Army seized their chance to finish and they did just that and in spectacular fashion.
Army's offense lost Ahmad Bradshaw for the second half which didn't limit the potency of the offense. The team elevated their level of play in key situations and played out some stifling drives when it mattered most. The offensive line had a pretty good game at Ypsilanti and consistently found their edge against an over-aggressive defensive front. How many plays did the Army offense snap the ball and just blow past 2 and 3 linebackers for chunks of yardage?
Some of that - well, a lot of that, was Eastern linebackers just stepping up into the teeth of Army's offense. They didn't show much interest or ability in reacting to and avoiding blocks, and Army ran the ball at will.
Army does seem to play well in Ypsilanti, you can't expect those fortunate things like Eastern's fumble into the end zone - recovered by the Cadets - but road games there seem to be rich with that kind of fortune. In this one, both Army's offense and defense solved big problems from the last few weeks.
while Eastern Michigan managed just 3/10 on 3rd down Army was a healthy 10/14
There was a good amount of misdirection in this ballgame, from systemic things like the fake punt, to much more depth in the play-action game and the use of multiple formations which is the hallmark of Coach Monken's best teams. I liked a lot of the misdirection that I saw. AJ Schurr's TD came off a nasty looking overload play where it looked like Army could have scored with the outside pitch just as easily as AJ's keeper. There were more than just a few plays like that where you could see a full 1/3 of Eastern's players schemed completely out of the play. It was an impressive offensive display and Army fans got to witness the ideal situation of playing with a lead, hogging ball possession, and getting EMU to play from a desperate place.
Defensively the game wasn't the cleanest. There were some blown coverages that led to points for the Eagles, and the defense played well enough to win. The only problem with that is there are more Penn States on the slate than there are Eastern Michigans. That is obviously something that needs to be addressed immediately.
There were some nice adjustments at halftime
Here are your Army/Eastern Michigan story, stats and highlights.
Oh, and if you're still riding high after Army's first win this season, Sal tweeted an Ahmad Bradshaw update.
QB Ahmad Bradshaw listed as starter on depth chart for Penn State game Saturday. #ArmyFootball— Sal Interdonato (@salinterdonato) September 28, 2015