VMI Army 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This past weekend was weekend was almost totally devoid of meaningful football games for me. With Army idle, Rutgers/Pitt not televised here (nor streamed) and no stream available for Delaware/W&M, I was sort of up the creek in terms of watching my favorite teams.

Instead, I watched games from all over - Syracuse's big upset, the #1 Ducks continued domination and kind of took a step back from the season a little bit. It's nice to do that, but that makes it hard to get back in the swing of blogging the season, so with no further ado:

On to VMI...

Last year I was wary of VMI's ability to move the football and noted that their problem wasn't with executing their offense (#2 fcs rush) but rather with holding onto the football.

While it is again wise to be cautious regarding the perception of an FCS team, this year is a completely different VMI team.

Gone is the #2 FCS rushing offense, instead they tend to pass a bit more.

That is an indicator to look at VMI's line and as I expected, they are young.

63  Wren, Bo             OL 6-0  275  Sr.      GA.
65  Dodd, Brandon    OL 6-3  305  Fr.      VA.
66  Smith, D'Angelo   OL 6-1  255  Jr.       GA.
67  Snyder, James      OL 6-1  270  RFr.    GA.
68  Collins, Robert     OL 6-2  260  RFr.    VA.
69  Purington, P.        OL 6-5  295   Fr.      VA.
70  Stradford, Dave   OL 5-10 285  RSo.   MD.
71  Pickens, Phillip     OL 6-1  255   So.     GA.
72  Sorenson, Logan  LS 6-3  255   So.      VA.
73  Boatright, James   OL 6-0  290  RJr.     GA.
74  Williamson, Ike    OL 6-2  255   RFr.    VA.
75  Marcotte, Andy   OL 6-8  320   Fr.       VA.
76  Blue, Aaron         OL 6-2  260  RJr.      GA.
77  Hite, Steven         OL 6-5  275  RJr.      GA.
78  Bailey, Rob          OL 6-4  310  Jr.        GA.
79  Sadowski, Nick   OL 6-5  245  RFr.     VA.

One senior in the entire corps. That doesn't mean they can't play ball... just that they are a different team from last year.

Rich Ellerson touched on that a bit in the Q&A.

"There are things about what they did on offense last year. You can watch personnel. When you watch their style of play on offense, you are looking at a very different style. They've played a number of different guys at quarterback. They are settling in. They are still in a self-discovery mode, but they've been competitive when they've been efficient with the football and when they've done a good job in the kicking game they've been good enough."

None of that is to damn VMI with faint praise, it's just that by all estimations Army has gotten significantly better this year and VMI has taken a couple of steps back.

I'll be happy to see this one on TV. We can expect the regular video stream for this one.
A win will bring coach Ellerson to .500 in his time at Army. That's great to consider, but this game is essential to anyone who would like to see Ellerson end the season with a winning record as Army HC.

Army/VMI game notes are up (PDF)

Sal writes up the season through 7 games.

Army's 4-3 record doesn't tell the entire story.

Army has held a second-half lead in all seven games. The Black Knights have led in the fourth quarter in six games. Army, which had a bye this week, could be 6-1 with a bounce here or a break there.

So many missed opportunities. It just kind of shows that with as much experience as Army has and as senior-laden as the Black Knights are this year - they are not entitled to anything until 60 minutes has run off the clock.
Looking across the offensive line there will be serious graduation losses this summer. That is my main concern looking ahead to Army's 2011 season.

Sal's Q&A was posed a similar question

 billy:  sal will graduation hurt the two lines next year and the tougher schedule next year
Monday October 25, 2010 7:56 billy

 Sal Interdonato:  definitely more on the defense than the offense I think. Army has a few offensive linemen waiting in the wings like Matt Villanti, Derek Bisgard, Brad Kelly and Mike McDermott. It was be really tough to replace Josh McNary's production and Mike Gann's hard-nosed play in the middle.

That eases my mind a little bit about next year, but what then on defense?




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