EditorsNote: Changes next game to “conference finale” in graf 2; clarifies final drive details in graf 5; corrects to 2 TDs (plural) in graf 7
Quarterback Malcolm Perry ran for 195 yards and two touchdowns on 38 carries to lead Navy to a 35-28 home win over No. 25 SMU on Saturday in Annapolis, Md.
Navy (8-2, 6-1 American Athletic Conference) enters its conference finale at Houston tied for first in the West division with Memphis, which has the tiebreaker but must play East-leading Cincinnati next week.
Perry scored on a 70-yard touchdown run with 6:11 remaining for what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown.
SMU (9-2, 5-2) then drove down to the Navy 12-yard line but was stopped on fourth-and-4 with 2:36 remaining when Shane Buechele threw an incomplete pass.
Navy picked up two first downs on the ensuing drive to run the clock out. The Midshipmen lined up to go for it on fourth-and-2 from their 31-yard line with 1:05 left and drew SMU offside to earn a first down.
Perry also completed 9 of 15 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown.
Buechele went 16 of 28 for 251 yards and two touchdowns.
Navy trailed 21-10 at halftime but cut the SMU lead to 21-17 by going on a 13-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by Perry’s 1-yard touchdown with 8:58 left in the third quarter.
Navy then made it a 21-20 game with 4:04 left in the third quarter after a 24-yard field goal by Bijan Nichols.
Navy took a 28-21 lead with 14:19 remaining on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Perry to junior Ryan Mitchell and subsequent 2-point conversion pass from Perry to junior C.J. Williams.
But SMU answered, tying the game at 28 on a 61-yard touchdown pass with 12:14 remaining from Buechele to Rashee Rice.
Navy dominated the game statistically, outgaining SMU 540-344 and picking up 28 first downs to 15 for SMU.
The Midshipmen also outrushed SMU 378-93.
—Field Level Media