Coming off of an embarrassing 55-3 national television loss to BYU, Navy football looked like it might be in for a brutal season after one half against Tulane today. The Green Wave looked dominant, taking a 24-0 lead into halftime.
Typically, one would think it is hard for a triple-option team like Navy to overcome a deficit like that. The Midshipmen showed some impressive pride and drive in the second half. Ken Niumatalolo’s team scored 27 unanswered in the second half, topped with a 33-yard field goal as the clock expired to win the game.
Navy went scoreless in seven first half drive against the Green Wave. In the second half, they scored three touchdowns and two field goals, including the game-winner by Bijan Nichols, to pull out a giant come-from-behind victory.
The game goes down in the illustrious history of the Navy football program as its biggest second-half comeback ever. That is pretty hard to believe, for one of the oldest programs in college football, dating back to 1879. The celebration after the winning kick was awesome.
After being outscored 79-3 through the first 6 quarters of the season, Navy scores 27 straight to stun Tulane 27-24.
Largest 2nd half comeback in Navy history pic.twitter.com/IpBRbUuJUQ
— Chris Hassel (@Hassel_Chris) September 19, 2020
While we don’t have a full college football season as we know it, there have been some cool moments early on. Seeing a Navy comeback like this was definitely a thrill for fans.
— Navy Football (@NavyFB) September 19, 2020
Navy First Half: Navy Second Half: pic.twitter.com/bNpdvK8WXM
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) September 19, 2020
Brigade back in Annapolis right now: pic.twitter.com/mdRFEnHxdl
— Navy Athletics (@NavyAthletics) September 19, 2020
Tulane-Navy in the Willie Fritz era
2016: Navy W on late TD
2017: Navy W by 2
2018: Tulane gets bowl eligible with a 1 point win
2019: Tulane erases 24-point deficit. loses on buzzer beating FG
2020: Tulane goes up 24. Biggest 2H comeback in Navy history. FG as time expires.
— Richard🇬🇾Johnson (@RJ_Writes) September 19, 2020
Navy had been outscored 79-3 this season as of halftime. Saved their season. https://t.co/tWgoWEqIqI
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) September 19, 2020
After a brutal Week 1 loss, Niumatalolo admitted that he erred in trying to limit contact in practice leading up to Week 1. Concerns for player health and safety changed plans across college football, and for Navy football, it lead to a team being woefully unprepared.
With a few weeks between games, Navy clearly managed to work some things out, even if it took another half of football to get the ball rolling.
Navy isn’t scheduled to play again until Oct. 3. The Midshipmen travel to Air Force for the first game of the season’s battle for the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy. Tulane, which falls to 1-1, travels to Southern Miss next Saturday.