Cade Ballard and Tyhier Tyler were not listed on Army’s three-deep quarterback depth chart heading into week one.
But last week — for the second game in a row — they rotated under-center, played nearly mistake-free football and helped guide Army to a win. After the Black Knights’ dominant 49-3 win over Mercer, the young QB duo are this here blog’s Co-C.I.C. MVP’s of the Week.
Making the second start of his collegiate career, Ballard ran six times for 19 yards and completed his only pass attempt of the day for 53 yards and a touchdown.
Tyler led the Black Knights in rushing, covering 77 yards on 10 carries. His longest run of the day, for 30 yards, set up Sandon McCoy’s third rushing touchdown of the day. (Note: Yes, we did consider McCoy for C.I.C. MVP of the Week, but he totaled just 19 yards on the day, with each of his touchdowns coming on goal line dives. We thought the play of the two young quarterbacks was more impressive.)
With Ballard and Tyler at the helm, Army totaled 360 yards of total offense, was 8-of-14 on third down, 4-of-4 on fourth down, had zero turnovers, and ate up more than 35 minutes of clock.
It’s unclear what Army’s quarterback situation will look like against Air Force next week, but Ballard and Tyler have made it clear that they are capable of guiding the offense. Against UTSA, they both scored touchdowns and combined for 153 yards of total offense. Ballard has proven to be a capable passer and decent runner, while Tyler has shown to be a threat in running the option.
On Sept. 1, neither player was listed on Army’s depth chart at quarterback. But injuries to Christian Anderson and Jemel Jones forced them into action — and we still haven’t seen Jabari Laws this season.
No matter what the injury report looks like, Army seems to have a deep stable of options at quarterback this season.