Freshman quarterback Champ Harris approaches every snap of every practice as if he’s the starter.
That mindset helped Harris against Troy Saturday.
Harris was thrusted into starter’s snaps in the second quarter when Bryson Daily left the game with a leg injury. The true freshman played 48 of Army’s 69 snaps in the 19-0 loss. Harris entered the game with 13 college snaps played against Delaware State in week two.
“It wasn’t a shock to me,” Harris said of his extended playing time. “The coaches do a great job of preparing us here. Coach (Drew) Thatcher tells me every day to stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. I go into every day at practice working hard if I was going to start the game so it wasn’t a shock. I was ready for the moment.”
Harris’ approach isn’t going to change this week as he prepares for potentially his first career start in front of 100,000 fans against No. 19 LSU Saturday at Tiger Stadium. Daily’s status is unclear.
One of Army’s most highly-regarded quarterback recruits in the Jeff Monken era, Harris led St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) to a state title his senior season.
“I had the opportunity to play on ESPN my senior year against St. Joseph’s Prep,” Harris said. “That was a big stage. I played in front of big crowds my entire high school career playing against teams like Miami Central, Miami Norland and Booker T. Washington. Throughout my life, I’ve been preparing for these moments and these opportunities.”
Asked whether or not games against some of the nation’s top programs like LSU, were one of the reasons he’s at Army, Harris said, “I look forward to all of the games equally. It’s always been my dream to play college football. Now, I’m actually living my dream so every game I’m always in awe no matter the opponent, last week Troy, this week LSU. I’m always in awe. I’m really living my dream and I’m out here having fun.”
Freshman center Brady Small and junior right guard Lucas Scott played all 69 snaps against Troy.
Senior tackle Simon Dellinger and junior guard Bill Katsigiannis made their season debuts on offense.
Ten of Army’s 69 plays were for negative yards including six sacks. Have to go way back probably to 2000s to find the last time the Black Knights allowed six sacks.
For the record: Army did take a snap from under center, a kneel down at the end of the first half. The Black Knights only had 10 players on the field for the play.
Possessions: 13. Touchdowns – 0. Turnovers – 4 (3 fumbles, 1 interception). Punts – 5. Three-and-outs – 3. Drives of 7 or more plays – 4 (fumble, punt, downs, fumble). Longest drive – 9 plays, 55 yards, 4:45, first quarter, fumble.
Third-down conversions: 2-for-13. Fourth-down conversions: 1-for-5
Average starting field position: Army 23. Best start: Troy 45
20+-yard plays: 1. Rushing – Kanye Udoh 23 yards
Negative-yardage plays: 10. Champ Harris (-2 yards, sack, -1 yard, run, -8 yards, sack, -1 yard, sack, -7 yards, -10 yards, sack); Bryson Daily (-4 yards, run, -4 yards, sack); Hayden Reed (-2 yards, run); Tobi Olawole (-6 yards, run)
Penalties: 4. Holding (Connor Finucane, Ay’Jaun Marshall, David Crossan), delay of game
Here’s a player breakdown of the 69 snaps (as charted off DVR, * – starter, # – freshman)
*RG Lucas Scott (69 snaps): 5th career start
*#C Brady Small (69 snaps): 6th career start
*RT Connor Finucane (69 snaps): 31st straight start, 32nd career start
*RG Jackson Filipowicz (51 snaps): 17th career start
*WR Noah Short (51 snaps): 2 catches, 15 yards, 5th career start
#QB Champ Harris (48 snaps): 6-for-13 passing, 63 yards, 1 interception, 9 carries, -17 yards (5 sacks)
RB Kanye Udoh (44 snaps): 18 carries, 124 yards (career high), 1 catch, 0 yards
*WR Casey Reynolds (35 snaps): 2nd career start
H-Back-TE Tyson Riley (33 snaps): 0-for-1 passing, 1 catch, 6 yards
#WR Tobi Olawole (32 snaps): 2 catches, 22 yards
*TE Josh Lingenfelter (31 snaps): 19th career start
LT Simon Dellinger (29 snaps): season debut on offense
*RB Tyrell Robinson (28 snaps): 6 carries, 28 yards, 2 catches, 17 yards, 24th career start
*LT David Hoyt (24 snaps): 4th career start-
*QB Bryson Daily (21 snaps): 3-for-4 passing, 15 yards, 10 carries, 38 yards, 6th career start
RB Hayden Reed (20 snaps): 6 carries, 11 yards
WR Liam Fortner (18 snaps)
WR Ay’Jaun Marshall (18 snaps): 1 catch 18 yards
TE David Crossan (15 snaps)
*WR Veshe Daniyan (15 snaps): 2nd career start
LG Bill Katsigiannis (14 snaps): season debut on offense
LT Boobie Law (14 snaps)
RT Shayne Buckingham (6 snaps)
LG Sam Barczak (4 snaps)
LT David Hayward (3 snaps):
RB Jakobi Buchanan (2 snaps)
WR Zach Mundell (2 snaps)
TE Will Montesi (1 snap)
WR Liam Fortner (23 snaps)
#WR Tobi Olawole (22 snaps): 1 catch (first career), 2 yards
H-Back Tyson Riley (18 snaps): 1 catch, 9 yards, TD (2nd of season)
LG Sam Barczak (10 snaps)
LT Boobie Law (8 snaps)
*#RB Kanye Udoh (8 snaps): 3 carries, 8 yards, 1st career start
TE David Crossan (5 snaps):
RB Jakobi Buchanan (2 snaps): 1 carry, 2 yards
WR Zach Mundell (2 snaps): 1 carry, 2 yards