Jan. 16, 2006
Final Football Notes
Mids Win Second-Straight Bowl Game
Sophomore slot back Reggie Campbell (Sanford, Fla.) tied an NCAA bowl game record with five touchdowns as he helped lead Navy (8-4) to a 51-30 rout of Colorado State (6-6) in front of 36,842 fans at the inaugural Poinsettia Bowl. The two teams combined for an NCAA bowl game record 1,183 yards (the record was broken a few days later by Rutgers and Arizona State in the Insight.com Bowl).
Campbell, who was named the game's offensive MVP, scored on 55 and 34- yard scoring strikes from quarterback Lamar Owens (Sr./Savannah, Ga.) and on runs of 22, two and 21 yards to tie a record set by four others, most notably by Barry Sanders in the 1988 Holiday Bowl.
The Rams jumped out to a 7-0 lead as they marched 77 yards on 10 plays on the opening possession of the game. Kyle Bell capped off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run.
The Mids, however, would answer in just one play as Owens hit Campbell down the middle of the field with a 55-yard touchdown pass to tie the score at seven.
Colorado State would retake the lead on its next possession when Jason Smith kicked a 34-yard field goal with 7:24 remaining in the first half to give the Rams a 10-7 advantage.
Navy took its first lead of the game, a lead it would never give up, early in the second quarter when Marco Nelson (Sr./Scottsdale, Ariz.) scored on a 22-yard run around the right end, capping off a seven-play, 68-yard drive.
After the Navy defense forced a Colorado State punt, the Mids marched 80 yards on 11 plays as Campbell matched Nelson's TD run with a 22-yard touchdown gallop of his own.
The Mids defense forced another punt and Campbell capped off an 89-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run 28 seconds before intermission and the rout was on.
Campbell would score his fourth touchdown of the game on the first possession of the second half on a 21-yard jaunt to give the Mids' a 34-10 lead.
The Rams threatened to get back in the game late in the third quarter when quarterback Justin Holland connected with Dustin Osborn on touchdown passes of 10 and 20 yards to make the score 34-24, but Campbell would answer one more time as Owens hit him with a 34-yard touchdown pass on the Mids next possession.
Campbell piled up 290 yards of total offense as he rushed for 116 yards on 16 carries, caught two passes for 89 yards and returned four kickoffs for 85 yards. Adam Ballard (So./Lewisville, Texas) paced the Navy ground attack with 129 yards on 15 carries, while Nelson chipped in 80 yards on just seven carries.
Owens completed five of his 10 pass attempts for 144 yards and two touchdowns.
The Navy defense was led by Tyler Tidwell (Jr./Edmond, Okla.) who recorded 12 tackles, three sacks and forced a fumble as he was named the game's defensive most valuable player. Rob Caldwell (Jr./St. John, Ind.) added 14 tackles, while Jeremy McGown (Jr./Houston, Texas) contributed 12 stops.
Navy Finishes 30th In Both Polls
The Navy football team finished 30th in the country in both the Associated Press and USA Today final polls. The Mids defeated Colorado State, 51-30, to win the Poinsettia Bowl and finished 8-4 on the year. The win marked the first time in school history that Navy has appeared in and won bowl games in back-to-back years. The Mids won their final three games by a combined score of 131-70.
Navy was playing in its third-straight bowl game for the first time in school history. Navy's win over Colorado State gives the Mids back-to-back bowl wins in consecutive years for the first time in school history and marked the second time in school history that Navy has won back-to-back bowl games (1955 Sugar Bowl and 1958 Cotton Bowl). Navy is now 6-5-1 all-time in bowl games, including a 2-1 mark under Paul Johnson.
An Historical Run
With the victory over Colorado State, the Mids finished 8-4 on the year and marked the third-consecutive year Navy has finished with eight or more wins. It is just the third time in school history and the first since 1906-08 that Navy has had three-straight years of winning eight or more games.
Even More History
Navy's 18 wins over the last two years ties the school record for wins over a two-year span. Navy won 18 games in 1905-06, 1906-07, 1907-08 and 2003-04. Navy's 26 wins over the last three years are tied for the second most in school history (Navy also won 26 from 1906-08). The record for a three-year span is 27 wins which was set in 1905-07.
