Individual efforts provide
By Keenan Singleton
Daily Cougar Staff
It's always darkest before the dawn.
And while Cougar fans wait for the sun
to shine again on this once proud football program, they can take solace
in knowing that while the 2001 campaign
has been filled with more than its share
of darkness, it still has its bright spots.
Jim Fox/USMA--The Pointer
Junior defensive back Hanik
Milligan cuts down an Army running back during the Cougars 21-14 loss in
West Point, N.Y., on Saturday at Michie Stadium.
At times, the play of the Cougars has
been spectacular; this writer doesn't have to remind everyone of the first
half of the UH-Texas game.
Even after Saturday's loss to the undisputed
doormat of Conference USA -- Army -- the fans of Cougar football can find
blocks of hope to build upon. There
have been some outstanding individual
efforts over the course of the season.
The offense has plenty of plays to put
on the highlight reel.
Sophomore Brandon "Big Play" Middleton
has had defensive backs staring at the No. 8 on the back of his jersey
Middleton has almost perfected his Randy
Moss impression that began last season at Louisiana State with acrobatic
plays that leave defensive
The sophomore has nine receptions for 262
yards; good for 29 yards per catch, including an 80-yard touchdown reception
After arriving on campus as a defensive
lineman, then subsequently making the switch to the "O" line, senior Grover
Thompson has finally found a position
that best utilizes his considerable size
(6-5, 275 lbs) and talents.
He assumed the starting role after junior
starter Jonathon Pritchett went down with an injury, and has blossomed
into a credible threat with bone-rattling
blocks and cotton-soft hands.
Three of his 10 catches have gone for touchdowns,
including the go-ahead score against Texas.
And then there has been the play of No.
5 on defense, junior Hanik Milligan.
Not to take away from the accomplishments
of others, but he has performed at such a high level that opponents have
to wonder if he'll ever come down.
No. 5 has been nothing less than spectacular.
The junior safety has almost already amassed a season's worth of tackles
(73) in just four games. He's on
pace for a mind-blowing total of 200 tackles.
The 6-3, 200 pound embodiment of terror
has patrolled sideline-to-sideline in pursuit of receivers, tight ends