Army Rolls To Week 1 Win Over GA State, to Host WKU For Home Opener
by Erin Summers
The Black Knights were firing on all cylinders as they opened their season with a 43 - 10 win at Georgia State.
After a preseason quarterback battle, it was junior Tyhier Tyler who earned the start, taking the Black Knights to an early 14 - 0 lead.
"Tyhier was playing really well," Army head coach Jeff Monken said following the game. "He was running the ball really hard, doing a nice job with his reads, distributing the ball where it needs to be and took care of it."
After Tyler was sidelined with a lower leg strain, senior Christian Anderson took over behind center. A hand-off to running back Jakobi Buchanan marked Army's third straight touchdown. It was the first time Army has scored on their first three drives of a game since 2013.
Overall, the Black Knights' offense amassed 356 yards, 258 coming on the ground.
"We've been practicing for this since August," Anderson said, "so it's good to just see it manifest into a win -- against any team. We're always grateful to get a win and I'm proud of my guys for all the work they put in and executing."
For as well as the Army offense executed, the defense -- tops in the nation in 2020 -- looked even better.
"They played their butts off. [Defensive coordinator] Nate Woody's an outstanding football coach and he had them in position," Monken said. "The bottom line is the players gotta go make the plays and they did and I thought it was a great effort on their part."
The Black Knights held the Panthers, who averaged 424 yards per game last season, to just 177 total offensively. Army capitalized on two turnovers, one a key interception by corner Jabari Moore just before halftime that set up an Anderson touchdown to give Army the 27 - 7 lead at the half.
"One of our things that we try to do is run the ball and stop the run," said Army linebacker Andre Carter, who led the Black Knights with three tackles for a loss on Saturday, "So anytime we can do that and get a victory, it's a good day."
Up next the Black Knights welcome fans back to Michie Stadium as they host Western Kentucky on Saturday, September 11. The Hilltoppers are coming off of a 59 - 21 win over the University of Tennessee at Martin, in which quarterback Bailey Zappe threw for 424 yards and seven touchdowns.
"They are a very explosive offensive football team," Monken said "and what they're doing with the football . . .it's a lot of fun to watch. It's not going to be too much fun to defend."
Regardless of the status of Army quarterback Tyhier Tyler, with four different Black Knights getting time under center in game one, multiple players are expected to rotate in at quarterback again this week against Western Kentucky.
edited for web by Joe Harman