3:30 PM ET, October 24, 2009
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Running the triple option is no easy chore, especially for a sophomore quarterback making his first college start.
The task becomes even more complicated playing in a driving rainstorm with a water-logged football.
Navy's Kriss Proctor answered the challenge Saturday, deftly running for 89 yards and a touchdown in a soggy 13-10 win over Wake Forest.
Subbing for injured Ricky Dobbs (left knee), Proctor carried 23 times and didn't pass once. Coming in, his lone experience over two seasons was playing the mop-up role in a 63-14 win over Rice two weeks earlier.
The rain, which was torrential at times, made the football as slippery as a bar of soap.
"I told the A-backs to be aware of the crazy pitches," Proctor said. "I had one fumble on the goal line, but it's tough running the option in rainy conditions."
Proctor ran 40 yards for a touchdown to make it 13-3 with 11:23 left in the third quarter. Navy (6-2) then held on downs, and the Midshipmen moved to the Wake Forest 2 before Proctor lost a fumble after being hit by linebacker Matt Woodlief.
But the water-logged Demon Deacons (4-4) couldn't capitalize.
"The conditions made it really, really tough to move the football. Not only to throw it, but catch it," Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said.
Last year, against SMU in similar conditions, Navy became the first FBS team since Ohio in 1997 not to attempt a single throw. In this game, there was really no need to put the ball up after the first quarter.
"We did have a few pass plays called," Proctor said, "but I couldn't get a grip on the ball, so I just ran it."
Fullback Vince Murray rushed for a career-high 175 yards -- his second straight 100-yard game -- and Joe Buckley kicked two field goals for the Midshipmen, whose five-game winning streak is their longest since a 5-0 start in 2004.
The game was a rematch of the 2008 EagleBank Bowl, in which Skinner went 11 for 11 in leading Wake Forest to a 29-19 victory. Although Wake Forest plays in the Atlantic Coast Conference and Navy is an independent, the teams have met four times over the past three seasons.
Skinner was perfect against Navy back in December, but in this one he ran into a determined defense and a rain that came down in sheets.
"It makes it tough on for an offense when a lot of your game plan was based around the throw," Skinner said. "But you can't use that as an excuse for why the offense didn't play well. We just didn't respond to adversity as well as they did."
Adversity? Not for Wake Forest linebacker Dominique Midgett.
"Best fun I've had in a long while," he said. "It reminded me of back in the day, playing with your friends and Mama says come in because of the rain. But you don't want to come in because it's a tie game."
Limited to a field goal in a 38-3 loss to Clemson one week earlier, Wake Forest continued its offensive struggles during a first half that ended with Navy ahead 6-3.
With the wind at his back, Buckley kicked a career-long 50-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.
The Demon Deacons answered early in the second quarter with a 40-yard field goal by Jimmy Newman. Navy then used a 35-yard run by Murray to set up a 41-yard field goal by Buckley.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-13||9-16|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||0-0|
|FG||02:52||Joe Buckley 50 Yd||0||3|
|FG||13:45||Jimmy Newman 40 Yd||3||3|
|FG||07:26||Joe Buckley 41 Yd||3||6|
|TD||11:23||Kriss Proctor 40 Yd Run (Joe Buckley Kick)||3||13|
|TD||07:41||Devon Brown 15 Yd Pass From Riley Skinner (Jimmy Newman Kick)||10||13|