Army 3-6

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Army lost 35-7 to our fine-feathered friends on Saturday. Early going the game was close - dictated by field position, defense and big plays.

The Army defense bottled up Air Force in the first half, limiting the Falcons to just 39 total yards. The Black Knights had three sacks, nine tackles for loss and limited the fourth-best rushing attack in the nation to only 4 yards on 21 carries. But it didn't last. Air Force finished with 160 yards rushing as Jared Tew gained 102 yards and Clark went for 82.

Army's defense performed well early allowing Army to flip the field on the Falcons leading to Trent Steelman's 46 yard touchdown run. The first half could have had even better results for Army who were plagued by special teams miscues - including giving up a big punt return TD , failing to down a punt on the Air Force 1 yd line, and booting a long AFA punt back to Army's own 1 yd line.

At least through the first half it was a physical, entertaining game. After halftime it was physical, less entertaining and even less of a game. Army abandoned physical play in the second half and resorted to experimental psy-ops.

After a great first half of bottling up Air Force's offense Army came out in the 3rd quarter resorting to disruptive mental exercises and cosmic wave attacks. No matter how hard the Black Knights concentrated, their psychic waves could not disrupt the Falcons in any phase of the game. At halftime Falcon's coach Troy Calhoun countered Army's psychic wave offensive with some mental adjustments of their own:

"Our biggest adjustment we made at halftime was just attitude," Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said. "It seemed as if we were standing around in the first half waiting for someone else to give us a spark."

The Black Knights aren't done, everyone knew this would be a tough game... and while the bowl hopes took a serious hit on Saturday, it may not be until the Army/Navy game that Army's bowl fate is decided. It's still tough to watch the success the other service academies are having, especially considering quotes like these:

“Off the field, they’re definitely our brothers,” AFA's Tim Jefferson said. “On the field, we don’t want them to have any type of success at all. It’s a whole different type of atmosphere say when we’re in Iraq or Afghanistan. It’s a whole different story there. But on the field, between these stripes, we don’t want them to have any type of success.”

With three games left to get the three wins they need for bowl eligibility, Army has no margin for error if they want to find themselves in the post season for the first time in 13 years.

It's not hard to imagine what that sort of success looks like... Army only needs to look as close as the other service academies to see that sort of on-field success. Air Force qualified for their third straight bowl with the win, and Navy - fresh off a win over Notre Dame gained their 7th win of the season and will retain the Commander in Chief Trophy.

It's back to work next week as Army faces VMI in the Black Knights' final home game of 2009.

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