Navy looked sunk in the first half at Tulane, but completed an improbable comeback in the second half when Bijan Nichols hit a walk-off, 33-yard field goal to give the Midshipmen a 27-24 win vs. the Green Wave on Saturday. It was the largest second-half comeback in Navy history.
At halftime, the Midshipmen had managed just 59 yards, were 0-of-6 on third downs and entered the locker room down 24-0. Instead of falling apart like they did in the second half of the 55-3 loss to BYU in Week 1, they rode the wave all the way to the win.
Nelson Smith got the comeback started with a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to get the Midshipmen on the board. Jamale Carothers ripped off a 48-yard run on the next drive that set up another 1-yard score from by Smith. Navy safety Evan Fochtman stopped Cameron Carroll in the end zone for a safety late in the third quarter to make it a one-score game going into the final frame.
Senior quarterback Dalen Morris hit Mychal Cooper for a 32-yard score on the first drive of the fourth quarter and then hit Devin Mathews for the two-point conversion to tie it up. Staying true to their identity, the Midshipmen went 52 yards on 10 plays over the last 4:41 of the game to set up Davies for the game-winner.
It was a much-needed win for a Navy team that laid an egg in the opener vs. BYU. Coach Ken Niumatalolo took the blame for the loss to the Cougars after he didn't have contact practices during fall camp. It's clear that the off week and dose of reality worked wonders for the Midshipmen.
Navy (1-1, 1-0 AAC) be off next week before going to Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Oct. 3 to take on rival Air Force. Tulane (1-1, 0-1 AAC) will play Southern Miss in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on Sept. 26.