Although he is often overlooked thanks to the outstanding careers fellow running backs Ki-Jana Carter and Curtis Enis had, Mike Archie was a force on the field in his own right. Fight On State recently caught up with the former Lion back to talk some football and PSU memories.
Mike Archie is still among the best punt return men to ever wear Blue and White, averaging 14 yards per return and taking one back for a touchdown. He was also a versatile running back who could not only pick up yards on the ground, but also through the air, with 70 career receptions for 534 yards and seven touchdowns.
Archie shared his thoughts on the 1994 team and also took us inside the locker room after the 1993 Citrus Bowl win against Tennessee, when the team first started to realize it had something special together.
Mike Archie Audio Interview
If you are unable to listen to the audio interview above, you can read a recap of Mike Archie's comments below:
Mike shared his thoughts on returing to Penn State saying it is hard to believe it has been 10 years since the amazing 1994 season. It is great to see all the guys. He has kept in touch with guys like Bobby Engram and Stephen Pitts, but it is great to see the guys that he hasn't kept in contact with like Marco Rivera and Kerry Collins.
He looked back at his NFL experience and thinks it was great even though he didn't have the career he had hoped for thanks to injuries. He loved being able to play at that level.
He thinks the 1993 Citrus Bowl was when they realized they had something special. After that game Joe Paterno talked to the team in the locker room and told them to take a good look around. The team wasn't losing much talent and they had just taken down a fourth- or fifth-ranked Tennessee team. "We knew we had a special team and we committed right there that we would have a fantastic spring and summer."
He talked about coming in No. 2 in 1994, saying that it didn't matter at the time and they were focused on winning and taking care of business. Today it is frustrating, but he knows in his heart that this squad was amazing. Under today's system they would have either had a shot at the title outright or split it, so it hurts a bit, but it was an incredible experience. No one can tell them they were not national champions.
It has been tough seeing the team recently. Most teams go through it, but it is all about responding and bouncing back. He is excited about the new class and the future.
Currently he works in the finance department for a church which he really enjoys.