Army lost to Rutgers on Friday night, and while the loss was more or less expected, it ended up being a disappointing loss considering the way Army handled the ball.
Rutgers didn't beat Army as much as it won by default - thanks largely to the largesse of the home team. The Scarlet Knights were given three fumbles and a blocked punt to work with on a soggy, raw evening, and tailback Joe Martinek did most of the rest as they pulled away for a 27-10 victory.Sal Interdonato takes a second look at the Rutgers game.
A look at the recaps from a Rutgers perspective shows that some saw the game as a laugher.
Last night’s matchup between Army and Rutgers was a bit of a laugher. There was such a wide talent disparity on the field that Army had absolutely no chance of winning, even if the Scarlet Knights did manage to sleep through the third quarter, shooting themselves in the foot several times in the process. RU left a lot on the field. In fact, it’s troubling that they only won by seventeen.
Um, guys, this offense isn't going to cut it against Connecticut next Saturday. Why is Kordell Young running the Wildcat? Why is Jourdan Brooks only getting four carries? Rutgers' tried-and-true 2nd-and-10 run plays are about as predictable as death and taxes. There is just simply no rhythm or life to this offense right now, other than Martinek running for 100-plus yards all the time. It's understandable that you can't play 'pull-out-all-the-stops' offense, but this bland and frankly, predictable mix of conservative play-calling and half-hearted trickery just doesn't seem to be working.
This game should have been Army's toughest test this year, but while Rutgers did win by three scores - they gained more from Army's gaffes than they created themselves. 3 turnovers, a blocked punt TD, and 1 for 11 on third down made the difference in what should have been a winable game, but with a 3-5 record through 8 games nothing is gained from a shoulda/woulda attitude. Rutgers was the far more physical team, but Army clearly beat themselves in this game.
Army's effort couldn't be questioned. Its execution is a different story after a 27-10 loss on Friday night at Michie Stadium before 24,098 fans.- Attendance was listed as 24,098. I know a night game itself isn't going to draw huge numbers West Point, and the weather and TV availability didn't help draw fans to the stadium, but 24,000 is a completely unacceptable number for a night game at Michie Stadium. A full stadium goes a very long way to helping a team achieve on the field, so I was a little bit let down by the low attendance figures. I'll chalk this one up to the weather, but it makes me wonder what to expect in 2011 in Yankee Stadium.
A blocked punt, which was returned for a touchdown, and three lost fumbles, two in the third quarter, showed Army has a ways to go before reaching the level of Rutgers.
Anyway, this wasn't the one that got away, nor a highway robbery, but looking at the result you've got to wonder if Army might have pulled this one out on a better day. It takes near perfection for Army to upset any Big East team, and more than having good days at Michie Stadium, this team needs to create its own good fortune. The Black Knights will have a chance to work on that as they are off next week before traveling to Air Force on Nov 7th.
Here's your Army/Rutgers story, stats and highlights.