How appropriate that Keenan Reynolds’ final touchdown at Navy thrust him into the NCAA record book and secured a milestone victory for the Midshipmen.
Reynolds wrapped up his record-setting college career in spectacular fashion, running for three scores and throwing for another Monday to lead Navy past Pittsburgh 44-28 in the Military Bowl.
After the Midshipmen let a 24-point cushion dwindle to 38-28, Reynolds capped a nine-play drive with a 9-yard touchdown run with 4:19 remaining. It was his 88th career TD, breaking a tie with Kenneth Dixon of Louisiana Tech for most in Football Bowl Subdivision history.
It was classic Reynolds, given that he broke a slew of records and won a whole lot of games during his four-year run at the Naval Academy.
“To be able to seal the game and get the record at the same time is pretty cool,” the 5-foot-11 senior said.
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.
He leaves Navy (11-2) as the FBS career leader in touchdowns and points (530). His 4,559 yards rushing are the most by a quarterback in Division I history.
With Reynolds leading the way, the Midshipmen completed their first 11-win season in 135 years of football. That, more than all his personal accomplishments, is what he will remember.
“You play the game to win, so the record for wins is the one that means the most to me,” Reynolds said.
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.
Niumatalolo was glad he stuck around for Reynolds’ finale.
“All of Keenan’s accolades are well deserved,” the coach said. “What an unbelievable career he’s had. Once in a generation, some of the things he’s done. We’re going to miss him.”
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.
“Just have to keep getting one step closer,” Narduzzi said. “You just have to take one step at a time. Told the seniors, they laid the foundation. We’ve done a lot of great things this year.”
In the end, though, they couldn’t cope with Reynolds.
“He’s a super football player,” Narduzzi said. “Make no mistake, there were reasons he was in the (running) for the Heisman Trophy.”
Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott cited after traffic accident: Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott has been 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.
AP Exclusive: Schools ease athlete penalties for marijuana: At least one-third of the Power Five conference schools are not punishing athletes as harshly as they were 10 years ago for testing positive for marijuana and other so-called recreational drugs, according to an investigation by The Associated Press.
The NCAA last year cut in half the penalty for athletes who fail screenings for substances like marijuana at its championship events, and its chief medical officer is pushing for college sports’ governing body to get out of the business of testing for rec drugs altogether. The AP found that some of the nation’s biggest universities, from Oregon to Auburn, have already eased their punishments as society’s views on marijuana use have changed. Marijuana use among U.S. adults has doubled over a decade, according to government surveys, and recreational use is now legal in four states.
Minnesota beats Central Michigan in Quick Lane Bowl: Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner ran 13 yards for a touchdown with 4:26 remaining, and the Golden Gophers held on for a 21-14 win over Central Michigan in the Quick Lane Bowl on Monday night.
Minnesota (6-7) ended a trying season on a positive note. Coach Jerry Kill retired in late October because of continued difficulty managing his epilepsy and his job. The Gophers were 5-7 after the regular season but were able to play on because not enough teams reached six wins to fill all the bowls. All three teams that went to bowls at 5-7 — Minnesota, Nebraska and San Jose State — ended up winning them.
Central Michigan (7-6) took a 14-13 lead with 11:08 remaining on a 13-yard touchdown run by Romello Ross. Minnesota responded by driving 74 yards in 13 plays. Leidner ran for the go-ahead touchdown, then threw to KJ Maye for a 2-point conversion.