Three Keys Revisited - Navy at San Jose State

Well that was about the most fun you can have on a Friday night. The Mids played long into the California evening before coming up trumps in triple overtime in one of the most crazy games in Academy history. The 58-52 score line looks more like a basketball final than a football one as both offenses had their way for the vast majority of the contest.

Well that was about the most fun you can have on a Friday night. The Mids played long into the California evening before coming up trumps in triple overtime in one of the most crazy games in Academy history. The 58-52 score line looks more like a basketball final than a football one as both offenses had their way for the vast majority of the contest.

Here is a look back at how the three keys played out.

1) Come ready to play - Pass

We are going to give this a pass because though Navy didn't come out lighting up the scoreboard, they didn't fall into a hole early either. Through the first half in fact this game was a tight, tough football game with no real indication of the offensive fireworks which were still to come. Navy may have been giving up points on most of the drives, but they were making San Jose State work for their points and not allowing long plays. These were points of emphasis from Ken Niumatalolo as he was very worried that both the offense and the defense would be vulnerable early on.

2) Keep on running - Pass

Was there any doubt at all that this would be a pass?

All Keenan Reynolds did on Friday night was set a new NCAA record for rushing touchdowns in a game with seven. There are teams leading rushers in the FBS that have not scored that many touchdowns yet this season. Reynolds final rushing line was 240 yards on 36 carries for those seven scores. He now has 26 rushing scores on the season which means he needs just one against Army to tie the NCAA Season mark for rushing scores by a quarterback. That is the kind of company he now finds himself in.

As good as Reynolds is however he couldn't do what he has without the team around him. Reynolds scored all three Navy touchdowns in overtime and the final score in particular was a thing of beauty as he walked untouched into the end zone from 25 yards out. The play featured a downfield block from Quinton Singleton where he cut down a San Jose State defender in the open field which personified the way the Mids threw everything into this game.

3) Get a body on Keith Smith - Pass

Smith was held under his average, but not by much. He had 12 tackles instead of his usual 14, but he only made 4 of them on solo plays with the rest coming as the less impressive, and less game altering, tackle assists. He was also unable to impact the game in other ways as he had zero tackles for a loss and was unable to force any fumbles. The key stat though is the 432 yards which Navy rushed for, showing clearly that Smith was not the influence on the game which the Spartans needed him to be. The credit for this goes to the Navy line who were consistently able to get to the second level and put a body on Smith rendering him ineffective.

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