Saturday’s 31-13 win at Texas-San Antonio was a testament to the depth that the Black Knights have built in the program.
Army was without starting quarterback Kelvin Hopkins, starting safety Jaylon McClinton and starting kicker Cole Talley for the game and starting cornerback Javhari Bourdeau for the first half. Three of Army’s starting offensive lineman – guard Jaxson Deaton, tackle JB Hunter and center Peyton Reeder – were injured during the game and Army still pulled out a road win.
Sophomore Jabari Laws looked the part of a starting quarterback. Laws rushed for 137 yards and a 41-yard touchdown in his first game under center. Laws fumbled twice and immediately responded with solid play after the turnovers. He is the fastest quarterback in terms of speed in the open field that I’ve seen at Army since 2007 and beyond.
Jeff Monken said after the game that Hopkins was available in an emergency situation. There’s no need to rush Hopkins back for Morgan State Saturday ahead of a bye week. Laws showed that he can operate the offense with little drop off.
Sophomore safety Cedrick Cunningham, freshman cornerback Jabari Moore and sophomore cornerback Malkelm Morrison didn’t flinch in a starting role.
Senior David Cooper stepped up on field goals and extra points in his first extended action for his career. Freshman Andrew Bagley handled the kickoffs with a touchback on his first a
UTSA closed down the middle, forcing Army to the perimeter. Slotbacks Kell Walker and Artice Hobbs combined for 134 rushing yards with Walker’s two touchdowns. Walker and Hobbs totaled 92 yards in the first two games.
Army has not trailed in regulation through its first three games.
The Black Knights are getting after the quarterback under first-year coordinator John Loose. Army recorded five sacks and consistently flushed UTSA quarterback Frank Harris out of the pocket.
If NFL scouts weren’t familiar with senior cornerback Elijah Riley before the season, they are now. For the second straight week, Riley had a strip sack off a blitz.