DAPHNE, Ala. – The Midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy rushed for 306 yards against the nation’s top-ranked run defense and defeated the previously unbeaten Houston Cougars 46-40 to earn College Football Game of the Week honors from the United States Sports Academy.
Tied at 20 at the half, the Midshipmen opened the third quarter with 14 straight points off of Houston turnovers. Navy quarterback Will Worth connected with receiver Darryl Bonner for a 17-yard touchdown pass after a Houston fumble, then Josiah Powell returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown to give the Midshipmen a 34-20 lead. Navy took a 41-27 lead with a 34-yard touchdown pass from Worth to Brandon Colon with 1:41 left to play in the third quarter.
With 6:54 left in the game, Houston mishandled a punt snap which sailed into the end zone for a safety and gave the Midshipmen a 43-33 lead. Navy added a 40-yard field goal from Bennett Moehring to put the game out of reach.
Houston (5-1) came into the game ranked No. 6 and had won 19 of its last 20 games. Navy (4-1) had not defeated a team ranked in the top 10 since 1984, when it beat No. 2 South Carolina in Annapolis. The Midshipmen were a 17-point underdog against Houston.
A blue ribbon panel of 17 members consisting of former college football coaches and athletic directors and including Academy faculty selects the weekly winner of the Academy’s College Football Game of the Week Award by ballot. The committee is chaired by former U.S. Naval Academy athletic director Jack Lengyel. At the conclusion of the college football season, the panel selects the Academy’s College Football Game of the Year.
The College Football Game of the Year Award is part of the Academy’s Awards of Sport series, a function of the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA), which was established as “a tribute to the artist and the athlete.”
Each year at the conclusion of the college football season painter Daniel Moore, the ASAMA 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy to render a painting depicting a memorable and pivotal moment to commemorate the selected College Football Game of the Year. In addition, the Academy contributes $5,000 to the winning university’s scholarship fund.
Fans are encouraged to follow the Academy’s Game of the Year process and compare their selected games of the week to the committee’s selection.
Based in Daphne, Ala., the United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu .
Founded in 1984, ASAMA is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of nearly 2,000 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints and photographs. The museum is open free to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. For more information, go to www.asama.org.
By Eric Mann
Eric Mann is the Communications Assistant at the United States Sports Academy.