Mooney, a senior, rushed for a career-high 187 yards on 19 carries with four touchdowns. He arrived in New Orleans and let's hope Mooney keeps rolling. If he does, Army should get past Eastern Michigan on Saturday, and the Black Knights' second half could get interesting. Mooney is one of they parts of making Army's option offense run efficiently.
Tulane coach Bob Toledo is sure happy the Mooney train has left the French Quarter.
"(Mooney) should have been the NCAA player of the week," Toledo said. "The one thing we did going into the game we said number one, we have got to stop the fullback. And we didn't do that. And if you don't stop the fullback when they run a wishbone option offense, you cannot stop that offense."
Mooney, who has 416 rushing yards this season, didn't earn NCAA player of the week. However, he did earn a special honor from Army coach Stan Brock, one that meant more than any the NCAA could bestow on him. Mooney was honored with the Black Death Award. The honor is given only in the cases of exceptional, near perfect play.
The Black Death Award was started in 1988 under head coach Jim Young. Brock reinstated the award, and has given it twice during his two years on the Army sideline. The first was presented to Lt. Col. Greg Gadson on his visit to West Point prior to the 2007 campaign. Senior wide receiver Mike Wright was honored for his performance versus Tulane last season. Wright caught the game-tying touchdown with no time left that forced overtime and led to a 20-17 Army victory at Michie Stadium
"I was going through the archives the other day and found a Black Death Award that they gave out to the majority of the team after the Air Force game," Brock said. "I've given three of those out. Collin is just the second player I have given it to. Last year I gave it to Mike Wright for the whole game he played against Tulane. People remember the touchdown catch but, he made a catch on the sideline prior to that and then he graded out at 97 percent for that game. I think the players understand how special that award is, especially going through the history of the people that have won it."
Mooney's four touchdowns against Tulane was the most by an Army player since Carlton Jones set the Academy record of five in 2004.. Even more impressive is the fact that Tulane entered the game ranked ninth in the nation in rushing defense, allowing less than 70 yards per contest.
Quarterback Chip Bowden and Army's defense also played well against Tulane and deserve kudos. But Mooney opens up everything for Army with his relentless running. Hopefully, Army can take another ride on the Mooney train against Eastern Michigan.