Monday’s football: Reynolds sharp as Navy tops Pitt
Annapolis, Md. — Keenan Reynolds wrapped up his record-setting college career at Navy in spectacular fashion, running for three touchdowns and throwing for another Monday to lead the Midshipmen past Pittsburgh, 44-28, in the Military Bowl.
Reynolds ran for 144 yards on 24 carries, completed 9 of 17 passes for 126 yards and had a reception for 47 yards on a trick play.
The 5-foot-11 senior leaves Navy (11-2) as the NCAA career leader with 88 touchdowns and 530 points. His 4,559 yards rushing are the most by a quarterback in NCAA history.
Qadree Ollison rushed for 73 yards and scored two touchdowns for Pitt. Nate Peterman threw a TD pass but was intercepted three times.
It all added up to a disappointing ending for the Panthers (8-5) in their first season under coach Pat Narduzzi, who was hired after serving as Michigan State’s defensive coordinator .
After Quadree Henderson returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for Pitt, Navy went up 21-7 at halftime and built a 31-7 lead midway through the third quarter before Pittsburgh scored two touchdowns in 17 seconds to close to 31-21, but could not complete the comeback.
It was 38-28 when Reynolds capped a nine-play drive with a 9-yard run with 4:19 remaining. The TD broke a tie with Kenneth Dixon of Louisiana Tech for most in Football Bowl Subdivision history.
The victory provided the Midshipmen with their first 11-win season in 135 years of football. It’s also the first time Navy has won three straight bowl games.
It was the first game for the Midshipmen since they beat Army and coach Ken Niumatalolo decided to stay at Navy instead of taking the head coaching job at Brigham Young.
Playing before a sellout crowd of 36,352 in its home stadium, Navy used its triple-option attack to overwhelm a team that went 6-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference and ranked 20th in the nation against the run. The Midshipmen finished with 590 yards in offense, 417 on the ground — including 114 by fullback Chris Swain.
After Henderson weaved from end zone to end zone for the game-opening score, Reynolds directed a 75-yard drive that ended with his 1-yard touchdown run.
Later in the first quarter, Reynolds capped a 14-play march with a 5-yard TD. Navy’s next touchdown came on an 11-yard pass from Reynolds to Tyler Carmona.
Niumatalolo momentarily abandoned the triple option in the third quarter in favor of a bit of trickery. Reynolds pitched the ball to fullback Shawn White, then went around the right side of the line for a catch-and-run that set up a 26-yard touchdown jaunt by Demond Brown.
Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott was cited for three misdemeanors following a car accident Sunday before the team left for the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona. The junior was cited for driving under suspension, driving without a license and failure to control. The accident occurred at 1:30 p.m. near the Ohio State campus. In the police report, Elliott said he hit a puddle, lost control and struck another vehicle.
The team says Elliott will play Friday against Notre Dame.
... Former Western Michigan star Tim Lester was hired Monday as Purdue’s new quarterbacks coach.He was the offensive coordinator at Syracuse the last two seasons.
... Rutgers has hired former Wisconsin cornerback Aaron Henry as an assistant defensive backs coach.
... Miami defensive back Artie Burns, who had six interceptions, is skipping his senior season and entering the NFL draft.
... UCLA defensive tackle Kenny Clark also plans to skip his senior season for the NFL.