Stats & Info: Ronnie Hillman

Navy seniors looking for history

December, 23, 2010
12/23/10
12:00
PM ET
Five things to know about the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl pitting Navy against San Diego State at 8 ET (ESPN).

1) Navy is seeking back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time in program history, but is 0-2 all-time against San Diego State (the teams last met in 1997). Navy ranks fifth in the FBS with 288.9 rushing yards per game, and it will be interesting to see how the team runs on a field soaked by heavy rain the last few days.

The Midshipmen have been in the nation’s top five in rushing yards per game each year since 2002. A Navy win would give its senior class 36 wins, matching the most by a senior class at the school. The last with 36, according to the school, was the senior class of 1909.

2) This will be the first year that all three service academies will appear in a bowl (Air Force will face Georgia Tech in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl and Army will face SMU in the Armed Forces Bowl).

3) This is the Aztecs’ first winning season and first bowl appearance since joining the Mountain West Conference in 1999. It’s the start of a new decade for the Aztecs, and it couldn’t have come fast enough. San Diego State was 38-80 (.322) from 2000-09, the worst win percentage of any decade in school history. The last postseason game was the 1998 Las Vegas Bowl, a loss to North Carolina. The Aztecs last bowl victory, was a 28-7 win over Boston University (which no longer has a college football team) in the 1969 Pasadena Bowl.

4) San Diego State may be better than it appears on paper. The Aztecs four losses are by a combined 15 points. Three of the defeats were on the road and three came against teams currently ranked in the top 20 of the AP Poll.

5) Aztecs running back Ronnie Hillman set a Mountain West Conference rookie record with 1,304 Rush yds. He averaged 108.7 yards-per-game. The most yards Navy allowed to an opposing running back this season was 111 by Air Force's Jared Tew, though that was part of a 292-yard team effort.

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