Keenan Reynolds because the Mids all-time leading rusher with 4,195 yards, passing Napoleon McCallum for the most career rushing yards in school history. Navy (9-1, 7-0) will now play at Houston (10-1, 6-1) for the American Athletic Conference West Division title on Friday and a spot in the league title game.
Here is a look back at the three keys:
1) Rushing domination – Pass
For the second weekend in a row the Mids just flat out rolled their opposition on the ground. The 403 yards rushing against SMU last Saturday was outstanding, but Navy surpassed even that effort with 469 yards on 61 carries for five touchdowns against the Golden Hurricane. That is an average of 7.7 yards per carry. The Mids got this production for 12 different ball carriers with Reynolds leading the way with 81 yards on 19 carries. Navy could pick up yards anywhere they wanted on the field, with both the dive and the pitch working in perfect harmony. The best stat line on the day, however, probably belonged to Toneo Gulley who took his lone carry 70 yards to the house.
2) Continue red zone efficiency – Pass
The Mids only failed to score on one incursion into the red zone on Saturday when a 13 play 63 yard drive that spanned the first and second quarters stalled at the Tulsa 15. They brought out kicked Austin Grebe who failed to connect properly with the ball and missed his 32 yard field goal attempt. In this game that was not an issue as Navy was able to run the ball and keep the scoreboard moving, but next Saturday against Houston Grebe will have to take advantage of any chances he is given to kick for points. The defense was also excellent again, holding Tulsa to just 14 points when the game was still a contest.
3) Keep Tulsa from racking up points – Pass
Tulsa came into this one averaging 36 points per game with a balanced rushing and passing attack that hurt teams in multiple ways. As mentioned earlier, the Mids only allowed 14 points when the game was still a contest and Navy had established what already looked like an unassailable 23-7 lead by half time. Tulsa quarterback Dane Evans was 32-of-37 for 278 yards through the air on the day, but he had no touchdown passes and the big plays were taken away. It was on the ground though that Navy really stopped a Tulsa team that was averaging 195 yards per game. The Navy pressure defense bottled up the running backs and though all three Golden Hurricane scores came on the ground their backs were held to just 78 yards combined on 34 carries.