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Blake Carter's Big Games Against Air Force

Playing Air Force seems to bring out the best in senior cornerback Blake Carter.

His first collegiate start came against the Falcons in 2007, and he responded with seven tackles (six solo) and recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter to help seal the 31-20 victory. Last year, he made two huge plays on special teams in the Midshipmen's 33-27 win; he returned a blocked punt 25 yards for Navy's first touchdown, and then blocked a punt that teammate Bobby Doyle recovered for Navy's final touchdown. Carter was named the game's most valuable player.

"I don't know what it is; maybe it's how much weight is on the game. I guess I find myself playing well in the games that are most important to our program," Carter said. " I take a great deal of pride in this game, as well as Army. It's a pride that kind of forms over the years you're here, from plebe year to [senior] year. It kind of grows on you."

Carter started at cornerback for much of his sophomore season and finished fourth on the team with 71 tackles. He started the first two games of his junior year, but then moved into a reserve role behind a pair of experienced seniors, Rashawn King and Ketric Buffin. It was hard at times, going from starter to being a back-up and special teams player. But the success he had against Air Force gave him a boost and helped him re-prioritize his goals.

"When I made those plays, I kind of looked at it as it was a chance for me to kind of show that the abilities that I do have, even if it's not at the corner position," Carter said. "It just changed my mindset as far as contributing to the team, and the overall goal of helping Navy football win."

Carter is back in a starting position this fall, and last year's experiences have "most definitely" made him a better player, he said. He is one of Navy's surest tacklers, and he is currently tied for second on the team with 2.5 tackles for a loss. Overall, he has been credited with 17 tackles—which already surpasses last season's total and puts him over 100 for his career.

"I kind of understand that I can't take this for granted," Carter said. "Now me being a senior, four games into the season, my days are already numbered. I can't take any play for granted; I have to play every play like it's my last. I take that into consideration on every game and every play."

By Camille Powell  |  September 30, 2009; 12:15 PM ET
 
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