DENTON, Texas (AP) -- Navy is no stranger to high-scoring games.
The Midshipmen have an NCAA record, and a bowl berth-clinching
victory, to show for their latest one.
The Midshipmen and North Texas scored a major-college record 136 points in Navy's 74-62 victory Saturday.
|Driving Up The Scores|
Since the NCAA starting keeping records in 1937, four of the five highest-scoring college football games ever have taken place over the last month, including two of the games took place Saturday.
Hartwick 72, Utica 70, 4 OT
Weber St. 73, Portland St. 68
Navy 74, North Texas 62
Boise St. 69, Nevada 67, 4OT
North Park 104, North Central 32
* -- FCS; ** -- Division II;
"There wasn't a whole lot of defense being played on either side. Look at them, they scored 62 and they lost," Navy coach Paul Johnson said. "If we don't score every time we get the ball, we're in a deep hole."
Navy, the nation's best rushing offense, set a school record by running for 572 yards with eight rushing TDs a week after snapping a 43-year losing streak to Notre Dame.
Zerbin Singleton ran for three TDs, with a 3-yard run just before halftime and a 65-yarder midway through the third quarter that pushed Navy ahead 58-49. The long run was the fourth straight touchdown for the Midshipmen (6-4), a stretch that put them ahead for the first time.
"In a shootout, we feel comfortable," fullback Adam Campbell said. "I have a saying, 'When the leaves turn colors, watch out, because that's when our offense really starts getting rolling.' "
The Midshipmen tied a school record by scoring at least 30 points for the eighth straight game. That stretch included previous victories of 46-43, 48-45 and 46-44, with a 59-52 loss. They scored their most points in a game since beating Colby 121-0 in 1919.
Still, this wasn't even the highest scoring game of the season. Weber State and Portland State racked up 141 for the all-division record two weeks ago. Weber State won 73-68 in a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) game.
The previous record for college football's top tier of competition was 133 points in San Jose State's 70-63 win over Rice on Oct. 2, 2004. Boise State beat Nevada 69-67 earlier this year, totaling 136 points, but that Oct. 14 game went to four overtimes. The teams were tied at 44 after regulation.
Rice also had the highest score by a losing team in that game, a distinction the Mean Green (1-8) missed out on by a single point.
"I have never been a part of a game quite like this," said coach Todd Dodge, who went 79-1 with four Texas Class 5A state high school championships and plenty of high-scoring games at Southlake Carroll the past five seasons before taking the UNT job. "I knew that we would have to score on nearly every possession and maybe steal a possession or two with turnovers."
Singleton's 65-yard score was set up after Ram Vela intercepted a pass by Giovanni Vizza, who was 40-of-50 for 478 yards and an NCAA freshman-record eight touchdown passes. Both of Vizza's interceptions came in the second half.
Navy's sixth victory guaranteed it a spot in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego on Dec. 20. It will be the Midshipmen's fifth straight bowl game, and they will play a Mountain West Conference team in their third bowl game in San Diego.
A week ago, Navy beat Notre Dame 46-44 in triple overtime. The Midshipmen and North Texas combined for more points than that by halftime, when the Mean Green led 49-45.
The 94 first-half points, and the 63 combined points in the second quarter, both set major college scoring records.
The previous record for points in a half of a major college game was 76, set by Houston and Tulsa in 1968. The old mark for a quarter was 61, by San Jose State and Hawaii in the fourth quarter of a November 1999 game Hawaii won 62-41.
Vizza's seventh TD pass, a 75-yarder to Sam Dibrell with 4:11 left in the first half, put North Texas ahead 49-31. But Navy then scored TDs on four straight possessions.
Navy scored twice before halftime on runs by Reggie Campbell (21 yards) and Singleton.
Jarod Bryant, Navy's second quarterback, scored on a 6-yard option keeper to cap the opening drive after halftime and give the Midshipmen their first lead, 51-49. Then came Vela's interception that led to the long TD run by Singleton, who had 103 yards on eight carries.
The Mean Green had a 14-0 lead before Navy's first offensive snap. Fitzgerald caught a 9-yard TD to cap the opening drive, then North Texas recovered the onside kick and Vizza hit Korey Washington for a 36-yard TD.
Navy didn't punt until early in the fourth quarter, and downed it at the 2. The Midshipmen then got a safety for a 67-56 lead when a North Texas lineman was called for holding in the end zone, and Campbell returned the free kick 73 yards for a touchdown -- Navy's first kickoff return for a touchdown since 1997.
Navy starting quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheauku-Enhada threw for 108 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for 53 yards before leaving with a bruised right knee early in the third quarter. Bryant had 10 carries for 56 yards.
Shun White ran for 131 yards on seven carries, including a 64-yard TD in the second quarter.