ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Fullback Daba Fofana rushed for 114 yards, and Navy beat No. 17 UCF 17-14 on Saturday without completing a pass.
Navy (4-7, 4-4 American Athletic) dominated possession of the ball and gained 248 yards, all on the ground. Xavier Arline threw incomplete on the team’s only passing attempt.
The loss dropped UCF (8-3, 5-2) out of first place in the AAC.
Mikey Keene replaced quarterback John Rhys Plumlee in the second half and immediately led the Knights to their only touchdown of the game.
Keene completed his first three passes for 79 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown pass to Javon Baker. Plumlee then passed to Baker for the 2-point conversion, tying it at 14 early in the third quarter.
John Marshall forced Keene’s fumble on the Knights’ next possession. It was recovered by Colin Ramos at the UCF 34, and Bijan Nichols’ 45-yard field goal lifted Navy to a 17-14 lead with 8:22 left in the third.
Navy had a 14-6 halftime lead after two long touchdown drives.
The Midshipmen took a 7-0 lead on Arline’s quarterback sneak with 8:20 left in the first quarter, completing a 75-yard drive.
Field goals of 21 and 31 yards by Colton Boomer made it 7-6, but Navy drove 84 yards to another touchdown late in the first half. Vincent Terrell Jr. ran it in from the 8 with 1:33 left.
Plumlee, a senior who had led UCF’s ninth-ranked offense for most of the season, completed 11 of 18 passes for 107 yards and threw a long interception on the final play of the half.
Marshall had a school-record four sacks for Navy, bringing his season total to 10 1/2, also a Navy record.
Navy: Three weeks ahead of its 123rd showdown with Army, the Midshipmen gained a huge measure of respect late in a losing season. Navy is now 8-1 in games without completing a pass in the Ken Niumatolo era (15 years).
UCF: After losing a chance to host the AAC championship game on Dec. 3, the Knights will have to win at South Florida on Nov. 26 to play at the winner of next week’s Tulane-Cincinnati game.
Navy: Plays against Army at Philadelphia on Dec. 10.
UCF: Plays at USF on Nov. 26.
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