Navy Overcomes Record Breaking Zay Jones In 66-31 Victory Over East Carolina

Running wild versus a depleted East Carolina defense, the Navy Midshipmen kept their faint hopes of a trip to a NY6 bowl alive with a 66-31 victory.

Let’s be honest, no one is surprised about the result. They are only worried about two things: did Zay Jones break any records and where will Navy stand in the CFP standings with San Diego State losing?

Starting with Jones, he is now officially the all-time leader in receptions. The senior caught 12 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns. He needed seven catches to catch former teammate Justin Hardy and now is the only player in FBS history to catch 390 passes. He should easily break the 400 mark in the season finale versus Temple.

Heading into the game today, Jones was sitting at #5 overall in the single season receptions list. He was one behind Troy Edwards and Jordan White, three behind Manny Hazard, and 15 behind Bowling Green’s Freddie Barnes (155 in 2009). Jones’ 12 catches moved him to 151, only four behind Barnes’ mark. With nine catches, Jones will not only break the 400 catch mark but also become the only player in FBS history with 160 catches in a season. Wow, what a career.

Before getting into the CFP hopes of Navy, we have to give a round of applause to quarterback Will Worth. He went from never used backup to starter and all he has done is rush for 100+ yards in each of the last six games. During that stretch, Navy went 5-1 and went from an outsider in the AAC race to the AAC West Division representative. Sure, they still have SMU on the schedule, but they own tiebreakers over both teams. Congrats Navy, you will represent the west.

Ok, now let’s talk about the CFP. Navy has been on the outside looking in at the top 25 since the rankings were released. I am sorry to say that it will still be the case on Tuesday. The CFP committee has given big jumps to team that knocked out a top 10 program. Despite Navy holding the head to head over Houston, the Cougars will be in the top 25 and Navy will not.

That being said, the NY6 representative will come from the highest ranked conference champion among G5 teams. That means that WKU/La. Tech, WMU/Ohio/Miami, Navy/Temple/USF, Boise/SDSU/Wyoming, and Arkansas State are the only teams in that can fit that criteria.

Of those teams, Navy has to root for WMU to lose, the MWC to cannibalize themselves (Wyoming winning the MWC is ideal), and winning the AAC. If all that falls into place, the Midshipmen would likely be the highest ranked G5 program and head to the Cotton Bowl. Even if that happens, WMU may still be the higher ranked team unless they lose to both Toledo and in the MAC title game. Confused yet? I am.

Anyway, Navy improves to 8-2 on the year and can hit the double-digit mark for the second straight season with wins over SMU and Army in the final two games of the season. They could even win the AAC title game and a bowl game to get to 12 wins for the first time in school history. Anything is possible at this point.

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