Army VMI Preview

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Army plays VMI on Saturday. Playing a D1-AA team usually means a bunch of offensive points and an easy win plus a chance to play some of the younger players. Army hasn't been able to score points at all this season, so it was a strange sight to see the Army -21 line on my pool sheet this week. I would be lying if I said I didn't have concerns going into this game as a loss to a D1-AA team could derail all of the modest progress that Rich Ellerson has created to this point.

Looking at VMI, they come in at 2-7, but I swear to you they're a decent team. The Keydets have had some bad luck with turnovers but are ranked #2 in D1-AA rushing, averaging 254 yards per game on the ground. The turnover thing has really burned them, VMI has put the ball on the ground 31 times, lost 24 fumbles and they've thrown 4 picks . At 2-7 with those kinds of stats, this would be a hell of a game for the Keydets to break out of their funk. VMI's D1-AA #2 rushing offense will be up against Army's D1-A #12th ranked defense giving up 290 total yards per game.

With all of Army's defense, they've had their own trouble scoring points. Trent Steelman believes it's the little things.

"It's just a matter of getting the little things down right," freshman quarterback Trent Steelman said. "That's what it takes to be a great offense."

It's not just that the little things are holding back the offense, it's the accumulation of little things that, combined, have made Army the 114th scoring offense in DIA.

Sal Interdonato has his Army/VMI predictions up. I don't usually pick scores, but I'll throw this one out there: Army wins by 10... 27-17. The CFN/Scout prediction and preview is here.
USA Today's statistical matchups are here.


Rich Ellerson provides some perspective on the seniors' final home game.

“You don’t get to do this very often. It should be starting to come home,” Ellerson said. “Our seniors are playing their last game in Michie Stadium. If they stop for a minute and reflect on that they might say whoa, because it’s the last time most of them will play the game. When we are done this year, our seniors are not going to play this game again."

I keep forgetting that it's not Stephen Anderson's senior year, that's how huge he's played this year. Sal Interdonato caught up with Anderson regarding his continuing role on the team and recovery.

A season-ending knee injury isn't going to stop Anderson from contributing. He shows up for treatment on his left knee, which has torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments, early so he can take in as much of the team atmosphere as possible.

Such a class guy, I hope he can recover for his own sake - surgery in December and a long summer off is a pretty short time to turn around an ACL injury. Hopefully, hopefully, hopefully it will be enough time to see Anderson back onto the field next year.

The all-time series is only 13 games old, but dates way back to 1917. Army leads the VMI series 12 to 1 - with Army's only loss coming in 1981.

Army/VMI game notes are posted, catch them here.



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