Army 2-3

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Today's loss was about as tough a loss as you can get. Army seemingly had the game in hand against a well matched Tulane team.

Army played alright, but never really dominated. They scored, held a lead through most of the game - but didn't do enough to put the game away.

When you play a running style of football like Army's option attack, you've got to execute on every play. Miscues such as the muffed punts, the 4th down missed punt and the 4 fumbles (even though they got the ball back each instance) all make it very tough to win games - since you've got to make up for them with near-perfect play.

This team can endure about 1 miscue per half against any of their scheduled opponents, beyond that they haven't shown nearly enough offense to make up for it on the scoreboard.

Some of the play calling left me scratching my head, but to Ellerson's credit he played to the run game which is obviously Army's strength. I might have used the pass a little bit more instead of letting Tulane tee up on the inside runs - but if the Knights aren't any good at throwing timing routes or crossing patterns it doesn't make sense to use that in a game. I don't want to use the word frustration, because Army brings what they can to the table - but the team's limitations mainly come from mental mistakes and errors of basic fundamental football. Finishing blocks, making tackles and taking care of the ball are all things that can be improved on in practice, but to be honest, from week to week I'm not seeing a lot of improvement in those areas. Army was lucky not to turn the ball over on each of its 4 fumbles. It's one thing to analyze the nuances of a precision option attack, but when blockers regularly miss assignments or when option reads are missed, there's not much to go over. It basically comes back to practice time and game day execution.

I don't mean to rip the team, because they want to win as much as I want them to, but this game is unfortunately 'one that got away'. This is a huge hit to Army's bowl hopes and with Vanderbilt coming to Michie Stadium next week, we all might be chalking this season up to "just beat Navy" once again.

Again, I hate to rip the team, because they are trying to win games - it's just that every game they play will be close and they're going to have to play near-perfect every week just to win these close games.

All that said, there were a few notables from this game.

Trent Steelman is a fantastic football player. 20 runs for 95 yds is more than any team would ask of their QB. Steelman keeps this team in games late and that makes me very optimistic about the the future of the offense.

Army scored on their opening drive for the 4th time in 5 games - which is great, but they should be finding extended success with their misdirection run game. They've got to sustain more drives and put points on the board.

Alex Carlton missed his second field goal of the year - a 37 yard try with 16 seconds left in the game.

Army will win more games this year; this is the kind of loss that teams take personally - unfortunately the team's bowl chances have taken a big hit and they're looking at a couple of tough must wins in the coming weeks.

Your story and stats are here.

Army - Tulane Internet Broadcast Options

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Army/Tulane Preview

Friday, October 2, 2009

Army plays Tulane today at noon. Along with Rutgers, I believe that this rivalry should be developed in in the long-term. The rivalry is even at this point; a 8-7-1 advantage for the visiting Green Wave. It's a competitive rivalry that will take on more meaning as the series plays out. This series obviously doesn't approach the level of rivalry as Army/Navy, but it is of great importance to keep this competitive rivalry going - to establish rivalries and gameday traditions against a team from another region.

Ali Villanueva gets another look from the national media -yeah, he's big.

Tulane looks for a big game from Andre' Anderson.

The Green Wave actually took some extra time last week to prepare for Army.

The Black Knights (2-2), coming off a 31-10 loss at Iowa State, host Tulane on Saturday, and the Green Wave (1-2) spent two days preparing for Army's option attack before winning their first game of the season a week ago.

"For them to have taken some time during that bye week and invest it in us - it's a compliment, but certainly one I could do without," Ellerson said.

The Green Wave snapped a 10-game losing streak last week when it defeated McNeese State 42-32 despite being outgained 473-427. Wideout Jeremy Williams had 10 catches for 222 yards and two touchdowns and tailback Andre Anderson had 199 yards and four TDs rushing to pace the attack.

"I think the one thing is by winning the football game there was a little pep in our step," head coach Bob Toledo said. "We came out and practiced with a purpose. We were excited. They are rejuvenated, so to speak."

Very rarely do you hear a coach admit that they looked ahead to the next week. If McNeese State scored 10 more points we wouldn't have heard a peep out of Bob Toledo regarding the look ahead. Earlier in the week Tulane HC Toledo tossed his team out of practice for their lack of execution. Nice to see their attention is on Army this week.

"Well, they sure contributed to (ruining the season), " Toledo said. "We were 2-2 at the time and it was homecoming, and it was an embarrassing effort on our part. We threw three interceptions, we had a punt blocked, we fumbled the ball and they ran it back for about 90 yards for a touchdown. It was a poor performance on our part. Their fullback (Collin Mooney, rushed 19 times for 187 yards) that day.

