Navy 2014 Football Review: Quarterbacks

GoMids.com offers our review of the Navy 2014 football season. GoMids.com’s Jim Lawler discusses each position of the team and assigns a final grade. In this segment we discuss the quarterbacks.

QUARTERBACKS: A

Keenan Reynolds had a very rough start to the season before getting healthy for a second half bowl run. Navy had just a 1-4 record in the first five games Reynolds started. He was uncharacteristic sloppy handling the football losing nine fumbles in 2014. He was limited for over a month after he hurt his knee in the second game against Temple. He played hurt with a knee brace but struggled and wasn't effective. After missing the VMI game, and resting two weeks, he was able to play without the knee brace and returned to his old form. Reynolds won five of his last six starts as he ran for 15 scores and threw four touchdown passes in those six games. Keenan posted four 100-yard or better rushing efforts, including a career high 277 yards against Georgia Southern, in the last six games. For the season he posted 1,191 rushing yards, a career high 4.8 rushing average and 23 touchdowns. His 64 career rushing touchdowns are already the most by a quarterback in NCAA history.

Reynolds struggled with his passing accuracy most of year as he recorded the worse completion percentage, 46.8% and fewest touchdown passes, six, in his career. Keenan didn't look like himself throwing the ball after the knee injury. He lacks the accuracy that saw him throw 17 touchdowns against only four picks his first two seasons. His passing improved similar to his rushing numbers after he rested and returned to the lineup for the second half. In the last six games he completed 51% of his throws with four scores against one interception. Keenan ended the season completing 52-of-111 passes (46.8%) for 843 passing yards with six touchdowns against three interceptions. Reynolds strong finish enabled him to be named FBS Independent Offensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. Reynolds was all FBS Independent, All-East and you might as well add All-World. Reynolds is the best Navy quarterback in the triple option era.

Backup quarterback Tago Smith won both his starts. Smith was converted from a NAPS slotback to quarterback last year and demonstrated his quickness and speed. This year he won both his starts and scored three times. He averaged 3.8 yards a carry and scored three touchdowns. His average would have been better except loss yards due to sacks and he lost a 70-yard touchdown run against VMI because of a holding penalty. His passing has been surprising since he didn't throw the ball at all in 2013. He has completed 10-of-14 passes (71.4%) for 215 passing yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Some wondered why Ken Niumatalolo didn't turn to Smith when Reynolds was hurt and struggling during the three game losing streak but Smith was hurt in the win over Texas State and was hobbled himself for a few weeks. Smith deserves credit for keeping Navy's bowl hopes alive this year by winning both of his starts.

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