Scenes From Navy's 24-6 Win Over Middle Tennessee State In Fort Worth's Armed Forces Bowl.
Keenan Reynolds — the nation's No. 1-ranked scorer, its second-leading rusher in touchdowns scored, and the leader of the Navy Midshipmen's No. 2-ranked rushing offense in the country — put a fine cap on his explosive season with a victory over Middle Tennessee State in today's Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth.
With his two rushing touchdowns, the sophomore quarterback became just one of four players in NCAA history to have scored over 30 rushing touchdowns in a season, trailing Barry Sanders who rushed for 37 in 1988 and Monte Ball who rushed for 33 in 2011. He also became the outright leader in FBS history for scoring most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a single season.
Yes, in his second season as the Midshipmen's starting quarterback, it's safe to say that Reynolds had a breakout season while running his team's run-heavy, triple-option offense. In November, he even scored seven touchdowns in a single game against San Jose State, And, in the process, he led his team to a 9-4 record and earned Navy its first ever first trip to the Armed Forces Bowl.
In today's game hosted at Texas Christian University's Amon G. Carter Stadium, Reynolds finished with 97 yards rushing and two touchdowns, while also registering 19 yards passing on just three attempts. He also earned his team's MVP award for the game.
Sophomore linebacker T.T Barber, meanwhile, was awarded the MVP for Middle Tennessee, finishing the game with seven tackles, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
Though the game ended as a 24-6 victory for Navy, the score somewhat overshadows the slow-paced nature of the contest. The teams went into halftime with Navy leading 10-6; both teams went scoreless in the third quarter. Momentum then shifted in Navy's favor after several unsportsmanlike conduct calls were made against Middle Tennessee State, keeping Navy's offensive drives alive. Reynolds even left the game briefly after being poked in the eye late on a rushing play. A visor was added to his helmet before he returned to action.
Eventually, though, Navy would put the game out of reach with two interceptions off Middle Tennessee State quarterback Logan Kilgore and a 41-yard rushing touchdown by running back DeBrandon Sanders. As a team, Navy rushed for 366 yards on 67 carries, averaging 5.5 yards per carry and totaling more than Middle Tennessee's passing and rushing yards combined.
For the 21 seniors on Navy's roster, this capped the end of their athletic careers with the Midshipmen. Per requirement, they'll now enter into five years of active military service.
Middle Tennessee linebacker Roderic Blunt stands above his teammates and leads pre-game hype.
Middle Tennessee defensive back Kenneth Gilstrap argues with Navy wide receiver Brendan Dudeck. Dudeck and Gilstrap battled at the line of scrimmage during each run play.
Navy defensive back Wave Ryder breaks up a pass attempt to Middle Tennessee State wide receiver Kyle Griswould.
Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds attempts to juke Middle Tennessee defensive back Kenneth Gilstrap.
Middle Tennessee defensive back Kenneth Gilstrap upends Navy quarter back Keenan Reynolds on a running play.
Quarterback Keenan Reynolds keeps the ball on the triple option and heads toward the sideline.
Navy linebacker DJ Sargenti led the Midshipmen with seven tackles and had a crucial interception that helped seal the victory over Middle Tennessee State.
Middle Tennessee State linebacker Roderic Blunt taunts Navy running back Geoffrey Whiteside after a play.
Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds reads the defense on a triple-option play.
Navy running back Geoffrey Whiteside stiff-arms Middle Tennessee State safety Kevin Byard.
Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds pitches the ball to running back Darius Staten.
Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds throws one of his just seven pass attempts on the afternoon.
Navy running back Demond Brown rushes up the field against the Middle Tennessee State defense.
Navy lineman Blaze Ryder celebrates quarterback Keenan Reynolds' second rushing touchdown of the day.
Navy fans cheer after quarterback Keenan Reynolds' second rushing touchdown of the day.
Navy running back DeBrandon Sanders leaps into the end zone after his 41-yard touchdown run.
Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds tries on his 2013 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Champions hat after the Midshipmen's 24-6 victory over the Blue Raiders.
Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds accepts his 2013 Armed Forces Bowl MVP award.
Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo accepts the 2013 Armed Forces Bowl trophy with captains Cody Peterson (left) and Matt Aiken.