Looking Back at the Hawaii Game

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Looking back at Army's home opener, it was no question a disappointing loss.
To have a team like Hawaii bottled up like that late in the game and to give  the game away in that fashion is just a tough way to lose.

In all honesty, before the fumble, while looking at 3rd and 4 from Hawaii's 23 yard line - Army wasn't guaranteed a win in that situation. Forget about the horrible late hit penalty on Erzinger...with one minute on the clock it was Army's own lack of discipline that cost them a shot at the win. Coach Ellerson said that there were "a thousand chances to win that game" and by my math that final offensive series contained about 600 of those chances.
A dumb delay of game penalty took Army to the edge of field goal range and led to the questionable coaching decision to center the ball for the kick and not try to root out some more yardage to make the kick shorter than 44 yards.

There's nothing that can be done about the 15 yard penalty on Erzinger it was an awful call in the worst possible situation. That kind of thing happens - the officials names are listed here, you can dig up the dirt on these guys on your own time. Personally, I'm over it.

As encouraging as it was to see Army adjust at the half and fight back to put the win within reach, it is important to win those kind of close games. 2-0 on the year, 2-0 playing from behind in the 4th quarter and 2-0 in last minute comebacks would have gone a long, long way not only toward bowl eligibility but earning respect across the cfb landscape.
It's not worth getting down about the game; indications are that Trent Steelman will be alright and this is the kind of game where teams learn how to win. I know it is imperative to win games this year, but despite the loss - and despite how Army lost there are a lot of good things to be drawn from this game.

Last night I went to a bar to watch the local Oregon Ducks and of course it was my dumb luck to sit next to the only Hawaii native in the place. I really wanted to hold a grudge against Hawaii, but their fans are dedicated and typically nice people. Hours after a painful loss I was forced to come to terms with what happened and I realized that overall this Army team can still do everything it set out to do this season. A winning record is still in play, a bowl game is in play, the CIC trophy is in play - and the Black Knights have been refreshingly competitive this year.

This is an Army team that can hang around in games and play strong as games wear on - let's hope that hope the Black Knights can press on and apply that same perseverance to the season at large.




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