ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Will Worth and No. 24 Navy played keep-away with Memphis while running the Tigers into the ground.
Worth rushed for a career-high 201 yards and three touchdowns, and the Midshipmen put on a dazzling display of ball control in a 42-28 victory Saturday.
In addition to operating the triple option in near-flawless fashion, Worth completed three of four passes for 85 yards and two scores.
"We take what we can get, and today, the quarterback run game was there," Worth said. "We could manage that and set up a couple of pass plays to be able to score through the air. It's just executing the game plan."
The last Navy player to reach the 200-yard mark on the ground was Keenan Reynolds in 2014.
Worth carried 31 times and orchestrated an attack that held the ball for nearly 40 minutes. That left high-scoring Memphis little time to counter-punch.
"It was kind of hard because we weren't doing a great job of getting off the field defensively," Tigers coach Mike Norvell said. "Offensively, it's hard to be in rhythm, it's hard to stay in rhythm."
The Midshipmen (5-1, 4-0 American Athletic Conference) gained a season-high 447 yards on the ground, averaging 6 yards per carry.
The victory put Navy in sole possession of first place in the AAC West and served as a suitable encore for its 46-40 upset of defending league champion Houston two weeks ago.
Navy's 14-game home winning streak is its longest at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium since the facility opened in 1959.
Tony Pollard returned a kickoff 100 yards and Riley Ferguson completed 25 of 40 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns for Memphis (5-2, 2-1). But the Tigers simply couldn't score enough to offset the damage inflicted by Navy's sensational running attack.
"They kind of got after us up front and we had a couple of assignment issues," Norvell said. "But I just thought they did a great job executing."
Worth's second touchdown run put Navy ahead 28-14 early in the third quarter. Memphis responded with a 9-yard TD pass from Furguson to Daniel Hurd.
As the clock wound down in the third quarter, Navy faced a fourth-and-4 at the Memphis 18. Norvell called a timeout, forcing the Midshipmen to deal with the possibility of a field goal try into a stiff wind. Instead, Navy sent its offense on the field and went up 35-21 on a touchdown pass from Worth to Tyler Carmona .
After Memphis again got within a touchdown, a 52-yard completion by Worth led to a 32-yard field goal try by Bennett Moehring. The kick clanged off the left upright with 5:40 to go.
But a fumble by Tigers wide receiver Roderick Proctor was recovered by Navy with 3:39 remaining, and Worth clinched it with a 1-yard plunge.
Worth, a 6-foot-1 senior, started the season as a second-string quarterback but was elevated to starting status after Tago Smith injured his right knee in the opener.
"Here's a kid who was a backup, kept his mouth quiet," Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "Now he's doing great things."
Memphis forced 18 turnovers in its first six games, but the only one it got Saturday was when Worth hit the pylon trying to score a touchdown and lost control of the ball. The result was a touchback for the Tigers, whose lone turnover -- Proctor's fumble -- was far most costly.
Memphis: The Tigers came in as a slight favorite because their offense hadn't scored fewer than 24 points in any game. But the defense wasn't up for the challenge of Navy's running attack, and now Memphis needs help to get to the AAC title game.
Navy: The Midshipmen have proven they don't need Reynolds at quarterback to make the triple option sing. Navy's running game is tricky, shifty and just about unstoppable for teams not accustomed to chasing the quarterback, fullback and slotback all over the field.
Memphis: The Tigers host Tulsa next Saturday night at the Liberty Bowl.
Navy: The Midshipmen face AAC East Division co-leader South Florida (6-2, 3-1) on the road Friday night.
The Caps fell for the first time in regulation this season, losing 4-2 to the New York Rangers on Saturday.
How it happened: The Capitals jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but the Rangers were able to respond with four unanswered goals including two by rookie Jimmy Vesey. The turning point came in the second period when Washington failed to score on a double-minor assessed to Mika Zibanejad after he caught T.J. Oshie with a high-stick. The Caps were winning 2-1 at the time of the penalty. By the end of the period, they trailed 3-2.
What it means: The loss is the Capitals' first regulation loss of the season. Despite the impressive 3-1-1 start, the Caps have now gone 1-1-1 against Metropolitan Division foes.
A tale of two periods: Coming into Saturday's game, the Capitals had scored first in each of their four contests this season. Saturday proved no different as the Caps jumped out to a 2-0 lead despite being outshot in the first period 13-10. In the second period, the Caps clamped down on the shots allowing only five...but the Rangers scored on three of those shots to take the 3-2 lead.
A star in the making: Vesey made headlines in the summer by not signing with the Nashville Predators, the team that drafted him, electing instead to wait until he became a free agent. The list of teams interested in signing the Hobey Baker winner as the top player in the college ranks was a long one. On Saturday, Vesey showed why with two goals. His first goal was a simple tap-in thanks to a great pass by Rick Nash. His second goal, however, came on a strong drive to the net, physically keeping Karl Alzner off the puck while neatly tucking the puck between the five-hole of Braden Holtby. That was a goal-scorer's goal and certainly did not look like a young rookie straight out of college.
A disturbing trend: For the second time in as many games, the Capitals jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period only to watch that lead evaporate. On Thursday against the Florida Panthers, the Caps held a 2-1 lead at the end of the first period. They then were out-shot 14-4 in the second allowing the Panthers to tie the game at 2. On Saturday, Washington again jumped out to a 2-0 lead only to see the Rangers tie it in the second period. This time, however, Washington was not able to recover and ended up taking the loss.
First of many? The third line looked like it was starting to gel in Thursday’s game against the Florida Panthers and that continued on Saturday as Lars Eller recorded his first goal as a Cap. Brooks Orpik held the puck near the blue line and wristed a hopeful shot. Eller stood in the high-slot and got his stick down to deflect into the back of the net.
Favorite target: There's just something about the New York Rangers. With his first period goal, Ovehckin has now scored a goal in 10 of his last 11 games against the Blueshirts. In addition, Ovechkin has scored more goals (21) against Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist than against any other goalie in his career.
Look ahead: Time for the Caps to pack their bags as they skip town for a four-game road trip that will take them across western Canada, their second-longest road trip of the season. Their first game comes on Wednesday against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers. The Caps will not return to Verizon Center until Nov. 3 when they host the Winnipeg Jets.
MORE CAPITALS: DEFLECTION GIVES ELLER HIS FIRST GOAL AS A CAP