What went right
Just about anything that had to do with Navy's offense. Six Midshipmen ran for touchdowns, with Shun White's 131 yards in seven carries leading the way. After quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada was injured, Jarod Bryant led Navy to four second-half touchdowns. "He can come in and run the offense. We went to more of a fullback offense with him in there," coach Paul Johnson said. Navy attempted just six passes, but gained 108 yards, including a 41-yard touchdown pass from Kaheaku-Enhada to Tyree Barnes.
What went wrong
The Midshipmen's inability to tackle and stop North Texas players in the first half. But Navy held the Mean Green to 13 points in the second half. The 62 points were the most Navy has allowed since North Carolina State scored 65 in 2002. North Texas twice converted fourth-and-nine situations . This season, defense is a recurring problem; Navy has allowed more than 40 points in each of its past five games.
It might seem strange in a game dominated by offense, but big defensive plays made the difference. The first came after Navy moved within 49-38 with 1:16 left in the first half. Navy forced an incomplete pass by North Texas on third-and-15. After a punt, it took Navy two plays to score and cut the deficit to four points. In the second half, Ran Vela intercepted a pass while the Mean Green was driving for a potential go-ahead score, and Matt Wimsatt stopped another drive with an interception while the Mids led 65-56.
What it means
The Midshipmen will go to the Poinsettia Bowl. They're in a better position to lead the NCAA in rushing again after gaining 572 yards.
The Mids (6-4) will be home against Northern Illinois (2-8) of the Mid-American Conference. For the second consecutive week, it will be the first meeting between colleges. Navy coach Paul Johnson said he expected Kaheaku-Enhada to play .