Published January 13, 2015
ARMY: The Black Knights were off again last week, the third time in the last month, but they are set to return this weekend with a trip to Hawaii to challenge the Rainbow Warriors at Aloha Stadium. Army has faced this squad twice before and in both cases came out on the short end, the latest of those being a 31-28 setback in 2010. At the moment the Knights are dealing with a three-game slide, have a total of just three victories on the season, one of those against a Morgan State, a program which is outside of the FBS.
BYU: After losing just two times through the first eight games of the campaign, the Cougars have now had that happen in the last three outings as they bowed to Notre Dame on Saturday, 23-13, on the road. Quarterback Taysom Hill converted 21-of-36 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown, but was also intercepted once and taken down for a couple of sacks. When using his feet, Hill ran for 101 yards on 24 carries, matching the effort of Paul Lasike who needed just four attempts to race for more than 100 yards. Defensively the Cougars were touched for 235 yards on the ground and the same number through the air during the setback. The Cougars close out the regular season this weekend at Nevada, a team against which BYU has an all-time record of 4-2-2. However, the last battle between the squads three years ago was a 27-13 final in favor of the Wolf Pack.
IDAHO: The Vandals were one of two teams to surrender 80 points to an FBS opponent on Saturday, bowing to second-ranked Florida State by 60 points in Tallahassee. Idaho gave up 645 yards of total offense to a Florida State squad that was 12-of-16 on third down, yet controlled the ball for under 27 minutes into the onslaught. Offensively, quarterbacks Taylor Davis and Josh McCain combined to hit 21-of-45 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns, but the former was sacked six times and tossed three interceptions. Dezmon Epps caught seven passes for a game-high 126 yards for a team that is last in the nation in scoring defense with a massive 48.8 ppg allowed. The Vandals, losers of six in a row and all but one of their 11 games this season, will close out the campaign against former Western Athletic Conference foe New Mexico State this weekend.
NAVY: The Midshipmen had the spotlight all to themselves on Friday night as they went up against San Jose State, and they did not disappoint. More specifically, quarterback Keenan Reynolds did not let down his teammates as he set an NCAA record for rushing touchdowns by a signal caller with an unbelievable seven, in a thrilling 58-52 win in triple-overtime. Reynolds carried the ball 36 times and generated a staggering 240 yards on the ground for the Midshipmen as they won their third straight game and the fourth in the last five outings. Reynolds also converted 4-of-6 passes for 46 yards and another touchdown, a three-yard connection with Darius Staten. Navy, which has already accepted a bid to the Armed Forces Bowl this season, survived despite allowing 600 yards of total offense to the Spartans. Reynolds not only set the mark for rushing TDs by a QB in the outing, he also became the fourth signal caller in Navy history to both run for 1,000 yards and throw for 1,000 in the same season. Reynolds is also the ninth QB in history to have at least 20 rushing TDs in a season, and with 26 now he is one shy of tying the NCAA record. The Midshipmen now take the next two weeks off in preparation for their annual battle with Army on Dec. 14.
NEW MEXICO STATE: The Aggies went down for the fourth straight time on Saturday, losing to Florida Atlantic by a score of 55-10. Quarterback Andrew McDonald converted 13-of-27 passes for 136 yards, while Austin Franklin caught four passes for 58 of those yards as the team lost for the 10th time in 11 outings. McDonald also ran the ball 12 times for a net of 11 yards and a score for a program that generated just 278 yards of total offense, compared to 585 yards for the Owls. The only win on the season for NMSU continues to be the 34-29 final versus Abilene Christian back on Nov. 26 which means the last victory for the program over an FBS opponent was against Fresno State two years ago. Next up for the Aggies is a meeting with former Western Athletic Conference foe, Idaho.
NOTRE DAME: The Fighting Irish made it back into the Top-25 on Sunday after defeating BYU at home in a 23-13 decision. Notre Dame scored a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter as Tommy Rees hooked up with DaVaris Daniels on a 61-yard TD pass play to kick off the game's scoring, followed by a two- yard scoring run by Tarean Folston. As future drives began to stall, Notre Dame called on kicker Kyle Brindza to save the day as he knocked through field goals of 26, 26 and 51 yards. Rees finished the contest 15-of-28 for 235 yards, with Daniels reeling in six passes for a game-high 107 yards. Cam McDaniel led the rushing attack with a game-high 117 yards on 24 attempts, the team producing 235 yards on 47 carries as they bounced back from the 28-21 loss at Pittsburgh two weeks earlier. Next up for the Fighting Irish is a hotly-anticipated meeting with nationally-ranked Stanford, on the road, this coming weekend.