Ronnie Hillman, a true freshman,showed why he was the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year as the conference's leading rusher and Poinsettia Bowl offensive MVP shredded Navy's defense for 228 yards (a Bowl record and Aztec bowl record (Faulk 1991)), 3 scores on the ground, and another in the air finishing the year with 1,532 yards. This all after city crew members worked throughout the night pumping 1.5 million gallons of water out of the stadium after days of torrential rain and had the field ready for kickoff.
Ricky Dobbs, the standout senior Quarterback and leader of the Navy Midshipmen was able to keep the Middies close in the first half, scoring on a 1 yard keeper as time expired in the 2nd quarter to bring Navy within a score at 21-14 but that would be the last score of the night for the Midshipmen.
"We got thoroughly whipped tonight," Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "We've played a lot of places, played a lot of teams in my time here at the Naval Academy, and that offense is as good as I've seen. Take your hat off to them. They beat us pretty bad today. Poinsettia Bowl: Navy run over by San Diego State and Ronnie Hillman, 35-14
After the half, Dobbs who had112 yards a score on the ground and 147 yards and a score in the air , lead the Middies go the ball to start the second half and all of the momentum seemed to have swung in their favor as their triple option offense marched down the field but stalled near the goal-line. Dobbs threw a pass incomplete just out of the reach of the receiver and all of the momentum was gone.
The Aztecs offense took over and never looked back Senior wide receiver Vincent Brown hauled in 8 balls for 165 and a score setting the Bowl record in the first quarter. Junior Quarterback Ryan Lindley was nearly perfect completing 18 of 23 for 276 yards for two scores and zero interceptions leading the Aztec attack for 555 yards of total offense. A perfectly executed play-fake and another Hillman scored put the game out of reach and the Aztecs won their first bowl game since 1969.