BLOOMINGTON (AP) — Keenan Reynolds rushed for 127 yards and three touchdowns, leading Navy to a 41-35 season-opening victory Saturday at Indiana.
The Midshipmen (1-0) played almost flawlessly, finishing with 444 yards rushing, no turnovers, five penalties and only three carries for negative yards.
Navy has now won 20 games over BCS foes since 2003 — the most of any non-BCS school in the nation during that span.
For Indiana (1-1), it was a huge deflation after a 73-35 victory over Indiana State.
But as the Hoosiers continued to score, the defense was confounded by Navy’s ground game and never even forced a punt.
Navy scored on its first three possessions, taking a 17-0 lead. Reynolds scored on runs of 1, 2 and 1 yard as the Midshipmen fended off Indiana’s rallies.
The up-tempo pace kept the Midshipmen, who made the trip from Annapolis, busy as they played and sang the school fight song, “Anchors Aweigh” repeatedly. Family members of the military also made the trip, thanks in part to an undisclosed donation from Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.
But the Hoosiers were no match for Navy’s vaunted triple option.
Navy opened the game with 29 consecutive runs, churning out 212 yards in roughly 1½ quarters. The strategy allowed the Midshipmen to do two things: put points on the board and keep Indiana’s high-flying offense on the sideline.
And the Midshipmen made it look easy, too.
Geoffrey Whiteside ran for 31 yards on Navy’s first offensive play and 18 two plays later. Eventually, Reynolds scored on his first 1-yard TD run to make it 7-0. Then, after stopping Indiana on a fourth-down try at the Hoosiers’ 34-yard line, Chris Swain scored on a 3-yard run to make it 14-0.
Navy settled for a 23-yard field goal on its next possession and, after Nate Sudfeld threw a perfect 45-yard TD pass to Kofi Hughes, answered with another long scoring drive that Noah Copeland capped with a 3-yard TD run to make it 24-7.