Army/Navy 2010 Media Blitz

Thursday, December 9, 2010

In case you forgot, there is still regular season football to be played. No bowl bids hinge on this one, no conference championship is going to be handed out - even the Commander in Chief trophy residing 1700 miles west of Philadelphia. Low stakes game, right?

Sure... This one can set the tone for either program - win or lose. This game is about as must-win for a team that just qualified for its first bowl in 14 years and just re-signed its head coach.

So yeah it's a long layoff and a big game.

As an aside, I love the venom that the ESPN college football trolls spew forth on any given football article. How do you go about being assholish on a service academy news story? Well commit one obvious typo in the record and some douche called colfootball198 will show you how.

How hard is it to check a record? Army is 6-5 not 6-3.

Is that all you have to say? then save it. You really care enough that you're the first one to notice a typo to go to the trouble to log in and complain? Pure class. It's garbage like that which ruins for me. If I wanted to hear idiots talk shit nonstop I would move to an apartment above a bar. UNBELIEVABLE assholism goes on on those comment boards, and when it comes down to it that is just the tip of the idiot iceberg on

The basic news story is here... standard AP stuff.

A look at the 111 game history of the rivalry can be found her in three parts, pretty interesting read there.
Make sure to check out all three parts.

A really interesting read from the Washington Post details some of the nuances of Navy's season and highlights some of Army's  success in 2010.

Navy has played two teams this season that run the option, Georgia Southern and Air Force, with mixed results. Division I-AA Georgia Southern, which like Navy runs the triple option, managed just 73 yards rushing and 109 yards overall. The Midshipmen won that game, 13-7...

Army's option attack ranks ninth nationally at 260 rushing yards per game. The Black Knights have rushed for 33 touchdowns this season, their most since 1996, which not coincidentally was the last time they were bowl eligible. Since then, Army is 24-7 when rushing for at least 300 yards.

"With Army, it's more like smash-mouth football," Navy senior linebacker Tyler Simmons said. "It's going to go head-to-head. It takes us kind of back to a camp mentality when we're playing against our offense, smashing skulls. They always come out hard against us no matter what. We've got to come out swinging."

For historical perspective you can read the opinion of Nicolaus Mills.

This year's game, like those of the past, marks the last time most of both teams' seniors will ever step on a football field. As they have known ever since they arrived at West Point and Annapolis, what awaits them is not a tryout in the National Football League or a lucrative job in business, but active service, which these days amounts to a five-year commitment. In no other athletic rivalry is the price of participation higher.

Except that opinion neglects that both teams will be playing in bowl games to close out the seniors' careers.

The game has other importance for the seniors. For Steve Anderson, it is his shot to elevate his game against Navy one last time

Anderson can't forget the smiles on the faces of Navy players and the hurt in his brothers' eyes as the Midshipman sang their alma mater's song last year following Navy's eighth straight win in the series.

"After that loss, there was a pain knowing I had no control of what the outcome of that game could be," Anderson said. "I just knew something had to change and it was going to be my senior year."

Without Anderson, Army's defense held its own but it wasn't enough in a 17-3 defeat. Now, Army has its emotional voice and leader back on the field.

Sal does a Q&A with Annapolis Navy beat writer Bill Wagner it's a so-so collaborative effort, but both of these guys have other solid stuff out there right now.

Such as:
Wagner touches on the nuances of the Army offense in this piece.

Army's option is a mixture of various philosophies. Offensive coordinator Ian Shields was a quarterback at Oregon State in the early 1990s when that program employed an option attack. Shields has borrowed heavily from the veer package created by former Houston head coach Bill Yeoman, the wishbone-style option developed by legendary Texas offensive coordinator Emory Bellard and the Wing-T made famous by former Delaware head coach Tubby Raymond.

"There are a lot of commonalities between what we do and what Air Force and Navy do. In terms of the option genealogy we all come from the same tree," Shields said. "There are no secrets among the service academies. We're not doing anything new. Our base plays are all option in nature. We've just added some complimentary stuff we feel fits our personnel and offensive philosophy."

Sal Interdonato gets into the fullback arms race featuring Jared Hassin vs. Alexander Teich.

Teich tells Navy quarterback to throw it up anywhere and he'll grab it. Two of his five receptions have gone for touchdowns, including a 31-yard rumble against Notre Dame.

Hassin is tied for second on the team with 11 catches, with eight having gone for 10 yards or more and a first down.

"You still get tackled sometimes," Hassin pointed out. "Getting involved in the passing game has been a lot of fun. It's a great opportunity and another way to contribute to the offense."

I'll try to stay astride of the news stories as we move forward. If you only hit one link on this post go on over to The Bird Dog where he takes a look at the Black Knight defense. I don't care how bad you hate Navy or why, there is some quality football analysis going on over at The Bird Dog



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