As a plebe last season, fullback Jakobi Buchanan played in just three games, totaling 88 yards on 19 carries. He was serviceable, but not relied on.
But this season, as a sophomore, the 260-pound Buchanan has turned into the workhorse and play-maker for Army’s triple-option attack. After a solid outing vs. MTSU — nine carries, 33 yards — he broke out in the Black Knights’ 37-7 blowout win over Louisiana Monroe.
The native of St. Charles, Missouri powered ahead for 106 yards on 11 rushes, and found the end-zone twice. He averaged 9.6 yards per-carry, broke off a 40-yard run and punished ULM’s defense.
For that performance, he is this here blog’s C.I.C. MVP of the Week.
Buchanan’s two touchdowns were the firsts of his collegiate career, and his rushing total was a career high for a single game.
“After last season, you know, we had a bad taste in our mouth. And we’ve been working hard all off-season since we came back,” Buchanan said earlier this week. “We’re trying to be the best team that we can be. 1-0 every week. Coach Monken always harps on it, it’s Army vs. Army every week.”
On Saturday, Buchanan scored his first touchdown on a clean cutback that went for 25 yards.
His second score of the day though — that 40-yarder — was gritty and impressive. He hit the hole hard on a what seemed to be a routine fullback dive between the guard and tackle on the right side. After shaking off one hit, Buchanan built a head of steam and followed right tackle JB Hunter, who got to the second level and shoved a defensive back out of the way. Buchanan scampered away from the wreckage and coasted into the end-zone.
Jakobi Buchanan can't be stopped. pic.twitter.com/AsY7b9LZeu— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) September 12, 2020
In high school, Buchanan also had offers from Air Force, Navy and Colgate, and interest from Duke, Indiana and Purdue. He was tabbed as a two-star prospect by Rivals.
When he committed to Army, Buchanan said, “That’s the perfect offense for me and how I run the ball and my physical type of play.”
On Saturday, it sure seemed like he was right about how he’d fit in at West Point.