Army's Murray boosts Defense

The ball tumbled into the end zone and strong safety Jordan Murray pounced on it. Touchdown, Army! That score gave the Black Knights a 14-7 lead over Temple and Army went on to record for a 37-21 win. For Murray, hitting pay dirt had to feel good.

It culminated a great season, following a disappointing one. Murray suffered a right hamstring injury going into last year's home-opener against Kent State. He returned to the starting lineup seven weeks later against Tulane. "We're trained to run after the ball every day in practice and I think that pays off during the game," Murray said after the Temple game. Once I grabbed that ball, I had it. I wasn't letting go. I was glad to get a touchdown."

Although Murray didn't play much last year, he flashed his potential in one of Army's biggest games last year: Notre Dame. Murray had the best game of his career, running all over the field. He made eight tackles and a big-time interception.

Murray's first quarter pick of Brady Quinn served as the first the star, now playing for the Cleveland Browns, threw in 226 games. After the game, Quinn congratulated Murray on the field for his play.

This season, Murray is second on Army with 38 tackles behind linebacker Frank Scappaticci (41). Murray, a senior, also has two fumble recoveries. Murray had 44 tackles last fall and should surpass that total this weekend against Tulane.

Murray, a senior, and strong safety Caleb Campbell , who is getting NFL looks, form one of the best safety combinations in the nation. It was supposed to be that way last year. But not only did Murray get hurt, but Campbell missed the rest of the year after tearing up his knee against Tulane.

Campbell played a part in Murray's touchdown against Temple. The hard-hitting Campbell drilled Temple running back Jason Harper. Campbell's helmet launched the ball into the end zone and Murray picked it up.

Campbell has always been a stud in the program. Not Murray. He's come a long way, and although it's a longshot, maybe he will get an NFL look. Murray, who didn't develop as quick as expected as a sophomore, had a lights out spring practice 2006.

He was named most improved defensive player of camp and earned the starting job. Now, he's one of the leaders on Army's hard-charging 'D'. Expect a lot more big plays from Murray this season.

He's certainly coming into his own.

Extra points: Tulane hasn't won a road game since beating Mississippi State on Sept. 16 of last year. The Green Wave opened 2007 with four home games. Tulane is 12-47 away from New Orleans since 1999 ... First-year Tulane coach Bob Toledo, who made a name for himself as UCLA's head coach in the mid-1990s, had this to say about Army during his weekly press conference earlier this week: "The thing about Army is I've got nothing but the utmost respect for that program. My son-in-law went to the Air Force Academy. I know what those guys go through. I'll tell you what, it's hard enough being just a football player, but to go to an academy and do what they do. I appreciate what they do and I've got nothing but the utmost respect for them. They've got some outstanding players and you know about them as well as I do. They've got a great DB, an outstanding receiver/kick returner, so they've got some good football players." Top Stories