Markel Johnson’s reaction time was cut to a split second as he sprinted from the shotgun to the flat.
Johnson switched his focus as Bryson Daily’s swing pass was tipped by an UTSA defenders. Once Johnson caught the pass, the running back was thinking one thing – get the ball to a wide-open Isaiah Alston on the trick. Johnson deliver the pass to Alston for Army’s longest gain – 55 yards – of a 37-29 win.
“I kind of just happened in the moment,” Johnson said. “We go over stuff and rep different plays. That just happened to be the perfect play for that given moment. The biggest thing for me was for the (coaches) trusting me to go out there and make the play.”
Credit offensive coordinator Drew Thatcher with the perfect play call. Thatcher had called a screen/swing pass to Johnson earlier in the game. UTSA’s cornerback bit on the initial pass to Johnson on the trick play. Receiver Noah Short picked and blocked the cornerback just enough for Johnson to throw the pass.
Johnson’s first career completion was part of all-around game for Johnson. He caught two passes for 41 yards and 14 rushing yards.
Daily and four offensive linemen – David Hoyt, Brady Small, Lucas Scott and Connor Finucane – played all 83 snaps. Quite a first start for Hoyt. Jackson Filipowicz took 75 snaps with Sam Barczak stepped in for eight plays.
Army had zero penalties, no turnovers and no sacks allowed for the first time in the Jeff Monken’s 10 years as coach. It was the third time that Army was penalty free in the Monken era, joining the 2016 Army-Navy game and 2022 game against Georgia State.
Possessions: 10. Touchdowns – 4. Turnovers – 0. Punts – 2. Three-and-outs – 1. Drives of 7 or more plays – 7 (3 TDs, 3 FGs). Longest drive – 14 plays, 70 yards, 8:37, third quarter, touchdown.
Third-down conversions: 8-of-20. Fourth-down conversions: 6-for-6
Time of Possession: 44 minutes, 25 seconds
Average starting field position: Army 31. Best start: UTSA 41, scored TD off turnover
Touchdowns: Rushing (3) – Hayden Reed, 1 yard, first quarter, 3rd career rushing TD; Jakobi Buchanan, 10 yards, 26th career rushing TD, first quarter; Bryson Daily, 3 yards, 5th career rushing TD, fourth quarter (on fourth down)
Passing (1): Noah Short, 25 yards (Bryson Daily), 1st career TD catch, third quarter
20+-yard plays: 5. Rushing – Hayden Reed, 27-yard run. Passing – Noah Short 38-yard catch, 25-yard catch; Isaiah Alston 55-yard catch; Markel Johnson 26-yard catch
Negative-yardage plays: 3. Rushing – Bryson Daily -2 yards; Ay’Jaun Marshall -6 yards; Hayden Reed -1 yard
Here’s a player breakdown of the 83 snaps (as charted off DVR, * – starter)
*QB Bryson Daily (83 snaps): 24 carries, 100 yards (1st career 100-yard game), 1 TD (3rd of season), 7-for-17 passing, 133 yards, 1 TD (4th of season), 3rd career start
*RT Connor Finucane (83 snaps): 28th straight start
*LT David Hoyt (83 snaps): 1st career start
*RG Lucas Scott (83 snaps): 2nd career start
*#C Brady Small (83 snaps): 3rd career start
*TE Josh Lingenfelter (76 snaps): 17th career start
*LG Jackson Filipowicz (75 snaps): 14th career start
*RB Hayden Reed (50 snaps): 20 carries, 107 yards (1st career 100-yard game), 1 TD. 3rd career start
*WR Noah Short (45 snaps): 3 catches, 68 yards, TD (first career TD catch), 2nd career start
*WR Isaiah Alston (42 snaps): 2 catches, 68 yards, 11th career start
WR Ay’Jaun Marshall (32 snaps): 1 carry, -6 yards
*H-Back Tyson Riley (30 snaps) 13th career start
RB Markel Johnson (26 snaps): 6 carries, 14 yards, 2 catches, 41 yards, 1-for-1 passing, 55 yards
RB Jakobi Buchanan (23 snaps): 8 carries, 30 yards, TD
TE David Crossan (23 snaps)
WR Veshe Daniyan (22 snaps)
WR Liam Fortner (18 snaps)
WR Casey Reynolds (12 snaps): 1 catches, 11 yards
RB Miles Stewart (12 snaps): 3 carries, 13 yards
G Sam Barczak (8 snaps)
#RB Kanye Udoh (2 snaps): 1 carry, 0 yards
TE Will Montesi (1 snap)
WR Zach Mundell (1 snap)