Army/Northwestern Link Clearance

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Rise Northwestern posted an older preview of the NU/Army game.

While it's always nice to see the opposing fans' viewpoint, some of the misconceptions and ill-perceptions about Army resurface in this one.

Last year Army rushed for 251.6 yards per game while scoring 26.6 points per game. These numbers are not in the upper, upper elite of the nation, by any stretch. Army still has a long way to go. But the Black Knights are getting better, and to look past them would be a mistake.
251.6 rush ypg is simply 8th in the nation in rushing. We know Army doesn't go for 500 total yards per contest, and it is still very early in the season, but even burning clock and slow-playing the option Army out gained all but seven teams in Div 1-A rushing. Am I calling Army "elite"?  No.  I'm saying that the Black Knights' yardage per game and game tempo clearly shows that Army's rushing offense is one of the elite run games in the NCAA. Army comes into this game with the #2 rush game in the NCAA averaging 353 yards after the first two weeks.

More troublesome than that - which is basically semantics regarding  the word "elite" is this very common misconception.

While Army's offense continues to improve, the defense is a matter of concern for the team. It gave up 338.2 yards per game last year, which is not so bad until you consider how long it might take for a triple option team like Army to hold onto the ball to score. Army's offense is not necessarily one you trust to make a late-game comeback.
(emphasis added)

Rich Ellerson's Army teams should be noted more for keeping games tight than mounting comebacks, but Army's ability to play from behind shouldn't be questioned either.

Anyway Rise Northwestern has merged with Lake the Posts making a nice Wildcats blog so go check them out before game time. L.T.P.'s Army preview can be found here.

 Bleacher Report has a nice Army/NU preview definitely worth a look.

The AP chimes in with their take on Army's 2011 team:

This isn't last year, when the Black Knights were third in the nation in turnover margin at plus-1.23 per game. They've turned the ball over three times in each of the first two games and are minus-2 per game in turnover margin. Against San Diego State, which was decided on a fourth-quarter field goal, Army lost three of eight fumbles.
No question that is Army's biggest problem moving forward this season.The question is if the defense can force its share of loose balls - in addition to Army showing some modicum of ball control. 

Northwestern has turned around 180 degrees from last year as well - their turnaround being of the positive variety.

First and foremost, Saturday will be an interesting test of the Cats' rush defense. NU struggled towards the end of the 2010 campaign, getting torched by myriad Wisconsin and Illinois running backs. In the first two games of the 2011 season, the Cats have looked far better, surrendering just 118 rushing yards per game.

Sal's gives us his take as well.

Should be a good one, I won't venture a prediction, but if you're stranded online you can check back here before game time for a thing.




Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Subscribe in Bloglines

Subscribe in a reader