2007 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
The University of Utah held off a late rally by Navy to win
the 3rd annual San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, 35-32 in front of
a record 39,120 fans at Qualcomm Stadium.
The Utes led 35-25 with one minute to play, but a 58-yard
touchdown pass to Zerbin Singleton and a perfectly executed onside kick gave
the Midshipmen late life before Joe Dale intercepted Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada
to preserve the Utah victory.
Utah quarterback Brian Johnson earned Offensive MVP honors
as he threw for 226 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another as Utah won
its seventh straight bowl game. Running back Darrell Mack, a San Diego native,
also rushed for 76 yards and two touchdowns, including what proved to be the
Navy was led by a steady rushing attack that amassed over
300 yards on the ground, but early turnovers kept them out of the endzone. Head
coach Ken Niumatalolo suffered his first defeat as he took over for the recently
departed Paul Johnson, who was hired as the new head coach of Georgia Tech.
The game started off as a battle of defenses and field
position as Navy went into halftime with a slim 10-7 lead. It was only a matter
of time before these two high-power offenses got on track, as the two teams
combined for 50 points in the second half. After Navy led 17-7, Utah rattled
off 21 straight points and never relinquished the lead.
Joe Dale received Defensive MVP honors as he finished the
game with a team-high 12 tackles to go along with his game-saving interception.