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Navy vs. SDSU: Score and Twitter Reaction for 2014 Poinsettia Bowl

Published by Bleacher Report on Wed, 24 Dec 2014

It wasn't always pretty, but it was certainly entertaining.Navy and San Diego State combined for seven turnovers during Tuesday night's San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, but the Midshipmen got the last of four lead changes and squeaked out a 17-16 victory. This bowl victory was Navy's third time winning consecutive bowl games, according to ESPN Stats & Info:Chris Swain led Navy's run-heavy attack with 72 yards on eight carries, quarterback Keenan Reynolds ran for two touchdowns to win Offensive MVP, and the Midshipmen finished with 254 yards on the ground.Austin Grebe hit the go-ahead field goal with 1:27 remaining, and ESPN's Travis Haney put it simply for Ken Niumatalolo's squad, which survived four fumbles:Niumatalolo was even surprised his team came away with the win per theAssociatedPress via ESPN.com:"I have no idea how we won the game."Led by star running back Donnel Pumphrey, San Diego State outgained Navy, 327-271. Pumphrey finished with 154 total yards (112 rushing, 42 receiving) and a touchdown, entrenching himself in the school's record books, per the team's official Twitter feed:But the Aztecs couldn't overcome their own batch of mistakes. They turned the ball over twice in the fourth quarter, and Donny Hageman missed a potential game-winning 34-yard field goal with 24 seconds to go.Fox Sports' Stewart Mandel summed it up:The game's start was an indication of things to come. An interception by Quinn Kaehler on San Diego State's first drive gave Navy a short field, and the Midshipmen took advantage with a quick touchdown drive to take an early 7-0 lead.But it took the Aztecs just two minutes to respond. Rashaad Penny took the ensuing kickoff back 57 yards, and four of the next five plays went to Pumphrey, who eventually punched the ball in on a determined third-down run; ESPN College Football highlighted the play:For the rest of the first half, it was all San Diego State. Pumphrey and Chase Price continued to carve out big chunks of yardage on the ground, and the defensive line got constant penetration and stifled Navy's running game.Despite a major advantage in yardage, though, the Aztecs had two drives sputter into field goals and carried only a 13-7 lead into halftime.The Washington Post's Gene Wang summed it up:After averaging just 3.0 yards per carry in the first half, Navy found success on the ground immediately out of the locker room. The Midshipmen went 92 yards on 13 playsall runsand Reynolds finished the drive with a six-yard run up the gut to make it 14-13.Navy's Twitter feed put his second touchdown of the night into historical perspective:But then Navy seemingly forgot how to hold onto the ball.DeBrandon Sanders fumbled a punt, leading to an SDSU field goal, and on the next three drives, the Midshipmen had one three-and-out and two more fumbles lost at the line of scrimmage.The Aztecs couldn't take advantage, though. They mixed in an interception in between those fumbles, and Yahoo Sports' Pat Forde summed up the sloppy nature of the game:Pumphrey then fumbled, setting up Navy's game-winning drive.The Aztecs would get a chance for the win, but Hageman, who had made his previous three attempts and earlier set an SDSU record for field goals in a season, couldn't come through.Yahoo Sports' Frank Schwab wasn't surprised:It's a disappointing loss for San Diego State, which blew a number of opportunities. But with Pumphrey returning for his junior season, there's reason for optimism.For the Midshipmen, Niumatalolo has established some impressive consistency. With the record-breaking Reynolds at the helm, the arrow is pointing up.
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