Army's hero against Tulane was fullback Collin Mooney. Mooney rushed for a career-high 187 yards on 19 carries and four touchdowns, scoring on runs of 2, 4, 10 and 35 yards. Mooney's rushing day was the best by an Army player since Carlton Jones ran for 187 yards against Arkansas State in 2005. It was the first four-touchdown game by a Black Knight since Jones had and Academy record five scores against South Florida on Oct. 16, 2004.
"It felt good to get in the end zone again," said Mooney, who last scored on a 9-yard run against Virginia Military Institute two years ago. "Id love to do this every game. After the first touchdown I was just like, 'Let's do it again.' I just felt good and wanted to run the ball more."
Army held a 291-156 advantage on the ground, becoming the first team this season to rush for more than 100 yards versus Tulane. The Green Wave entered the game ranked ninth in the nation, allowing just 68.5 yards per game on the ground. It was the Black Knights' best rushing game of the season and highest since going for 300 on the ground versus Arkansas State on Nov. 19, 2005.
This is how the Army staff and fans envisioned the Black Knights' offense running at the start of the season. Like the offense, Army's defense had plenty of shining moments. Linebacker Frank Scappaticci led the defense with a career-high 12 tackles and two interceptions. His 35-yard interception return for a touchdown with 2:43 capped Army's most lopsided win since beating VMI 62-7 on Oct. 7, 2006. There were more big plays on defense and special teams for the Black Knights. Freshman linebacker Steve Erzinger blocked a punt to set up the Black Knights' first score. Sophomore linebacker Stephen Anderson scooped up a fumble and ran 81 yards for the Black Knights' second touchdown.
"That was a poor performance on our part, a comedy of errors," Green Wave coach Bob Toledo said. "I give Army credit because they didn't beat themselves and they played extremely hard."
Let's hope the Black Knights keep it up against Eastern Michigan next week.
Army quarterback Chip Bowden (10) breaks away from Tulane defender David Kirksey (55) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)