I'd like to know the status of Larry Dixon's knee before I feel comfortable moving on. Dixon's comments in Sal's postgame interview imply that he's ready to go.
Coach Monken mentioned after the game that Stanford out-physicaled- and out hustled Army, and it was apparent from the first snap to the final whistle.
“I thought we had a lot of good plays called today. We just got knocked back. They were playing the blocks, knocked those back up front at the point of attack. They defeated double teams. When we got the ball on the perimeter we weren’t doing a great job of blocking people to the ground and create opportunities for us to gain yards. Credit goes to Stanford. They played more physical. They physically whipped us on a bunch of plays today.”
It sort of speaks to the difference between Monken's offense and last year's offense by Ian Shields; with last year's team defined by extreme misdirection and this years predicated by a pointed attack where offensive players are expected to create a numbers advantage in a more physical manner - running at a player and blocking a defender out of the play. Not that Monken's ideas don't create opportunities with misdirection and vice versa- just that in the last few year's schemes the quick-hit misdirection worked well against all kinds of defenses. Yesterday we saw that there is no way to outrun or out-block or out-physical a team as strong as Stanford - they can be outsmarted for a half, but there is no beating those guys to the ball, and definitely no beating them off the ball.
Okay, one guy matched up well - too bad it was Tardieu, the punter.
Despite the demoralizing score, I'm okay with the outcome and the margin as long as Army is healthy moving forward. It seemed like Larry Dixon's knee was ok after he was shaken up late in the game. Army won't be invited to the postseason playoffs this year - and it's tough to accept. The title has eluded Army since 1946 and I'm one who believes the national championship is destined to return to and remain at West Point.
Incidentally, it was infuriating to listen to the Pac 12 network guys miss obvious facts about the Army team. I can't expect them to follow the team or watch Army's games, please read a media guide from the current decade, at least. Things like Army's last winning season in 1996, and not realizing that Army's offense has changed dramatically since last year's game. In fact, I try to post game notes every week - Pac 12 Network - try to keep up. (It's like they wake up 3 hours later over there or something)
It's no consolation, and I don't usually look to pro football news to fill the pages here, but in the effort to forget about the shutout, I'll offer up news of former Black Knights player Josh McNary earning a chance to start for the Indianapolis Colts. McNary's first NFL start comes as the Colts face the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night.
Here are your Army/Stanford story, stats and highlights.