Bullen's Last Second Field Goal Lifts Navy Over Duke 46-43
Sept. 22, 2007
ANNAPOLIS (AP) -Clutch kicks, trick plays and a big turnover on defense. Navy needed all three to keep Duke from winning two in a row.
Backup kicker Joey Bullen made a 44-yard field goal on the last play of the game and Navy beat Duke 46-43 on Saturday.
The Midshipmen (2-2) trailed 43-32 entering the fourth quarter. With Jarod Bryant entering the game at quarterback in place of winded starter Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, Navy rode Bryant's fresh legs to 14 consecutive fourth-quarter points.
"Kaipo was gassed in the second half, so Jarod came in and gave us some good plays," Navy head coach Paul Johnson said. "Then just like a couple years ago (in a 27-24 win) against Air Force, Joey Bullen comes in and hits it right down the middle."
The Mids closed to 43-35 on a 35-yard field goal by Bullen with 8:07 left.
Bullen had taken over the kicking duties from Matt Harmon, who kicked a field goal and three extra points for the Mids before being sidelined by a groin injury.
"Matt felt his groin was bothering him, so it was up to me. It just so happened I had a game-winning kick today," Bullen said.
The Navy defense held Duke (1-3), which broke a 22-game losing streak last week, after cutting the lead to one score and its offense used a trick play at the end of a 65-yard drive to get a touchdown.
On third down from the Duke 5, Bryant pitched to slotback Bobby Doyle, who then lofted a pass to Bryant for the score with 3:49 to play.
"As soon as I caught the pitch from Jarod, I started to look at him," said Doyle, who was recruited as a quarterback but later moved to slotback. "Then I turned at him and just let it fly."
Bryant ran in for the 2-point conversion to tie.
Ketric Buffin got the ball back for Navy by intercepting a long pass by Duke's Thaddeus Lewis at the Blue Devils 26.
"I looked at everyone's eyes and saw how hard the linebackers and everyone was fighting," said Buffin, who has interceptions in all four Navy games this year. "I said, 'Don't quit and we (the secondary) will make a play for you."'
Bryant picked up 35 yards on a draw to the Duke 39 and then picked up another first down on an 8-yard run to the 25 to help set up the winning kick.
Bryant's turnover in overtime last week led to Ball State's game-winning field goal.
"It's not often you get the chance to redeem yourself," Bryant said. "It would have been easy for us to give up today, but we kept going."
Lewis passed for a career-high 428 yards and four touchdowns to Eron Riley, who scored from 76, 35, 9 and 69 yards out.
Lewis also added a 3-yard TD run. Riley had six catches for 235 yards. Jomar Wright also had seven catches for 42 yards.
The teams combined for 1,046 yards, with Navy gaining 540.
Kaheaku-Enhada completed 11 of 16 passes for a career-best 217 yards and a 44-yard scoring toss to O.J. Washington.
Ranked No. 1 in the nation running the ball entering the game, Navy gained 304 yards on the ground. Eric Kettani had 71 yards and scored on runs of 10 and 4 yards.
Bryant ran for 69 and Kaheaku-Enhada added 59 yards and scored on a 1-yard run.
Duke led 36-25 at the half, the highest first-half total for the Blue Devils since they scored 41 points in a 48-35 win over Wake Forest on November 13, 1999.
After Navy scored on its first possession of the half to close to 36-32, Duke countered with a 69-yard pass from Lewis to Riley for a 43-32 lead.
"We didn't get it done. This one hurts," Duke head coach Ted Roof said. "We had our chances and didn't close the deal. Whether it was with some points offensively, a stop defensively, or a big play in the special teams, whatever it was, we didn't close the deal and that's very disappointing."