Keenan Reynolds broke the FBS record for rushing touchdowns in Navy’s 55-14 blowout win over SMU on Saturday, scoring from four yards out in the first quarter to give Navy a 7-0 lead and leap Montee Ball in the record books. It was the 78th career rushing touchdown for Reynolds, who had four rushing scores on the day.
A lot of running backs and a lot of athletic quarterbacks have scored a lot of rushing touchdowns in their college careers. None has scored more than Reynolds.
“I think it’s a big deal,” the senior quarterback said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “It’s huge. It’s definitely an honor and a blessing, but I think it’s a testament to the guys around me and their hard work and their execution. Without them, I’d be nothing.”
Reynolds broke Ball’s mark of 77 and is three rushing touchdowns shy of breaking the NCAA record held by Adrian Peterson – no, not that one – who played for Georgia Southern from 1998 to 2001. Peterson rushed for 84 scores in 42 games.
Reynolds could break that mark this Saturday against Tulsa, but he’s got more important things to worry about. The Midshipmen, in case you didn’t know, are 8-1 and ranked 16th in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings.
“We’re playing for a whole lot and we got a whole lot in front of us,” Reynolds said. “Obviously my focus this week is Tulsa and Tulsa only. And in January, when it’s all said and done, then I can look back and be like, ‘Wow, it was a great ride.’ But right now, I’m focused solely on nothing but the present.”
Navy’s only loss came at Notre Dame on Oct. 10. The game was tied at 21 late in the first half, but Navy committed three turnovers and lost 41-24.
“I feel like if we don’t turn the ball over, we have a chance in that game – and we still had a chance in that game,” Reynolds said. “You turn the football over inside your own red zone, they’re going to capitalize – and obviously Notre Dame, being the No. 4 team in the College Football Playoff poll, speaks volumes to the type of team they have. They’re a very, very solid team. We knew we were going to have to play perfect and we were going to have to catch some breaks from them to even have a chance to win. That didn’t happen, but we knew that we didn’t deserve that win and we knew that we didn’t play well enough to win that game.”
Reynolds is known for his laser-like focus, which is truly impressive given the number of things that could make his mind wander. From his military service to his NFL prospects to just winning the AAC, there’s a lot on his plate.
How does he focus on Tulsa this weekend?
“First of all, it’s something that was installed in me by my parents early on,” Reynolds said. “And I think second of all, tomorrow’s not promised. You get caught up in worrying about the future – it’s not even promised. The only thing you can control is the present moment. So that’s something I try to remind myself of. That’s kind of been our team motto: Just (go) 1-0. Just worry about what’s in front of you. Worry about the day, worry about the play, worry about the rep, worry about the game, worry about the week – take it one thing at a time. Put all your focus into that one thing, and then at the end of all of this, if you’re mature enough and if you have the ability to focus for an entire season on one thing at a time, you’ll be extremely happy with he result of your season. I think everybody in our program has bought into that.”