GAMEDAY College Football

Southern Methodist 31, Navy 24

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The last thing No. 24 SMU needed was to fall too far behind against a methodical Navy team.

The moment the Mustangs seemed like they might be in trouble, Bryan Massey turned the game around with a long kickoff return.

"I thought that gave us a little bit of momentum back," SMU coach Sonny Dykes said. "The thing I was most proud of our guys about doing, they just kept their head down, never looked at the scoreboard. We talk to them all the time about doing that."

Tanner Mordecai threw for 324 yards and two touchdowns, and the unbeaten Mustangs rallied from a 14-point second-quarter deficit to beat Navy 31-24. Massey's 95-yard kickoff return began the comeback, and SMU's defense held firm for most of the second half.

SMU (6-0, 2-0 American Athletic Conference) had the game tied by halftime and went up 31-24 on a 22-yard TD pass from Mordecai to Jordan Kerley with 8:19 remaining in the final quarter.

"That was heartbreaking for our young men and the program to play the 24th-ranked team here and be up 21-7," Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "We were feeling pretty good about where we were at."

Mordecai now has 26 touchdown passes on the season. He also threw a 66-yarder to Reggie Roberson on fourth-and-1 to open the scoring, but Navy (1-4, 1-2) answered with the next 21 points.

Chance Warren tied the game with a 23-yard scoring run, then Tai Lavatai threw the first touchdown pass of the season for the Midshipmen, 37 yards to Kai Puailoa-Rojas on a flea-flicker.

Then a couple big turnovers went Navy's way. Mordecai was intercepted in the end zone, and later in the second quarter, he fumbled - and Diego Fagot returned that turnover 20 yards for a touchdown and a 21-7 lead.

Navy never had a chance to get comfortable, though. Massey took the ensuing kickoff all the way back for a touchdown, and then Tre Siggers scored on a 2-yard run to tie it with 1:54 left in the half.

After Kerley's catch in the end zone put the Mustangs ahead in the fourth, Navy turned the ball over on downs twice, the second time inside its own 20.

Southern Methodist athletics press release


Scoring Summary
First Quarter SMUNavy
SMU TD 13:28 Reggie Roberson Jr. 66 yd pass from Tanner Mordecai (Blake Mazza kick) 7 0
Navy TD 3:57 Chance Warren 23 yd run (Bijan Nichols kick) 7 7
Second Quarter SMUNavy
Navy TD 13:45 Kai Puailoa-Rojas 37 yd pass from Tai Lavatai (Bijan Nichols kick) 7 14
Navy TD 7:42 Diego Fagot 20 yd fumble return (Bijan Nichols kick) 7 21
SMU TD 7:29 Bryan Massey 95 yd kick return (Blake Mazza kick) 14 21
SMU TD 1:54 Tre Siggers 2 yd run (Blake Mazza kick) 21 21
Third Quarter SMUNavy
SMU FG 7:26 Blake Mazza 37 yd FG 24 21
Navy FG 0:23 Bijan Nichols 50 yd FG 24 24
Fourth Quarter SMUNavy
SMU TD 8:19 Jordan Kerley 22 yd pass from Tanner Mordecai (Blake Mazza kick) 31 24
Team Stats
  SMU Navy
First downs 22 12
  Rushing 7 10
  Passing 14 2
  Penalty 1 0
3rd Down Efficiency 2-11, 18% 7-17, 41%
4th down efficiency 2-2, 100% 1-3, 33%
Rushes-Yards 29-80 53-177
Passing Yards 324 64
Return Yards 135 48
Completions-Attempts-Int 30-40-1 4-7-0
Sacks-Yards Lost 1--10 3--12
Punts 4 6
Punts-Average 34.3 39.8
Fumbles Lost 1-1 1-0
Penalties - Yards 6-45 6-30
Time of Possession 27:41 32:19
SMU Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
T. Mordecai 30 40 324 2 1
Navy Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
T. Lavatai 4 7 64 1 0
SMU Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
T. Siggers 14 49 3.5 1
T. Lavine 6 30 5.0 0
T. Mordecai 4 2 0.5 0
U. Bentley IV 2 2 1.0 0
Navy Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
T. Lavatai 24 53 2.2 0
C. Warren 3 30 10.0 1
C. Acie 5 25 5.0 0
I. Ruoss 10 22 2.2 0
J. Harris II 7 18 2.6 0
R. Riethman 1 16 16.0 0
D. Jones 1 8 8.0 0
K. Puailoa-Rojas 1 4 4.0 0
T. Goslin 1 1 1.0 0
SMU Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
R. Roberson Jr. 5 100 20.0 1
R. Rice 8 77 9.6 0
A. Upshaw 4 37 9.3 0
D. Gray 3 37 12.3 0
G. Calcaterra 4 29 7.3 0
J. Kerley 1 22 22.0 1
T. Lavine 3 17 5.7 0
T. Siggers 2 5 2.5 0
Navy Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
K. Puailoa-Rojas 1 37 37.0 1
C. Warren 1 21 21.0 0
J. Umbarger 1 7 7.0 0
I. Ruoss 1 -1 -1.0 0
SMU Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Navy Interceptions
Player Int Yards
J. Hodges 1 0
SMU Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
B. Hall 3 122 40.7
T. Mordecai 1 15 15.0
Navy Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
R. Riethman 6 239 39.8
SMU Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
J. Kerley 2 30 15.0
Navy Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
C. Warren 2 10 5.0
M. Williams Jr. 1 0 0
SMU Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
B. Massey 1 95 95.0
T. Lavine 1 10 10.0
Navy Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
M. Haywood 1 38 38.0
SMU Missed FG
Player Length
B. Hall 51
Navy Missed FG
Player Length




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