going to have the same problem this game. He turned out to be the man of the night. While ESPN gave the game ball to Darrell Mack, I think that Johnson deserves it hands down. Johnson only had 7 yards less rushing than Mack - and he did it on half the carries. He ran for a touchdown and passed for another, finishing 20/25 for 226 yards.
When Utah went down 17-7 early in the third quarter, I'll admit that I was pretty nervous. Then Utah railed off 21 straight points and I began feeling a bit more comfortable. Navy (like all armed forces teams) never gave up and was very disciplined throughout the game. The Utes benefited (only slightly) from a botched call by the officials in the 4th quarter. The ball slipped out of Jerome Brooks hand as he stretched for the end zone. The ball hit the pylon and should have been a touchback - but the Utes were given the ball at the 1 yard line (props to the officials for coming out and declaring that they made the wrong call. I wish we could see this more often - both from officials and politicians ;) ). Navy stopped them on 4th and goal and got the ball back at the 1. They would have gotten the ball back on the 20 after the touchback. Not a huge difference but, its still 1/5 of the field.
Utah had a 10 point lead with 1:27 left in the game. Ute fans were feeling pretty comfortable - until, Navy scored on a 58 yard pass after only 30 seconds. This put them down by 3 with 0:57 to go. Of course, they went for an onsides kick, and after a perfect bounce they got the ball back. The win was sealed for the Utes on the second play of the drive when Joe Dale intercepted Navy's final pass of the game. Dale was another candidate for player of the game for the Utes. He had a team-high 12 tackles and made the [possibly] game-saving interception at the end of the game.
This video below is of the voiceover of the game. Lou Holtz, one of the best college coaches of all-time, gives the Utes a little love. This guy knows what he's talking about!
9 wins this year, we won't be satisfied with less than 10 next year!