Patient Bisgard gets his chance

Derek Bisgard admits it felt good to be back in Army’s starting lineup last week against Air Force.

It had been a while for Army’s senior tackle. Bisgard’s last start came in September 2011.

And, if Bisgard had a choice to start in any game this season, Air Force would have been one of his top picks.

“I’ve got one,” Bisgard said Tuesday. “To beat Air Force made it even better. Now, it’s just about beating Navy. Whether I’m a part of that on the field or not, it doesn’t matter to me. It’s kind of the team effort and just going out there and beating them.”

Well, Bisgard may play a bigger role than he expects. He’s likely to make his second straight start at left tackle Saturday at Rutgers. Senior Ben Jebb, who started the first eight games, is likely out with an ankle injury.

Bisgard started Army’s 2011 season opener at Northern Illinois but not another game until Air Force.

“I messed up my knee last year and I wasn’t ready to go for most of the year,” Bisgard said. “I got behind the curve. Once that happened, I was trying to work my way back. I felt like I had done enough but once you get to a certain position, you have to accept your situation and just keep trying hard in practice. Luckily, I got an opportunity to go out there and play.”

Army coach Rich Ellerson said Bisgard, “has always been a guy that we thought a lot of.”

“He’s a very intuitive football player,” Ellerson said. “But (against Air Force), it wasn’t add water, instant (success).”

Bisgard was moved from right tackle to left tackle for the first time in practice last week. He admits he still has some adjusting to do. That’s why Bisgard was in his room studying film hours aftter a 41-21 win over Air Force last Saturday.

“I have to prepare a little bit,” Bisgard said. “I switched over from right side to left…In our system, it’s very similar. You just have to rewire your brain a little bit.”

Bisgard and Army’s senior class had only sung second (reward for winners of service academy games) once before. But, Army Prep’s 2008 win over Navy Prep, doesn’t count. Right?

” It didn’t really have the same meaning,” Bisgard said. “No one even knew the alma mater back then. There’s a certain chants that Air Force and Navy Corps have made against us when they were about to win and hearing that from our Corps for the first time was a pretty cool experience. We got that monkey off our back.”

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    Sal Interdonato

    Award-winning writer Sal Interdonato has been on the Army football beat since 2007. He'll take you inside the huddle and into the lives of the Black Knights. Read Full
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