Like anyone emotionally invested in the Army football team, I want to just erase the tape, forget this game ever happened and move on to next week. It's too early in the season to take a game like this and scrap it. We did wait all spring and summer for these games, didn't we?
Here's the recap from GoArmySports
Sal has some insightful pieces up. Here he says that zero sacks by army and little pressure in the pocket on Ball State QB Keith Wenning made the difference in this game. It was a factor in Ball State's steamrolling of Army, and taken together with the poor decision making late in the half, the turnovers, the deficit in physicality as compared to the larger Ball State squad, an off night in the kicking game, turnovers, plus the troubling trend of Army's playmakers not making their share of plays... you wonder what is any better, any different from last year's 2-9 squad.
The series by series writeup only magnifies the pain of BSU flipping the score at halftime.Uncharacteristic way to accumulate that points differential around the half, but damaging still...
Army showed some up-tempo offense of their own, driving to the Ball State 27-yard line after an 18-yard reception by Lawrence and a 27-yard catch by Maples. Out of timeouts, the Black Knights spiked the ball to stop the clock with 13 seconds left, but Santiago was sacked on the next play and the clock hit 0:00.
Ball State carried their momentum into the second half, driving the first possession after halftime to the Army 2-yard line. The Black Knights stiffened, pushing the Cardinals back a yard and forcing a 19-yard field goal attempt by Secor. The kick split the uprights to make it a 30-7 game with 10:46 left in the third quarter.On the ensuing kickoff, return man Stephen Fraser was dropped hard after fielding the ball on the bounce at the 1-yard line, forcing the ball loose. Ball State recovered at the 11-yard line and needed just one play, a pass from Wenning to Fakes, to score their fourth touchdown of the day. The extra point extended the lead to 37-7 with 10:35 left in the quarter.
I saw a balanced, efficient Cardinals team that spread their touches around, made Army chase a little bit and didn't undo themselves in just about any phase in just about every series.
Ray Maples cracked Army's top 10 for career all-purpose yards with 2,931. It's a nice place to be in your senior year.
It was a forgettable game for the Cadets, but the task doesn't get any easier next week when a top-10 Stanford team comes to Michie Stadium. So the message is don't forget about it, learn from it and we'll take improvement on a week-to-week basis.
Ball State/Army Story, stats and highlights