When you play against an Army team capable of putting together 19-play, 10-minute drives, you need to make your offensive opportunities count. Someone let Middle Tennessee State know.
Down 21-0 late in the first half, the Blue Raiders had a prime opportunity to put some points on the board ahead of the half. The team had a first-and-goal from the Black Knights two-yard line with 45 seconds left, and two timeouts available. They ran two plays, and did not score.
On the first play, quarterback Asher O’Hara bobbled the shotgun snap, and wound up being sacked all the way back at the 14-yard line. The team did not use a timeout, and even with no huddle, let the clock run all the way down to three seconds before the next play was snapped. It looked like the team was completely unaware of the situation.
O’Hara completed a quick seven-yard out to CJ Windham, but it was too late to get out of bounds, and he went down a good seven yards short of the goal line. That play wound up ending the half. To make matters worse, Middle Tennessee started the game on offense, and fumbled it away on its first drive, so Army took over to start the second half.
This is possibly the worst clock management I've ever witnessed. Truly unbelievable. Down by 3 TDs, you have two timeouts and you let the half expire.
And how do the announcers not say a word??? pic.twitter.com/U1roUCMX6V
— Funhouse (@BackAftaThis) September 5, 2020
Army would go 71 yards on seven plays to score a fourth touchdown to open the second half. The Black Knights have outgained the Blue Raiders 257 yards to just 76, and have almost doubled their time of possession, 21:50 to 12:22. The lead is up to 28-0.
If Middle Tennessee was some rebuilding program with a new coach, it would still be hard to excuse this. Rick Stockstill has been the Blue Raiders head coach since 2006. He’s one of the longest tenured coaches in college football, and MTSU is usually a reliable contender in Conference USA.
On the bright side, college football is more fun when Army is decent, and that goes double for a season in which we only have about half the sport playing. So far, so good for Jeff Monken’s team.
The second half is being broadcast on CBS Sports Network.