Navy Falls to Pitt, 42-21; Three Game Win Streak Snapped
Head coach Ken Niumatalolo's three-game winning streak came to an end with a 42-21 loss to Pitt during an NCAA game in Annapolis, MD on October 18, 2008. Yuchen Nie/DC Sports Box File Photo
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Navy Midshipmen were routed by the 23rd ranked Pittsburgh Panthers, 42-21. A record crowd of 37,790 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on a cool Saturday saw the Midshipmen’s three game losing streak snapped.
 
Pitt racked up 499 yards in total offense – compared to 251 for Navy – led by the arm of Bill Stull, who went 15 for 23 with 255 yards in the air with one touchdown, along with two interceptions, and LeSean McCoy’s strong day on the ground.

McCoy, the Panthers’ running back – a sophomore from Harrisburg, Pa. – rushed for 156 yards on 18 carries and ran for three touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Navy, whose offensive strength has been the ground game all season, was held to only 194 yards – a season low. Jarod Bryant had 21 carries for 81 yards, and Shun White had 10 carries for 70 yards; however, the offensive output, especially in the air – Navy only had 57 compared to 255 for Pitt – was a major factor for the Midshipmen’s loss.

Pitt took the upper hand in the first half, as Larod Stephens rushed six yards for the score, to put them up 7-0 at the 10:01 mark, to cap off an 11 play, 74 yard drive.  Navy tied the score only a few minutes later, with 7:19 remaining, as Shun White rushed 40 yards for a touchdown.

Minutes later at the 4:34 mark, the Panthers took the lead, 14-7, as LeSean McCoy served as a major catalyst in their second drive, rushing for a two yard touchdown that finished off a five play, 58 yard drive highlighted by a Bill Stull pass to Jonathan Baldwin for 43 yards, setting up the score.

Navy would get the ball back; however, a fumble by Bryant on the first play of the drive would be fatal and would give Pittsburgh a 21-7 lead to close out the quarter with 2:58 remaining. After Gus Mustakas recovered the fumble at the Navy 17, they would only need three plays – capped off by LaRod Stephens-Howling’s nine yard run – to increase the lead to 14.

Good luck came to Navy at the start of the second half, as they came within seven of the lead, helped greatly by a Rashawn King interception that he returned for 91 yards from a throw by Pittsburgh’s Bill Stull. A minute later, Jarod Bryant was handed the ball, and rushed for yards for the score with 10:22 left on the clock.

However, on Pittsburgh’s next possession, they would take a 28-14 lead with 8:04 left as LeSean McCoy found himself in the end zone again, completing a 11-yard run to cap off a seven play, 49 yard drive.

Before the end of the first half, Pittsburgh would go up 35-14 with 1:04 left, as McCoy found himself in the end zone again – for the third time – as he rolled 58 yards down the field on the first play of the possession.

Things would then slow down, and both teams would not score until the very end of the fourth quarter.

The Panthers would take a commanding 42-14 with 14:01 left after Jonathan caught a 60-yard pass from Stull; however, Navy found themselves in the end zone with only 20 seconds left in the contest as Ricky Dobbs – the third string quarterback – ran for four yards for the score, which was set up in part by a 39 yard pass to Mario Washington that got them to the Pitt 4-yard line.

Navy will try to get back into the win column Saturday as they square off with Southern Methodist University (SMU) at home at 3:30 p.m.