Thursday, November 25, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Firstly, Trent Steelman looks like he's going to be alright. Steelman left the game with some sort of upper body injury. Steelman's upgraded condition is pretty much the best news I can take from the game.
Yankee Stadium attendance was announced as 54,251, a fitting record crowd for the stadium - and a nice spectacle for NYC's college football fans.
The color commentary was piss-poor. I don't watch every NBC Notre Dame game, but I'm pretty certain it was Notre Dame's announcing crew. After name bumbles like Kingsley "Airy", Steve "Enzinger" and something like Manitee Teo it was clear nobody spent as much as a minute looking at the pronunciation guide.
The offense was completely dismantled by Notre Dame. 3 points on the first drive and after that just three first downs for the rest of the game. Ouch. It was frustrating to see Army struggle like that in all phases.
Some of the undisciplined plays could have really set Army farther back. Running into kickers and chop block penalties were declined because of the score margin, but in a close game those things will ruin you. Perhaps even more frustrating, to me at least, is the ability for Notre Dame to take the high road - decline those penalties and sort of say 'we didn't need those gifts'. Very aggravating to watch. As far as the game Kevin Gleason has a spot on take. It's a must read article.
We get it, losing in the national spotlight and not competing for the last 3 and a half quarters is ugly. 27-3 is ugly. The fact that the game easily could have been 40-7 is ugly.
How do you rip a team that prepares the way Army prepares and plays the game the way Army plays? Saturday's game didn't end up as Army's statement game and the team got a little bit out of character. Notre Dame provided Army a reality check that there is a lot more work and preparation to get done to get the team where they want to be. Though, that is a long-term goal - to this point in the season Army is right where they want to be. The Black Knights are bowl bound, they have made incredible strides this year and the program seems to be in good hands with Rich Ellerson. The team will have to continue their renaissance in 2011, but this year isn't over.
I don't know what to tell you.
Would Army rather be in Delaware's shoes? FCS #1 Delaware fumbled a game away at home losing in overtime to a Villanova team that's toying around with what should be the Blue Hens Big East invite. It was a statement way to lose a statement game.
Would Army rather be in Pitt's shoes? Like Army, Pittsburgh is bowl bound with 6 wins. Pitt is looking to win out and take part in a BCS bowl game where they will likely get manhandled by whatever team they face. I've seen 9 of Pittsburgh's 10 games this year and all of Army's games and I'm certain that in a head to head meeting Army would beat Pittsburgh by something like 6 or 10 points. Pitt eked out a win at South Florida and Army got spanked on NBC. My take on Pitt's performance is that Panthers should be ashamed of the way they are playing football and the current fan sentiment out of Pittsburgh is fittingly negative.
Army played their worst game of the year against a superior opponent. The Black Knights didn't execute on the Yankee Stadium stage but through the first 10 games of 2010 you can easily say that the team deserved to play on such a big stage and will deserve the reward of a bowl game. As much as I love Pitt - they don't deserve shit.
There will be games like the Yankee Stadium game, and at this point Army just isn't built to skate with a team like Notre Dame. I'll be clear that Navy is a different story and the challenge now is to earn a winning record. This was the first of the high profile games that Army will play this year. Next up is Navy in what will amount to Army's shot at a winning record.
Here's your Army Notre Dame story, stats and highlights.
If you haven't already forgotten the game I suggest you try. We've got a long time to get past the loss, with the big one coming up on Dec 11.