• Jordan Simal

UCF @ NAVY Game Notes

Oct. 2, 2021

3:30 p.m.

Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD


A fumble on the Midshipmen’s first drive by senior running back Carlinos Acie turned into an immediate touchdown for the Knights, as freshman quarterback Mikey Keene threw a quick 15-yard pass to redshirt senior wide receiver Brandon Johnson.

The drive went 15 yards on just one play, lasting only seven seconds.

NAVY 0, UCF 7.

Navy responded on their following drive, capping off a long, time-consuming drive with a seven-yard touchdown run from sophomore quarterback Tai Lavatai to tie the game.

The drive went 75 yards on 16 plays, lasting 8:10.

NAVY 7, UCF 7.

UCF quickly responded with a scoring drive of their own that ended with a 16-yard touchdown rush from junior wide receiver Amari Johnson.

The drive went 75 yards on 8 plays, lasting 4:18.

The extra point from junior kicker Dan Obarski was blocked.

NAVY 7, UCF 13.


Unable to find the endzone, the Midshipmen turned to junior kicker Bijan Nichols, who nailed a 24-yard field goal to pull Navy within three points.

The drive went 68 yards on 14 plays, lasting 6:44.

NAVY 10, UCF 13.

Keene found Johnson in the endzone for the second time on the afternoon, connecting on a 23-yard pass to double the Knights’ lead over Navy.

The drive went 58 yards on 6 plays, lasting 2:46.

NAVY 10, UCF 20.

Navy’s special teams unit provided a crucial touchdown in the closing minutes of the first half, as senior cornerback Michael McMorris blocked a UCF punt that was recovered by senior running back Daniel Taylor for a touchdown. It was their first time scoring a touchdown off of a blocked punt in 13 years.

NAVY 17, UCF 20.

UCF closed out the first half with a 28-yard field goal by Obarski.

The drive went 67 yards on 11 plays, lasting 1:34.

NAVY 17, UCF 23.


Following a fumble by Lavatai, the Knights scored on the following offensive play. UCF junior quarterback Joey Gatewood kept it himself on a 10-yard scamper to expand Central Florida’s lead.

The drive went 10 yards on one play, lasting 0:06.

NAVY 17, UCF 30.


A false start on the UCF 1-yard line forced the Midshipmen to move back to the Knights 6-yard line. Nichols booted a 23-yard field goal to close the gap to 10 points.

The drive went 69 yards on 9 plays, lasting 4:06.

NAVY 20, UCF 30.

Navy’s ensuing drive ended with a much-needed touchdown, as Lavatai brought a one-yard run across the goal line to make it a three-point ball game.

The drive went 45 yards on seven plays, lasting 3:15.

NAVY 27, UCF 30.

The Navy offense scored on its third consecutive drive to give the Midshipmen their first lead of the game. A four-yard carry into the endzone by senior fullback Isaac Ruoss not only gave Navy its first lead of the day, but its first fourth-quarter lead at home of the season.

The drive went 53 yards on 11 plays, lasting 5:19.

NAVY 34, UCF 30.

On a final desperation drive from UCF, a fourth-down pass from Keene was intercepted by Navy junior defensive back Taylor Robinson to secure the Midshipmen’s first win of the season.

Final Score: NAVY 34, UCF 30.

Navy advances to 1-3 while UCF falls to 2-2.

Against the Knights, the Midshipmen racked up a combined 406 yards of total offense.

Acie led the team in rushing, running for 85 of Navy’s 348 total rushing yards.

Defensively, senior linebacker Diego Fagot led the Midshipmen in tackles, with 11 combined, 1.5 for a loss.

Robinson’s interception was the lone turnover of the contest.

Navy’s next game will be at home in Annapolis on Saturday, October 9 at 3:30 p.m. versus the SMU Mustangs.