Campbell's Night To Remember
Reggie Campbell's (So./Sanford, Fla.) five touchdowns against Colorado State tied an NCAA record for most touchdowns in a bowl game and are the fourth most touchdowns in school history. Campbell shares the record with Steven Jackson of Oregon State who scored five touchdowns in the 2003 Las Vegas Bowl, Barry Sanders of Oklahoma State who found the end zone five times in the 1988 Holiday Bowl, Sheldon Canley of San Jose State who scored five times in the 1990 California Bowl and Neil Snow of Michigan, who scored five touchdowns in the 1902 Rose Bowl.
Campbell's 55-yard touchdown catch on the first play of the game was his first-career touchdown reception and the longest reception of his career. He added another touchdown catch in the third quarter.
Campbell ran for a career-high 116 yards on a career-high 16 carries. It was his first-career 100-yard game.
Campbell accounted for 290 all-purpose yards in the game and racked up 450 all-purpose yards on 30 touches in the final two games of the year (against Army and Colorado State).
Campbell, Harper And Rossi Named To All-Bowl Teams
Sophomores Reggie Campbell (Sanford, Fla.) and Antron Harper (Eastman, Ga.) and junior James Rossi (Buda, Texas) were named to all-bowl teams.
Campbell, who at 5-6 and 164 pounds is one of the smallest players in college football, destroyed Colorado State with his NCAA bowl game record-tying five touchdowns. He rushed for 116 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries, caught two passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns and returned four kickoffs for 85 yards. Campbell was named to both the Rivals.Com and Collegefootballnews.com all-bowl teams.
Rossi and Harper, who at 5-11 and 249 pounds is the smallest offensive lineman in the country, anchored an offensive line that helped pave the way for a Navy offense that rolled up 611 yards of total offense (467 rushing and 144 passing). Harper was named to the ESPN.Com team, while Rossi was tabbed by Collegefootballnews.com.
Piccioni Selected As Most Inspirational By Teammates
Navy junior linebacker Anthony Piccioni (Ebensburg, Pa.) was voted Most Inspirational Player by his teammates and was honored at the Poinsettia Bowl team luncheon on the USS Midway. The Poinsettia Bowl sponsored the award and it was given to the person who best inspires sportsmanship, scholarship and leadership. Piccioni, who hopes to become a Navy SEAL upon graduation, has been one of Navy's top special teams players the last two years.
Three Navy Players Selected All-East
Senior quarterback Lamar Owens (Savannah, Ga.), junior linebacker Rob Caldwell (St. John, Ind.) and sophomore kicker Joey Bullen (St. Simons, Island, Ga.) were named to the All-East Football Team by the ECAC. The three helped lead Navy to an 8-4 record, a third-straight Commander-In-Chief's Trophy for the first time in school history, a third-straight bowl appearance for the first time in school history and a second-straight bowl win for the first time in school history.
Owens directed a Navy offense that averaged 34.2 points and a nation's best 319.3 yards per game on the ground, as he rushed for a team-high 880 yards and 11 touchdowns while throwing for 1,299 yards and six touchdowns.
Caldwell finished the year with 140 tackles, 31 more than his next closest teammate, ending the season as one of the top-10 tacklers in the nation. Caldwell added 7.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks to his resume.
Bullen made 52 of his 53 extra-point attempts and was nine out of 12 on field goals, none bigger than his 46-yard field goal as time expired against Air Force,
giving Navy a thrilling 27-24 victory over the Falcons.
Johnson's Teams Explode Down The Stretch
Over the last three years, Navy has posted an 8-1 record over the final three games of the season and has averaged 41.1 points per contest. This year, Navy averaged 43.7 points over the final three games in routing Temple (38-17), Army (42-23) and Colorado State (51-30).
Bowl Game Records
Navy's 48 points, 32 first downs, 69 rushing attempts and 467 rushing yards against Colorado State were Navy bowl game records.
