The Midshipmen met a Hawaii team, winners of three straight, that was desperate to earn a bowl bid,. Navy made it four after the offense, led by junior quarterback Ricky Dobbs, got shut out in the second half of the 24-17 loss.
Dobbs, who scored his 23rd rushing touchdown which tied him for most by a quarterback in a season, said the team wanted to win for coach Ken Niumatalolo, who was born in Maui.
“Nobody was really talking about it, but it was in the back of everybody’s mind. It’s a sense of pride thing,” Dobbs told the Associated Press. “We wanted to give them bragging rights.”
The Mids sure didn’t show it in the second half, though. After an 18-yard touchdown run by fullback Vince Murray, the Rainbow Warriors blanked Navy the rest of the way.
Navy’s defense didn’t have any answers either for Hawaii’s passing attack. Quarterback Bryant Moniz torched Navy’s defensive backs for 366 yards passing and three touchdowns.
The loss has no affect on Navy’s bowl bid. The Mids have been locked into the Texas Bowl since Navy beat Wake Forest to earn its sixth win. Navy still has a chance to win 10 games if it beats Army on Dec. 12 and wins the Texas bowl likely against a Big 12 opponent.
It’s still a bad loss, though, against a team that lost to 3-win Louisiana Tech team and a 5-win UNLV team who has already fired its coach. And it steals away the momentum Navy built up following its win over Notre Dame leading up to its matchup against Army.