Navy quarterback Will Worth runs during the first quarter against Houston at Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

THE BIG PICTURE: Houston’s shocking loss to Navy eliminates the Cougars’ already long odds of reaching the College Football Playoff while upending the push for the access-bowl bid to a New Year’s Six game afforded to the best team among the Group of Five conferences.

Even worse, losing to Navy places the Cougars behind the eight ball in the American Athletic Conference West Division.

The Cougars need to run the table in league play and have Navy lose once – or lose once and have Navy lose twice – to take the West Division.

Beating Louisville to end the regular season and knocking off a team such as South Florida to win the American title game might even give Houston the edge over an undefeated Boise State.

KEY PLAY: Navy scored two touchdowns in a four-play span early in the third quarter to take a 34-20 lead. The first, a 17-yard touchdown pass, came after a Houston fumble.

KEY PLAY, PART II: Trailing 41-33 with less than six minutes left, Houston elected to punt back to Navy and trust its defense.

BREAKOUT PLAYER: Navy quarterback Will Worth’s two touchdown passes provided a spark, but his play as the point man for the Midshipmen’s option offense keyed the victory.

Navy football