Navy Report Card: Georgia Southern

Navy defeated Georgia Southern 52-19 on Saturday in Annapolis. GoMids.com's Jim Lawler grades the Mids performance in several key team areas.

The Navy Midshipmen rolled over the Georgia Southern Eagles 52-19 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Senior Day. Quarterback Keenan Reynolds had an incredible game rushing for a career high 277 yards and six touchdowns while throwing for a touchdown. Navy's defense allowed an opening score but held the high powered Eagles rushing attack off the scoreboard until late in the third quarter as the Mids offense posted 31 unanswered points. The victory improved Navy's record to 5-5. The Midshipmen need one more win to get bowl eligible to appear in the Poinsettia Bowl.

PASSING OFFENSE: A
Keenan Reynolds passing has really improved since he took off the knee brace and returned to health. Reynolds completed 5-of-8 passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. His first pass was correctly ruled incomplete but it was right on target. Demond Brown juggled the ball and it was initially ruled a reception. Replay showed he lost control when he hit the ground Reynolds next pass showed why he is a special talent for an option quarterback. He hit Jamir Tillman with a bullet 14-yard pass for a touchdown through a very tight window in the back of the endzone. It was a nice catch by Tillman. Ryan Williams-Jenkins had a reception for 22 yards which set up a Reynolds touchdown run to open the second half. Desmond Brown caught a pass for 33 yards and was downed just shy of the end zone setting up Reynolds third towndown run. The offensive line didn't allow a sack.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A+
Navy ran for 394 rushing yards, 7.9 per carry and six touchdowns. Keenan Reynolds carried the ball 30 times for a career-high 277 yards and scored six touchdowns. Keenan now has the third most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in NCAA history. Reynolds' touchdown runs were from 1, 22, 1, 27, 15 and 39 yards. The Mids used the B-backs as lead blockers against the Eagles defensive scheme. They rarely used the full back dive as Chris Swain (8 att. for 41 yards) led the Mids fullbacks. Noah Copeland ran three times for 7 yards before leaving the game after his bell was rung. Geoffrey Whiteside led the slotbacks with two carries for 28 yards. His 19-yard run helped set up Grebe's field goal.

PASSING DEFENSE: A
The Mids secondary picked off two passes and only allowed the Eagles quarterbacks to complete 10-of-16 passes for 73 yards. Navy's two interceptions by Quincy Adams (2 tackles, INT, PD) and Daniel Gonzalez (5, INT) set up two fourth-quarter touchdown runs. Adams also made a nice play to break up a pass intended for Kentrellis Showers. Gonzalez returned his interception 68 yards. Brandon Clemens (3 tackles, PD) knocked down a pass on a three-and- out series. Free safety Parrish Gaines (5 tackles, PD) broke up a third down pass to force a missed field goal attempt. He showed nice closing speed to bat the ball away.

RUSHING DEFENSE: B
The Mids did a good job against the best rushing attack in the nation despite allowing a lot of rushing yards. They did allowed 375 rushing yards and three touchdowns but 127 of those yards and a score came on the Eagles last two possessions against Navy's backups. When the game was in doubt the Mids held them to five straight empty possessions. Inside linebacker Jordan Drake had one of his best games in leading Navy with 12 tackles. Bernie Sarra (5 tackles) outplayed GSU center Manrey Saint-Amour who is on the Rimington Trophy watch list. Will Anthony (6 tackles) did a nice job in defeating blocks and making plays. Defensive end Paul Quessenberry tackled Favian Upshaw for a five yard loss and forced a punt. William Tuider (6 tackles, 2 FF) started in place of the banged up Chris Johnson at striker linebacker. Johnson struggled against Notre Dame with a bad ankle and didn't look like himself. Tuider forced two fumbles before he was hurt. Obi Uzoma was active with five tackles at raider linebacker.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B
Kicker Austin Grebe hit a 36- yard field goal. Punter Pablo Beltran placed both his efforts inside the twenty yard line. Demond Brown and Toneo Gulley both had nice two kickoff returns. Parrish Gaines didn't return any punts. Navy's kickoff coverage team had its worse game this year allowing a number of returns over thirty yards.

COACHING: A+
Head coach Ken Niumatalolo's said it best in the post-game regarding Keenan Reynolds "The guy is a special quarterback". The team is playing it best football right now. GSU's defense didn't account for the quarterback and Ivin Jasper hammered them unmercifully with Reynolds. Buddy Green defense scheme did a great job in limiting the GSU attack when the game was still in doubt.

OVERALL GRADE: A+
This is the Navy team we expected to see all year. GSU was no push over. The Eagles entered the game an 8-2 team with only close losses to two ACC teams, NC State 24-23 and Georgia Tech 42-38. The Mids made them look like they didn't belong on the same field. Now they need to win in two weeks to get bowl eligible.

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