Score – Navy: 21 Western Kentucky: 13
It wasn’t exactly the offensive shootout we were expecting but Navy still scored enough points to get the win. The defense for the Midshipmen deserves a tremendous amount of credit as they held Western Kentucky’s offense in check for the entire game and came up with some huge stops in the fourth quarter.
In a bit of a surprise, Navy actually scored two of its touchdowns through the air on throws by Keenan Reynolds - one on a pass to Geoffrey Whiteside and the other on a pass to Matt Aiken. Reynolds also added a one-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter.
Unfortunately, Reynolds also struggled a bit with hanging on to the ball. He lost one fumble on an errant pitch and threw an interception.
Once Western Kentucky got the ball, they were unable to do anything with it. Navy held the Hilltoppers to only 262 yards of total offense and Bobby Petrino’s club was 0-9 on third down conversion opportunities.
This was Navy’s second impressive road win of the season and it showed they can beat a team even when they’re not scoring a ton of points. For Buddy Green’s defense to be the biggest reason for the win says a lot about this team.
Passing: 13-26, 133 yards, 2 TDs | Rushing: 30 carries, 144 yards, 1 TD
Reynolds did it all again for the Midshipmen. He accounted for 277 total yards and three touchdowns and again proved that teams can’t simply commit to stopping the Navy running game. Reynolds’ ability to complete passes and convert in the red zone makes him a very special player.
8 receptions, 101 yards, 1 TD
A Navy receiver with over 100 yards receiving on eight catches? What’s happening here? Aiken found himself open on a number of occasions in the Hilltoppers’ secondary and Keenan Reynolds converted on those opportunities by getting him the ball. Aiken has struggled with various injuries during his career but he appears to be blossoming as a senior.
Navy has three impressive wins but now comes one of the two most important games of the season. The Midshipmen return to Annapolis for a huge game against Air Force. Air Force enters the game with a 1-4 record, but the records don’t mean anything when these two service academies face each other. The winner of this game will get a huge leg-up in the battle for the Commander in Chief’s Trophy, which Navy is hoping to win for the second consecutive season.
Photo by GoodGameBro.com.