Army 4-2

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Lafayette game went off pretty much exactly as expected, Army dominated in every phase of the game en route to a 62-7 victory. Hell, Army, uh, didn't even punt once.

The Cadets again have the top rushing team in the country, their defense is among the statistical best in all of football. Second in rushing defense, second in total defense, second in allowing opponents first downs...  a lot of this comes directly from Army's top 5 time of possession number. This is pretty much the polar opposite of where Rich Ellerson's 2012 fumble-prone team was.

There's definitely room for improvement, which can get glossed over vs a 1-AA foe, but Coach Monken used halftime to challenge the team.  It is nice to have the example come in the first half of a 50 point win as opposed to late in a 6 point loss. With that said, Navy has BY FAR the fewest penalties and fewest penalty yards per game. That's the stuff you either fix now or risk having that stat and that final game ruin what has been an enjoyable season.

Here are the story, stats and highlights from the Lafayette game.


Army 3-2

Friday, October 14, 2016

Army/Duke ended up being a pretty disappointing game considering all Army needed to do for more than half the game was finish ONE drive.

To be that close and lose on account of a few mistakes is just maddening.

Here are the Army/Duke storystats and highlights.

Army is second in NCAA team rushing

No time to panic

The bright side is that the defense has put on a show in every game this year. The obvious caveat is that they have been playing behind an efficient offensive machine in their wins, but in their losses the same NCAA #1 rushing offense has experienced lapses enough to in Any remaining game can be won if the offense can extend drives and maximize the time of possession. Army will presumably win against Lafayette tomorrow and will sit at 4-2 at the mid point of the season.

After playing Lafayette on Saturday Army's remaining schedule is

North Texas
Wake Forest
Air Force
Notre Dame
Morgan State

Three wins will get Army to a bowl. It doesn't matter who Army plays Saturday, this game is a big one in terms of bowl hopes.


Army Duke Game Notes

Thursday, October 6, 2016

How different does this Duke game look after week3? I'm still having a hard time trying to figure out which Duke team will show up.

When my team is up against a hard-to-read opponent like this I like to look at the opponents' media outlets for a little perspective. The Duke Chronicle has an interesting piece on what Duke brings and what they expect. 

We know they are well coached, we know they have some speed. Coach David Cutcliffe uses multiple ideas in his offensive strategy. Duke likes to throw, they go about 2 to 1 in pass yards to rush yards. In the red zone Cutcliffe plays it a little closer to the vest evidenced by the Blue Devils 10 rushing TDs to 7 coming from the potent pass attack.

Duke also relies a little on the zone read option, normally I would invite any team to try and match Army in option football, but Cutcliffe also mixes in an zone read pass play that punishes an overaggressive secondary.

Here's the Duke inside zone read - pass for a critical late score to tie in their win against Notre Dame.

If anything, my recommend would be, and I am speaking generally here... against Duke - anticipate the pass, generate pressure on the QB and don't get beat deep. Sure that's easier said than done, but against a team built as Duke is - there isn't any reason to fear the run.

I'm pumped up for this one. This is a big game for Army, conditions may be nasty and Army at 3-1 is still playing with house money. A 4-1 record will attract bowl committee eyeballs, since Army's schedule leaves little margin for error regarding possible bowl selection. But there I am getting ahead of myself... as for now

here are the Army game notes (.pdf)

and here the Duke game notes (.pdf)

Should be interesting to see about the weather. 


Army 3-1

Saturday, September 24, 2016

I don't think I have to expound on my contempt for overtime. I've said it before and after an OT loss, I'm sure it always comes across as sour grapes, but I can't stand these disingenuous overtime results.

Sloppy game, How do you run for 400 yards own the time of possession and still come up short? Penalties and turnovers is how.

We knew Army couldn't go flawless this year, and when they did - they looked unbeatable. The recipe to take the same team and make them beatable is to mix in a fumble and a pick. Additionally, the penalties were killer. Not only did the fouls stall drives, but Buffalo was able to magnify the damage of pretty much every penalty.

Another theme I think should be mentioned is how Army's defense, while dominant - hasn't had their endurance tested yet. Today they found themselves on the field for a late extended drive and they couldn't answer the bell. I was as surprised as anyone that the defense let up 14  points in the 4th quarter, but during crunch time Buffalo moved the chains and extended drives. Let's not pretend there aren't other teams on Army's schedule that can conjure up some 1st downs down the stretch.

I don't want to take anything away from Buffalo's game, because they didn't have much going for them through 3 quarters - but when the chips were down they delivered big time. 14 points in the final frame to tie the game late - and given one opportunity to prove themselves in OT Buffalo did just that. Two missed kicks later... Buffalo finished the comeback and escaped with the win. Hats off to the Bulls defense, after an early feeling out process they did a great job getting off blocks and making plays. There are a lot of downs I know Army's offense would like back, but as much as I hate it - I guess if you want do-overs that's what overtime is for. Hmmph.