300 The Number
The Mids have won 18-consecutive games and are 21-4 under Johnson when rushing for 300-plus yards. The last loss when rushing for over 300 yards was against Rutgers on Sept. 27, 2003.
Johnson Tough With Time
Paul Johnson has posted a 13-5 record (.722) as Navy's head coach when having more than one week to prepare.
In 2002, the Mids posted a 2-2 record, defeating SMU and Army and losing to Northwestern and Notre Dame.
In 2003, Navy was 4-1, defeating VMI, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan and Army and losing to Texas Tech in the Houston Bowl.
In 2004, the Mids were 4-1 (defeating Duke, Rutgers, Army and New Mexico and losing to Notre Dame) when having more than one week to prepare.
In 2005, Johnson was 3-1, losing to Maryland and beating Duke, Army and Colorado State.
On Nov. 15, Navy's 18 seniors found out what they will be doing after graduation. In four years, the seniors have been part of a renaissance in Navy football as the Mids have posted a 26-21 (.553) record, will go to three-straight bowl games, won a bowl game, and won two-consecutive Commander-In-Chief's Trophies (Navy can win a third by beating Army). It is the first class to graduate with a winning record since the Class of 1999 graduated with a 24-22 (.521) mark.
Navy's 18 seniors and their assignments: Jake Biles (Marine Corps Ground), Mike Brammer (Navy Pilot), Jeremy Chase (Surface Warfare), Cory Colistra (Marine Corps Ground), Dan Gibbon (Marine Corps Pilot), Marshall Green (Dental School), Ed Kotulski (Marine Corps Ground), Jason Monts (Navy Pilot), Kenny Ray Morrison (Surface Warfare), Marco Nelson (Surface Warfare), Lamar Owens (Surface Warfare), Luke Penrose (Surface Warfare), James Polanco (Marine Corps Ground), Lloyd Regas (Supply Corps.), Eric Shuey (Surface Warfare), Mick Yokitis (Marine Corps Ground), Dan Wendolowski (Marine Corps Ground) and Matt Williams (Marine Corps Ground).
Navy Finishes No. 1 In The Nation In Rushing And Set Two School Records For Rushing Offense
Navy finished No. 1 in the country in rushing offense for the second time in three years, averaging 318.67 yards per contest. Navy averaged a school-record 5.7 yards per carry and scored a school-record 43 rushing touchdowns. National champion Texas finished a distant second, averaging 274.92 yards per game.
Navy has never finished lower than third in the country in rushing during Paul Johnson's tenure at the Academy. In 2004, Navy finished third in the nation, averaging 289.50 yards per contest. In 2003, the Mids led the nation in rushing, averaging a school-record 323.2 yards per game. In 2002, Johnson's first year at Navy, the Mids finished third in the nation in rushing, averaging 270.8 yards per contest.
Mids Finish 15th In The Nation In Scoring And Set Two School Records
Navy finished 15th in the country in scoring offense, averaging 34.17 points per game. The Mids averaged 43.7 points over the final three games in routing Temple (38-17), Army (42-23) and Colorado State (51-30). The Mids set the modern day record for total points scored with 410 and scored a school-record 55 touchdowns.
Navy Ranked 20th In The Nation In Total Offense And Set Two School Records For Total Offense
Navy finished 20th in the country in total offense, averaging a school-record 435.17 yards per contest and a school-record 6.4 yards per play. The Mids produced three of the top-26 total offense performances in school history this year. The Mids amassed 611 yards of total offense against Colorado State, the 11th most in school history, 532 yards of total offense against Kent State, the 24th-most yards in school history, and 531 yards against Army, the 26th-most yards in school history and the most ever in an Army-Navy game.
Navy Tough On Punt Returners
The Mids, led by their dimuntive gunners sophomore Reggie Campbell (5-6, Sanford, Fla.) and senior Marco Nelson (5-7, Scottsdale, Ariz.), were tough against opposing punt returners, allowing just 4.86 yards per return. The 4.86 yard average is the sixth-best average in the country.
Navy finished back near the top of the national rankings for fewest penalties per game and fewest yards penalized per game, ranking third in both categories. In 2004, Navy finished second in the country for the fewest amount of penalties per game (4.17) and fifth in fewest yards penalized per game (35.83).