"Yeah, I don't know if they ruined the season, but they sure did ruin homecoming. It was unbelievable . . . the venue, the game . . . everything was just a disaster, and again, it didn't affect them. They came out and performed, but it did affect us. It was like having a road game -- there was no home-field advantage."


If there's one guy to watch running deep, it's J. Williams last week he caught all 10 Tulane passes for 222 yards.

Here are Tulane's team notes and stats.

Game notes available here. (pdf)

Connectivity Information: Tulane Game

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Just a heads up regarding the Army/Tulane broadcast.
CBS College Sports will air the game on tape delay; which is pretty much the same as saying they're not covering the game live, but will show the standard replay at 11:30 PM EST.

Live internet radio can be expected and I'll follow up with some links under the radio tab. I'm not too happy about the delay, since: why would I get CBS College sports if they didn't actually show the Army game? There is very little redeeming value in getting CBS College if they don't show the game I want. Anyway, Knight Vision is always a possibility for those who must watch live.

Army has compete control of their media availability and they chose CBS College sports to broadcast Army football this season. If the delay gets more people into the stands for Tulane that would definitely be a good thing, but there are alumni and lifelong fans that rely on the live TV broadcast. It will be interesting to see how many Army fans attend the Tulane game - especially considering that the 12:00 PM start time is ideal for TV, but probably the worst start time for New York City area fans who want to attend. Now that TV is off the table, all we're left with is the early start time.

Yearbook: Univ. of Minnesota, Crookston

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Yearbook: Univ. of Minnesota, Crookston

Aggie, Trojan and Golden Eagle yearbooks available here. A fantastic effort to get yearbooks online by this smaller school.

For such a small school, Univ. of Minnesota, Crookston has experienced a lot of institutional growth over the years, going from a secondary school to a two year technical school in 1965 and from there to university status in 1988. Really a great look at, well - not a very well renowned football program, but the historical documentation of Crookston's football is very well presented in this series. Considering how few schools make their yearbooks available online this is an A+ example of college yearbooks being digitized for posterity.

Up Next: Tulane

Monday, September 28, 2009

Not a lot of stories covering Army football today, I have a couple of things on the burner, though and I'm always looking for more and better content.

Tulane is up next and they're coming off a very good win against McNeese State (#9 FCS). Tulane used a strong rushing attack to beat McNeese behind RB Andre Anderson's 202 yds and 4TDs.

Army will be pressed to play keepaway option football and must finish drives - as a rushing performance like Anderson's on Saturday (7.7 yds/per) would really make life tough for the Knights. This is a chance for Army to even the all-time series against Tulane. Right now Tulane leads the series sits at 8-7-1.

The Tulane win over McNeese State snapped a 10 game losing streak and the Green Wave are no question riding high after the win. The good news is that Sat. is homecoming at West Point ,so home field advantage will be in full effect at Michie Stadium. Home games also mean TV coverage and thusly the game can very probably be found online.

Army has some game notes up. A lot of good info there.

Like I said I have a couple of things coming up, so check back and look for new yearbooks and I'll finally post some original stuff about old-school football.

Army 2-2

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Army lost 31-10 at Iowa State on Saturday leaving the team at 2-2.

The black Knights dominated the clock, but beyond that were overmatched against a bigger opponent. Army drew it to within a touchdown at the half, but couldn't sustain their attack in the second half, though they came close on several occasions. Army went 3 for 16 on third down while Iowa State went 3 for 11, but difference in this one was Iowa State's ability to make plays on offense.



Some quotes:

Rich Ellerson on the passing game, "That's not our offense, that compliments our offense. We have to run our offense. We need to be able to run the triple-option. We need to be able to run the double-line option. We need to be able to check to a hard run, then block a couple of guys and finish a run in a critical situation."


Chip Bowden on Army's ground game: "They were loading up the box and tried to limit what we do offensively. We definitely found some holes. We found some places to attack. We were successful. We just wish we were more successful."


Bowden on offense: "We really need to focus on closing out drives and putting some points on the board and get the ball in the end zone."


Ellerson on the turnover ratio: "It's hard to beat a team that doesn't turn the ball over. We had that going for us for a while, but they win on that part."

ISU head coach Paul Rhoads on halftime adjustments: "Halftime was time well spent."


Ellerson on the 3rd down miscues: "We squandered a couple of possessions not quite knowing what we're going into, and that's disappointing. That's frustrating."

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