Army must stop Carney tonight

Junior quarterback Shaun Carney is the guy that makes the Air Force's triple option offense go. He can run. He is tough. He makes great reads. He can throw? Yes, this option quarterback can throw. Carney holds the two highest single-season completion percentages in school history. He broke his own school record last season with a 64.2 completion percentage.

That's what you call a double threat. Army must stop him if it wants to put up consecutive wins over Air Force for the first time since 1977-78. It seems like Carney has been around forever. He got an unexpected shot at the starting job as a freshman in 2004 when projected starter Adam Fitch ruptured his Achilles in the spring. Carney won the job out of preseason camp. That made him the first freshman in school history to start at quarterback at the beginning of the season and the first to start in a game since 1986. He is an elusive runner, following in the footsteps of Air Force option-masters Dee Dowis, Beau Morgan, Chance Harridge and Mike Thiessen.

Carney, who is 5-foot-10, has always shown remarkable decision-making skills, poise and maturity. His passing percentage is down to 54.5 percent this season, but don't expect him to miss a throw in a big spot. Carney's rushed for 486 yards and five touchdowns this year. Like Army, Air Force is banged up this year, but the Falcons showed what its capable of when their option is running smoothly. Air Force opened the year with a 31-30 loss at Tennessee and ran all over the Volunteers.

Tennessee only secured the win when they stopped running back Chad Hall on a pitch from Carney on a two-point conversion with 1:35 left. Air Force hopes the Army game doesn't come down to a two-point conversion. Heck, the Black Knights feel the same.

The game should come down to ball control Air Force has run the ball all year, while Army has struggled on the ground lately. The last thing Army fans need to see is Carney scampering around Michie Stadium.

Let's hope the Black Knights can stop him. Because if Army can stop Carney, they stop Air Force.

After all, he's the guy that makes the Falcons' option go.


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