If you haven't realized it yet, this isn't going to be a special, magical year. 4-0 will have to wait and awakening the echoes of 1999 and 1958 will have to wait. The result is painful, especially in a loss like this - one that sends team perception and psyche spiraling back to earth. But this is NOT "Same old Army" - you're let down and your early season hopes likely lie on the scrap heap. Forget all about what you hoped would happen - stand up now and get back into this season. This season is everything we should expect from Army football. Army should beat the teams it has beaten. There will be strange road losses like this one - get used to it now. Some years it might be a team like Buffalo that gets 'em - other years it might be a home game or some other team with an edge. This one isn't Fordham, and it isn't the Yale game. Buffalo played as a game underdog, and they achieved in the 4th quarter. It happened; and this kind of game could happen in future seasons. But assuming Jeff Monken sticks around, the program is poised to make 4-0 happen in future seasons. Army has a lot to focus on and a lot to play for. The Cadets are and should be focused on the next game but overall, Army is playing for the future. We've got every reason to believe that Army will achieve and succeed as we thought they would before today. It could well be that this loss is this year's most important game for the Cadets. Army had their chances and didn't get the job done. Recognize that Army will soon get back to this spot. For now, it's pick up the pieces and move on.

Army Buffalo story, stats and highlights.


On Constructing A Safe Space

Friday, September 23, 2016

Since seemingly everybody around me wants to talk about anything except Army football I guess I am going to have to find some common ground with those who must find anything and everything offensive.

I have enough make believe and extra noise in my life without having to mix additional extra noise into my day. Now I'm getting this extraneous bullshit mixed in with my football watching pastime. I am talking about the new trend of being offended at whatever the Army football team or their fans are doing at this precise moment.

First it was the team's Jesus prayer. Some attention seeker Mikey Weinstein took offense at the team's Jesus prayer.
Now it's this clown who thinks wearing a sombrero while in El Paso's Sun Bowl stadium is racist.

Felix Sanchez, founder and CEO of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, told Fox News Latino on Tuesday that he noticed the photo pop up on his Facebook feed and he found it “extraordinarily offensive."
Sanchez called the scene in the picture "an example of‘Trumpism’" whatever the fuck that means. Further, he cited UTEP as a predominantly Hispanic university and suggested Army fans wore sombreros to embarrass UTEP players.

I beg your pardon, but at what point in the game was any Army partisan in need of an edgy means to embarrass UTEP? If Sanchez, who represents the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts as founder and CEO was needing something to take offense to how about UTEP's ole' defense? The argument has no weight and was essentially laughed away by USMA brass.

If the U.S. Military Academy had as thin of skin they would certainly be online right now whining about Felix Sanchez likening them to any manner of Donald Trump's platform. Oh my sweet Jeezus: "Trumpism." That is rich. That is very, very rich. That statement is so, so rich. Really, extremely rich.

And so below I have a posted a safe place that you will find free of oppression and free from triggers. Feel free to come by our safe space to chill out away from the things that may bother you or make you feel anxious.

Neither Jesus nor the sombrero are hats that I wear, but if an easily accessible safe area on my site allows just one football fan to feel comfortable, then it is the least I can do.


A Safe Space

Thursday, September 22, 2016

This space is a designated safe space. Within the physical limits of this post no triggers are allowed. People using vulgar or violent speech will be sent away. If you need to vent color some bubbles. If you need to take your mind off being offended play the word search. Thinking will not be tolerated at any time in the safe space. Comments for this post have been disabled. I hope you enjoy your oppression free stay at our Safe Space.


Game Notes: Buffalo

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Update: Buffalo game notes added 

No news is good news as far as Army football is concerned. Notably, Monday was #28 Brandon Jackson's funeral, and the team attended the ceremony.  I'm not hearing too much about injuries at this point, there are a few players I would like to hear about, but as long as the injuries aren't mounting I am fine with that.

Buffalo is a team that has been running the ball a lot. They've gone over 200 yards rushing in each of their first two games (both losses). Buffalo has been holding onto the ball - just one fumble so far through 2 games... the Bulls have thrown 3 interceptions to this point though.

Looks like the Bulls might work out of the 4-3, it's a scheme they stuck with in defeat against Nevada's read-option offense. We'll have to see though, maybe they will try something different against the triple option.

Here are the Army game notes (.pdf), a statistical snapshot of the Bulls first two games can be found here. I'll try to update with the actual game notes when they post them.   Update: Buffalo Game notes

This game will be Army's only chance to lay claim to owning New York - maybe time to rack up some points?
No reason to be overconfident, no reason to look ahead - the Cadets have a bye week after the Buffalo game, so there will be plenty of time to ponder life after the road trip.



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