Albion had Nile Dacres, Matt Shepherd and Billy Seale sin-binned in the final 10 minutes as the home side turned on the pressure.
But somehow Plymouth were able to hang on the artificial surface at the Leicestershire university to claim their 20th victory of the season.
“It was an outstanding win,” said Dawe. “The team showed massive character.
“They are a wonderful bunch of blokes. Even when things go against them they still stick together and believe in themselves.
“Loughborough gave it everything. I thought they were outstanding. They were a better team than when we played them at our place
“We have had some outstanding wins on the road and Loughborough are no mugs. They might not be in the top three of the league but they are still a good rugby team and they have beaten some very good sides. If you want to survive in this league you have to have some very good rugby players and they have.”
Albion found themselves 10-3 down at Loughborough but 17 points in the space of five minutes meant they went in at the break 20-10 up and then increased that advantage immediately after the break to 15 points.
“Getting those two tries at the end of the first half was key and Matt Shepherd kicking two very good conversions,” said Dawe.
“Matt Shepherd’s kicking, our finishing and some outstanding defence, even in face of adversity, helped us get the win.”
Albion had four players sin-binned in the second half, with Marc Koteczky also picking up a yellow card midway through the period.
“The referee’s made the calls and that’s life,” said Dawe.
The Plymouth boss is still waiting to hear what the future holds for him and his team in the light of a takeover of the club.
“Hopefully, things will come to light at the beginning of the week and we’ll know what direction the club is going to go in,” said Dawe, who has had a pretty memorable year with Albion, Cornwall and England.