Army/Duke Unavailability

Saturday, September 25, 2010

For what I think is the second time in two years of doing this I am unable to find a link to the video stream.

Over air radio is available, but radio streams on the internet are blacked out.

I have my eyes peeled for a stream, and if one pops up I'll link it under the radio tab. I wish I had ESPN3 because I would broadcast a stream of the game, but I don't, so I can't.

A live blog of the game is going on at Rivals hosted by A.M. Allan.

You can follow ESPN's stats and gamecast here.

ESPNNews is showing pieces of the game on their College Football Overdrive show, so tune in there as the game gets more interesting. 

Get On Up

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This week's opponent, Duke, is coming off a home game against Alabama - where we found out a lot about what we already knew. Alabama is good and Duke would have a tough time doing anything in that game.

The game merely reinforced Alabama's reputation as an elite BCS team and leaves a question mark as to Duke's ability on the football field. We all knew what Duke was getting with Alabama...

The Blue Devils themselves appeared to have taken that fact too seriously.

Cutcliffe said Sunday he wasn't happy how his players were pretty much defeated before Alabama made all their big plays in a 62-13 win.

"At times, we played on our heels against a reputation," Cutcliffe said.

Army doesn't have the resume or ranking of Alabama, but -win or lose- the Duke game will forge Army's reputation this year as either road-warrior-world-beaters or "same old Army". To Black Knight fans, Army are what they are - but that won't stop the perception of folks who won't get the chance to watch the Duke game, nor will it keep a reputation, either positive or negative, from being created.

For Army, it's win this game and you're on the fast track to 6 wins and a postseason appearance. There will be emotions about the way last year's game against the Blue Devils ended, and there will be the tough circumstances of traveling to Durham playing in an old stadium on a grass field against a team from a BCS conference. Army has knocked off this type of opponent before, but not on grass and not on the road.

I want to break away from the pep rally for a minute to take a look at the phenomenal job of chronicling the 2010 Army season being done by Danny Wild. His photographs seem to get better as time goes on, and Danny is as involved a journalist as we get as Army fans. Take the time to head over there and follow along through the season. His pictures themselves may end up being the best documentation we'll get of Army's season, but his game reports are quite noteworthy too. Get over there, check out the Danny Wild site, and bookmark it for posterity.

Looking ahead at the Blue Devils, we all remember the tough loss at Michie last year. Well, forget about how that game went down - it's a different and better Duke team this year. Duke comes into this game with a revamped running game. Granted, it would have been impossible not to have improved their rushing as the Devils were #120 in rushing last year.

The positive side of looking ahead to Duke is that they have had trouble on defense.
The Blue Devils are 111th in Div 1-A in Rushing Defense , 118th in scoring defense  and 117th in Total defense. It's probably not worth mentioning that Duke is #108 in Pass Defense, but their rushing Defense has been a weak spot for the Blue Devils.

Against Elon Duke gave up 125 yards, allowing 9.16 yards per carry against all (non-QB) rushers.

Against Wake, Duke allowed 5.15 yards per carry, including 11.1 yds/carry (122 yards)  to Wake's feature back Sean Renfree.

Alabama had their way with Duke's rushing D tearing off 338 total rush yards on 30 (non QB) carries. Now, I'm not going to equate Army's power rush game with Alabama's, but that might just be Army's advantage. Alabama will line two guys up and run off tackle. Army's misdirection option puts four capable backs on the field at once. Sal notes the endurance of Army's offensive line, and while none of them are over 300 lbs, they have done a great job thus far this year.

The more I look at the matchup, the more I see Army coming out of the game with the "W". The assignment is tough, traveling to Duke to play on grass will not be a gimme game, but this is an important game for the Black Knights, and Duke's defense is ripe for the picking. If ever there was a time for a statement game - for Army - this is it.

Army/Duke game notes are up. (pdf)  This is a big game.


Week 4 Blogpoll Draft

Sunday, September 19, 2010

1     Alabama Crimson Tide     1
2     Ohio St. Buckeyes     2
3     Oregon Ducks             3
4     Florida Gators             4
6     Nebraska Cornhuskers     5
5     Texas Longhorns     6
9     Boise St. Broncos     7
18     Arizona Wildcats     8
7     Oklahoma Sooners     9
10     TCU Horned Frogs        10
16     Stanford Cardinal     11
11     Utah Utes             12
12     South Carolina Gamecocks13
15     Arkansas Razorbacks     14
19     Auburn Tigers             15
17     Wisconsin Badgers     16
8     Iowa Hawkeyes          17
21     Miami Hurricanes     18
20     Michigan Wolverines     19
--      Nevada Wolfpack         20
24     Penn St. Nittany Lions     21
--      Mishigan State          22
25     Pittsburgh Panthers     23
14     Houston Cougars     24
--      Fresno State            25

Up for consideration
Temple, NC STATE

Dropouts: Clemson, Houston, Missouri

Soliciting comments and suggestions for anything for teams ranked between #6 - #28

Another Game, Another Injury.

Marquee players seem to have a mark on them this year as first string starters have gone down in every single game.

This time it was Pat Mealey who left the game with an undisclosed leg injury. Hopefully we'll get a positive report from about his condition. Another player who was seemingly invisible was Jared Hassin. Sal gives us a little bit about Hassin's condition.

The offense was pieced together in the second quarter. Freshman slotback Jonathan Crucitti saw his first action of the season, replacing Mealy, who left with a knee injury and didn't return. Fullback Jared Hassin, who experienced back spasms throughout the week, didn't start and was limited to 17 yards on five carries. Freshman slotback Raymond Maples was held out of the game with an ankle injury. Steelman left the game late in the fourth quarter after getting banged up.

"We were on eggshells with a couple of positions," Ellerson said. "We're fortunate that most of the guys we have banged up are going to come back here shortly."

Army is in no place to complain about injuries compared to North Texas - the Mean Green lost another three players today, their center backup QB and a wide receiver adding up to 10 starters lost through the first three games. You have to feel for a team like North Texas facing circumstances like that,  it will be tough for them to rebound from these injuries and the Mean Green begin Sun Belt conference play next Saturday.

Trent Steelman played well, but I would have liked to see Max Jenkins spell him a little more often. At one point early in the 3rd Quarter Steelman was slow getting back to the line of scrimmage and the team took a delay of game penalty for the wincing QB. No question, Steelman is a horse and he's going to want to play every minute he can... but the reality of the game and the rigors of the position dictate that Trent will get dinged up over the course of the year and Army is going to need him down the stretch. 
As for now, I will take the yesterday's win as an expected performance in a must-win situation.

Next week brings a tough task as the Black Knights go on the road to face the Duke Blue Devils. Duke got smoked at home by Alabama on Sat. but this road trip will provide a significant step up in the opponent's talent and the situational adversity as Wallace Wade Stadium has some, let's say,  'dated' amenities for its visiting teams.

Win the next game and Army is in great shape to achieve the 6 wins it wants for bow eligibility - lose the Duke game and doubts about Army's postseason will certainly surface.

I'll have more on the Duke Blue Devils as we move through the week - for now, here's your Army/North Texas StoryStats and Highlights.


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