Bright lights. A couple big throws. Big defensive plays. A few home runs. And of course, 'Derek Jeter' chants. Just your average game in Yankee Stadium.
In what turned out to be an offensive explosion accounting for over 700 yards, the Black Knights held on to win 35-21 over the Huskies, much in part to Chris Carnegie and his two huge interceptions. Army once again eclipsed the 300 yard landmark, and got 9 different players in on carries. While Angel Santiago only completed 2 of his 3 passes, both were to Joe Walker, including a huge 22 yard catch after a penalty pushed Army into a 1st and 18.
Army was able to convert 7-12 on 3rd down, 2-2 on 4th downs, 1 fumble, and only had to punt twice. Terry Baggett was only given 3 carries but turned them into 40 yards. Santiago led the team in rushing with 97 yards on a whopping 25 carries and 2 scores. Walker ran in two other scores in the breakout game of his career.
Chandler Whitmer threw a pick on UConn's second series but then play 3 quarters of solid football, ending the day with 171 yards passing and 61 yards rushing, scoring all 3 of UConn's touchdowns. Noel Thomas and Sean McQuillan each caught a touchdown pass, but the Army defense was able to neutralize the run game, limiting the Huskies to 163 yards, which was UConn's second-best game this season (179 against UCF in a win). In typical Army fashion, UConn was able to close the gap on Army in the 4th quarter, scoring a touchdown to come within 7 points with 2 minutes left.
The Huskies lined up for an onside kick, and similar to the Buffalo game, the ball was kicked directly to A.J. Schurr. Unfortunately, unlike the Buffalo game, Schurr was unable to field the ball and it was recovered by UConn. Army caught a break though, as the UConn player who recovered it was unable to advance the ball against what would have been an open field and a walk-in to the endzone.
Instead, the Huskies took over at their own 48 yard line. After a 26 yard run by Whitmer, 4 yard run by Max DeLorenzo, and 2 more big rushes by Whitmer, it appeared as if UConn was going to tie this game up. Whitmer took the snap, looked into the endzone and fired the ball, right into the arms of Carnegie, Army's own Mariano Rivera. Carnegie took the ball back 99 yards untouched to seal the Army victory, their first in either Yankee Stadium since 1960. The Sandman would be proud. Soon after that play, the fans started cheering for another Yankee great, Derek Jeter, and the game was over. Army is still alive, barely.
Player of the Game: Chris Carnegie 2 INTs
Prior to Carnegie's second interception, the broadcast booth stated that UConn should look away from Josh Jenkins, who on the previous drive had almost come up with a pick himself. Whitmer might be wishing he had looked Jenkins way instead. Carnegie jumped the route, caught the ball, and might still be running through the Bronx if the stadium wasn't in the way. An honorable mention goes out to Walker and his big catches and runs, but Yankee Stadium is the perfect venue to remember great final plays in, and Mr. Carnegie sure had his.