Navy at Southern Methodist

Worth leads Navy to 75-31 win over SMU

By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer
  •  

DALLAS (AP) Will Worth has become a dual threat in Navy's triple-option offense.

While the Midshipmen still stay mainly on the ground, Worth accounted for four touchdowns while becoming the first Navy quarterback with more than 100 yards rushing and 100 yards passing in three consecutive games in a 75-31 victory at SMU on Saturday.

''That's been Will. He's been solid this whole year,'' coach Ken Niumatalolo said. ''I'm running out of things to say about the kid. Week after week after week he continues to raise up to the challenge and perform well.''

Worth ran 15 times for 107 yards and three touchdowns, increasing his FBS-leading total to 25 rushing scores while playing only three quarters. The senior completed 5 of 7 passes for 104 yards and the go-ahead TD just before halftime.

The Midshipmen (9-2, 7-1, No. 25 CFP), who had already clinched the American Athletic Conference West Division title, will host Temple (9-3, 7-1) in the conference championship game next Saturday.

''This is exactly where we wanted to be. The entire offseason, this is what we worked for,'' Worth said. ''We feel great, just got to keep things rolling right now.''

SMU (5-7, 3-5) missed a chance to become bowl eligible in its regular-season finale amid rumors coach Chad Morris is a candidate to become Baylor's new coach. The Mustangs are 7-17 in two seasons under Morris, who took over after a 1-11 season.

''This is not about me, this is about these kids in that locker room in there and moving forward,'' Morris said. ''I'm the football coach at SMU and I'm extremely excited about the direction of this program.''

Navy has won four games in a row, and has consecutive 60-point games for the first time since 1917.

Temple won 37-10 over East Carolina on Saturday night to match South Florida for the AAC East lead. The Owls advanced to the title game on the head-to-head tiebreaker since they beat USF last month.

After Navy's first lost fumble in five games led to a touchdown that put SMU up 24-21 late in the first half, the Midshipmen responded with 47 unanswered points.

Worth's 8-yard TD pass to Jamir Tillman with 6 seconds left in the first half put the Midshipmen ahead to stay. They scored twice in less than a minute right after halftime, on 255-pound fullback Shawn White's 50-yard run and Justin North's 25-yard interception return.

''Proud of the way our team's fighting right now,'' Niumatalolo said. ''I just feel like we're still improving as a football team and I like where we're at this point in the season.''

THE TAKEAWAY

Navy: The Midshipmen, still in contention for a Cotton Bowl berth if they win the AAC title game, had a season-high 496 yards rushing and averaged 10.3 yards per carry, with six players rushing for TDs. It was a record 37th victory for the senior class, which still has three more games to play. They had matched last year's seniors, who had tied the 36 wins by the Class of 1909.

SMU: While a disappointing way to finish the season, the Mustangs have clearly improved under Morris. They had won three of four, including a win over Houston, before consecutive losses to AAC division leaders. Now they wait to see if Morris stays for a third season.

SOME BIG NUMBERS

Worth tied the program record with his seventh consecutive 100-yard rushing game. ... SMU finished the season with a 1,000-yard rusher (Braeden West) and 1,000-yard receiver (Courtland Sutton) for the first time since 2011. ... The 496 yards rushing marks the 10th-best total in Navy history, and the Midshipmen had their most points since scoring 76 against East Carolina in 2010. They were over 500 yards rushing before losing 5 yards when kneeling down on three consecutive plays after getting the ball back with 1:30 left.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Midshipmen, who moved to 25th in the College Football Playoff rankings last week, could move back into the AP Top 25 after being unranked the past four weeks. Five teams lost this weekend that were ranked 17th through 25th in the current AP poll, in which Navy was among the top teams in others receiving votes.

UP NEXT

Navy hosts Temple for the AAC championship game next Saturday, then plays Army on Dec. 10 in Baltimore.

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More AP college football at www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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Related Video

January 9, 2017
CBS Game of Week: Year in Review (2:51)
 
Scoreboard
Navy #25  (9-2) «1414281975
Southern Methodist  (5-7)7170731
Players of the Game
Midshipmen

W. Worth
Att 7
Comp 5
Yds 104
TD 1
Mustangs

B. Hicks
Att 45
Comp 31
Yds 331
TD 2
Scoring Summary
SMUCourtland Sutton 19 yd pass from Ben Hicks (Josh Williams kick)
NAVYWill Worth 29 yd run (Bennett Moehring kick)
NAVYWill Worth 5 yd run (Bennett Moehring kick)
SMUJosh Williams 26 yd FG
NAVYToneo Gulley 4 yd run (Bennett Moehring kick)
SMUBen Hicks 2 yd run (Josh Williams kick)
SMUXavier Castille 6 yd pass from Ben Hicks (Josh Williams kick)
NAVYJamir Tillman 8 yd pass from Will Worth (Bennett Moehring kick)
NAVYShawn White 50 yd run (Bennett Moehring kick)
NAVYJustin Norton 26 yd interception return (Bennett Moehring kick)
NAVYWill Worth 3 yd run (Bennett Moehring kick)
NAVYToneo Gulley 39 yd run (Bennett Moehring kick)
NAVYAnthony Gargiulo 2 yd run (blocked XP)
NAVYZach Abey 46 yd run (missed kick)
SMUKe'Mon Freeman 2 yd run (Josh Williams kick)
NAVYKendrick Mouton 7 yd run (Bennett Moehring kick)
 
Team Stats
 NAVYSMU
First Downs2327
Third Down Efficiency7-812-19
Fourth Down Efficiency0-00-2
Plays-Net Yards57-60083-427
Rushes-Yds48-49637-96
Passing Yds104331
Kick Return Yds103141
Punt Return Yds00
Passes5-9-031-46-2
Punts0-02-81
Fumbles-Lost1-10-0
Penalties-Yds4-505-40
Time of Poss.25:1534:45
 
Individual Stats
RUSHING
NAVY: Zach Abey 7-111, Will Worth 15-107, Toneo Gulley 3-57, Shawn White 4-54, Jahmaal Daniel 2-49, Darryl Bonner 1-44, Dishan Romine 3-23, Malcolm Perry 1-13, Kendrick Mouton 2-11, Tre Walker 1-11, Calvin Cass Jr. 2-10, Myles Swain 2-7, Anthony Gargiulo 2-4, Team 3--5
SMU: Ke'Mon Freeman 18-58, Braeden West 12-48, Darrel Colbert Jr. 1-2, Myron Gailliard 1-2, Ben Hicks 5--14
PASSING
NAVY: Will Worth 5-7-104-0, Team 0-2-0-0
SMU: Ben Hicks 31-44-331-2, Ke'Mon Freeman 0-1-0-0, Darrel Colbert Jr. 0-1-0-0
RECEIVING
NAVY: Tyler Carmona 1-35, Darryl Bonner 1-27, Dishan Romine 1-21, Calvin Cass Jr. 1-13, Jamir Tillman 1-8
SMU: Xavier Castille 8-86, Courtland Sutton 6-60, James Proche 6-49, Shelby Walker 3-29, Ke'Mon Freeman 2-36, Kevin Thomas 2-32, Braeden West 2-11, Mitchell Kaufman 1-16, Austin Rolfe 1-12
 
Standings
TeamStandingsConferenceOverall
Navy1st American Athletic West7-19-5
Southern Methodist5th American Athletic West3-55-7

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