Go For It!
Navy finished 15th in the nation in fourth down efficiency, converting 19-of-30 opportunities (.633).
Owens Finishes His Career With A Bang
Senior quarterback Lamar Owens (Savannah, Ga.) finished his career with his name etched in the Navy record books.
Owens, who entered the season with 129-career rushing yards, rushed for 122 yards on 19 carries in his first-career start against Maryland. With the effort, Owens became just the 14th Navy quarterback to rush for over 100 yards in a game (54th time overall). He also joined Chris McCoy (26 carries for 273 yards on Sept. 9, 1995 at SMU) and Brian Madden (34 carries for 168 yards on Oct. 30, 1999 at Notre Dame) as the only Navy quarterbacks to rush for over 100 yards in their first-career start.
He also rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown against Duke and 110 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries against Kent State, making him just the seventh quarterback in school history to rush for 100 yards in a game on three or more occasions in a career.
Owens also hurt the opposition through the air, averaging a school-record 10.6 yards per pass attempt this season, throwing for 1,299 yards on just 122 attempts, and averaging a school-record 20.6 yards per pass completion on his 63 completions. He also owns the career mark for average yards per attempt, averaging 10.5 yards (1,337 yards on 127 attempts).
Owens amassed 2,179 yards of total offense (880 rushing and 1,299 passing) on just 335 plays this year. The 2,179 yards ranks fourth in school history, his 6.5 yards per play ranks fourth in school history for average yards per play for a season and his 6.01 average yards per play for a career (2,274 yards in 378 plays) ranks first in the school annals.
Caldwell Finishes 10th In The Nation In Tackles
Junior linebacker Rob Caldwell (St. John, Ind.) finished 10th in the nation in tackles per game, averaging 11.67 per contest.
Caldwell, who entered the season with 15-career tackles, recorded 140 tackles this season. He was in double figures in nine-of-12 games. He will be the second-leading returning tackler in the country next year as Patrick Willis of Mississippi is the only other non-senior in the top 10.
This is the fourth-consecutive year and sixth time in the last 14 years that a player from Indiana has led the Midshipmen in tackles. Safety Josh Smith (Attica, Ind.) led Navy in tackles in each of the previous three years, and Javier Zuluaga (Indianapolis, Ind.) led Navy in tackles in 1992 and 1993. Caldwell is also be the first linebacker to lead Navy in tackles since Clint Bruce in 1995 and 1996.
Caldwell's 21 tackles against Air Force were tied for the sixth most in the country this year and the most by a Navy player since Smith had 21 against Connecticut in 2002.
Tidwell Finishes Tied For 14th In The Nation In Tackles For A Loss
Junior outside linebacker Tyler Tidwell (Edmond, Okla.) finished 14th in the nation in tackles for a loss, averaging 1.58 per contest. He recorded at least one tackle for a loss in all but the Notre Dame game.
Ballard Comes Up Big In First-Three Starts
Sophomore fullback Adam Ballard (Lewisville, Texas) came up big in his first-three career starts, rushing for 168 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries against Temple, 192 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries against Army and 129 yards on 15 carries against Colorado State. His 489 yards rushing are a school record for most yards rushing by a player in his first-three career starts and he is the first player in school history to rush for over 100 yards in each of his first-three career starts. Ballard's 192 yards rushing against Army were the most by a Navy player since Nov. 10, 2001, when Brian Madden rushed for 201 yards in Navy's 42-28 loss at Tulane and it's the most yards by a Navy player in an Army-Navy game since Dec. 6, 1997, when Chris McCoy rushed for 205 yards in Navy's 39-7 victory. Ballard ended the year averaing 6.1 yards per carry, which tied him with Mike Sherlock and Eddie Meyers for the school record.
Bullen Almost Automatic
Navy sophomore kicker Joey Bullen (St. Simon's Island, Ga.) was nearly flawless in extra points, making 52 of his 53 attempots, including 47-straight before having an extra-point blocked against Colorado State. His 52 extra-points are a Navy single-season record, while his 47-consecutive extra-points are tied for second all-time. Bullen's 79 total points rank as the fifth most in a season at Navy by a kicker.
