Senior defensive end Jabaree Tuani wants to put Navy's 27-24 loss to host San Jose State on Saturday behind him as soon as possible. A bowl game no longer an option, he still has one more game remaining to play in his college career.
"Not being able to go to a bowl game hurts," Tuani said. "We have to put this game into the past as quickly as possible and do whatever we can to get ready for Army. They're our rivals and we have to be as ready as they will be."
Tuani gave it everything he could, recording two quarterback sacks, forcing two fumbles and getting credit for a team-high 3 1/2 tackles for a loss.
Quarterback Kriss Proctor had Navy in line for at least a chance to kick a game-tying field goal early in the fourth quarter but a personal foul cost the Midshipmen premium real estate.
"We left points out on the field," Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "We didn't execute and they made plays. We had the chance but a costly penalty took us out. That's something we don't normally do."
Navy, which leads the nation in fewest penalties, was called for two of them. San Jose State, which ranks second, was also whistled twice.
Proctor led Navy with 82 rushing yards, 41 on one play. San Jose State outgained the Midshipmen, 465-344, most of that through the air.
"They didn't do anything special," Tuani said. "They just outplayed us. There were times we had them third and long or second and long when they would get the ball to their running back and he made plays and their quarterback had time to throw."
Navy scored on its first two possessions of the second half to take a 24-20 lead. Jon Teague kicked a 24-yard field goal midway through the third quarter and Proctor scored on a 2-yard run run late in the quarter.
The go-ahead score was set up by another turnover.Tuani crashed into San Jose State quarterback Matt Faulkner, forcing a fumble. Senior nose guard Jared Marks recovered on the Spartans' 43. Six plays later, the Midshipmen were in front.
Santiago's 21-yard run on a third-down play and Casey Bolena's 12-yard gain on a reverse were the key plays of the drive.
The Spartans responded with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Faulkner to freshman Jabari Carr, four seconds into the fourth quarter, to make it 27-24 in favor of San Jose State.
The Midshipmen's top two rushers, Alex Teich and Proctor, combined for a total of 17 yards in the first half and yet trailed by just 20-14 heading into the locker room at halftime.
Navy trailed 10-0 after the first quarter and had just 40 yards. That changed in a hurry when junior safety Tra'ves Bush came up with his second interception of the season early in the second quarter, giving his teammates a shot of energy.
Navy went 41 yards in six plays, with Proctor pushing himself into the end zone. Gee Gee Greene was responsible for 27 of those yards on two carries.
After forcing San Jose State into a 3-and-out, Proctor went back to work, needing just three plays to guide Navy into the end zone. He threw a 29-yard completion to Brandon Turtner, setting up Santiago's 35-yard touchdown run.
Proctor, who did not complete a pass in last week's 24-17 victory at Southern Methodist, was much more efficient against the Spartans. He completed nine of 20 attempts for 90 yards. The completions and attempts are his second-best of the season to his 14-of-24 contest against Air Force.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun