Monday, October 8, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 33


Individual efforts provide hope

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 all season.

Middleton has almost perfected his Randy Moss impression that began last season at Louisiana State with acrobatic plays that leave defensive
coordinators dumbfounded.

The sophomore has nine receptions for 262 yards; good for 29 yards per catch, including an 80-yard touchdown reception against Texas.

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 and sacks.

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