Navy was 4-0 when scoring first this year and 4-4 when the opposition scores first. The Mids have won 11-consecutive games when scoring first, with the last loss coming in 2003 on Homecoming to Delaware.
The Red Zone
Navy scored 40 of the 50 times (.800) it reached the red zone this year, including 32 touchdowns (.640). Navy's opponents scored on 38 of their 48 opportunities in the red zone (.792) with 30 going for touchdowns (.625).
On A Roll
Navy is 26-11 (.694) over the last three years after posting a 3-30 (.091) record the previous three years. The Mids are 14-2 (.875) at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium over the last three years, after losing 14 straight at home the previous three years.
Playing In The Big Time
Navy was the only school in the country this year to play in three different NFL stadiums. The Mids played Maryland in M&T Bank Stadium (home of the Baltimore Ravens), Army in Lincoln Finanical Field (home of the Philadelphia Eagle) and Colorado State in Qualcomm Stadium (home of the San Diego Chargers). Since the start of the 2003 season Navy has played nine games in eight different NFL stadiums, posting a 5-4 record. No college team has played in more NFL stadiums than Navy has over the last three years.
Johnson Dominant Against Service Academy Teams
Navy head football coach Paul Johnson is 7-1 (.875) as a head coach against service academy teams (3-1 against Air Force and 4-0 against Army), the best start for a head coach in school history against the other two service academies. Johnson is just the third coach in school history to win his first four games against Army, joining legendary head coaches Wayne Hardin (won his first five, 1959-63) and George Welsh (won his first four, 1973-76). No Navy coach has beaten Army in the dominant fashion that Johnson has, as the Mids have outscored the Black Knights, 186-54 (46.5-13.5), during his tenure.
Navy's fullbacks, or B-Backs as they are called in the Navy offense, have run over Army the last three years, rushing for 523 yards (174.3 yards per contest) and five touchdowns on 73 carries (7.2 yards per carry).
Whittaker Has Big Freshman Year Before Injury
Freshman slot back Karlos Whittaker (North Chicago, Ill.) scored a Navy freshman record six touchdowns before tearing the ACL and MCL in his left knee in the second quarter of the Temple game. He is expected to be fully recovered by next season.
Before his injury, Whittaker was having a sensational freshman campaign, scoring a touchdown every 6.2 carries. Whittaker scored in six-consecutive games, the longest scoring streak by a Navy player since Brian Madden scored a touchdown in eight-consecutive games from 1999-2001 (Madden missed all of the 2000 season and the first three games of the 2001 season with a knee injury), before being shut out in the Tulane game.
He became just the second freshman in school history (Alton Grizzard was the other) to rush for over 100 yards in a game when he rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries against Stanford. Grizzard rushed for 225 yards on 23 carries in 1987 against Penn.
Whittaker had also started to become quite a threat on kickoff returns, averaging 25.6 yards per return, which is the fourth-best mark in school history for a single season and third best for a career. His 52-yard kickoff return against Rice was the longest by a Navy player since Aaron Weedo returned a kickoff 53 yards against Army in 2002.
Tomlinson Records Back-To-Back 100-Yard Receiving Games
Junior wide receiver Jason Tomlinson (Arlington, Texas) turned in back-to-back big games for the Midshipmen, catching four passes for a then career-high 114 yards and a touchdown against Air Force and catching five passes for a career-high 115 yards against Kent State. He is the first Navy player to top 100 yards receiving in back-to-back games since Ryan Read in 1998.
His touchdown against the Falcons came on a 61-yard toss from Lamar Owens (Sr./Savannah, Ga.). It was the longest reception in Tomlinson's career and the longest play by Navy since last year's Emerald Bowl when Aaron Polanco hit Corey Dryden with a 61-yard touchdown pass against New Mexico.
Tomlinson is averaging 17.3 yards per catch for his career, with 51 receptions for 883 yards. It's the fifth-best receiving average in school history.