The question after a football game like the one that took place inside Michie Stadium on Saturday is this: Where in the world does one begin?
Do you start with the bizarre and breath-taking ending? Or do you begin with sophomore linebacker Andre Carter, who didn't play a down as a freshman and got his first college start Saturday. All he did was block the extra point that was the difference in Army's 28-27 victory over Georgia Southern and get what SHOULD have been a game-clinching interception.
Then there was sophomore quarterback Tyhier Tyler, also making his first start, turning the ball over three times in the first half before coming back to lead Army's rally from a 21-7 deficit in the second half. Or you could mention Coach Jeff Monken's decision to stick with Tyler after the three fumbles.
What about the defense, which gave up several big plays, but also made several plays of its own in the fourth quarter to allow the Black Knights to hang on…barely. There should be kudos for Army's offensive line; for the fullbacks and for several players who had barely touched the ball all season who made big plays.
Then again, it is impossible to escape Monken's self-confessed over-coaching that gave The Eagles a chance to steal the game. What's more, Tyler's start could have been catastrophic and who knows what would have happened if the officials—after what felt like the 58th review in the fourth quarter—had given Georgia Southern's beleaguered kicker Alex Raynor, who had already missed from 28-yards and had an extra point blocked one final chance. The kick would have been 49-yards and Raynor's never made a field goal longer than 41-yards.
Even so, when the replay official finally ruled that the game was over, the celebration almost matched a postgame victory celebration after a win over Air Force or Navy.
“Relief," Monken said. "The first thing I felt when they said the game was over was relief.”
Understandable. He might have added, 'exhausted.' This was the game that wouldn't end. It was also a game that was a straight uphill climb for the Black Knights almost from the beginning. Read more.