Army wins 33-24
Over the Pylon posted a scathing response to the result.
It would appear to me that the playcalling is conservative at best, completely incorrect at times. That is 100% a coaching issue. It would appear to me that the units are at times unfocused, ill-prepared, and not ready to compete at a championship level. Allowing them to get to that point is 100% a coaching decision. Allowing them to remain in the lineup is 100% a coaching issue. Allowing them to remain in the lineup because the remainder of the roster (for the first time in the Lembo era comprised entirely of his recruits) is not any better is 100% a coaching issue.
When you look at the success Army has had on offense a lot of it has come against nose guards in straight up zero technique. In fact, Army's triple option sees a TON of straight up nose tackle vs center. That comes from the general thought that a triple option offense could easily flip the direction of a play at the line of scrimmage. Yale didn't line up in much zero technique - mostly in short yardage & goal line plays in packages that had built in 1 gap help. Not that Army didn't have success against the pair of 1 technique guards - you can look back at some of Army's drives against Yale and see they had some success creating holes up front with center & guard leverage vs 1 technique & 1 technique, and they had success turning those players around with a little misdirection - letting the Yale guards run themselves out of the gaps. The point there is that no matter what you run zero or 1 or however you play it - that player on the center needs to physically and mentally dominate his player every defensive play of the game. To get beaten off the ball for the whole game and still run the same zero technique is absolutely on the defensive coordinator. Anything after that is the nose not making his play, not getting off the center, or doing things outside of the defense to try to make up for his original assignment - that is - it's on the player as much as the coach.
I'm not picking on one Ball State guy saying the guard lost the game. Both teams featured some woeful tackling. Ball State's defense just happened to have the worse game in terms of wrapping up the ballcarrier. My point is that the players have to make the play. If you have a guy in your grasp at 5 yards - giving up 15 on that play isn't at all acceptable. Let's forget about Ball State's defense right now - that's directed at the Black Knights. There needs to be attention to detail regarding tackling. Both teams missed tackles that went for big plays - as a defense, Army can't expect to win games tackling the way they have been. We talk about Army's trend of giving games away late - if all 11 players wrapped up and tackled for 4 quarters that subject of giving up leads would vanish into the autumn sky.
You have to like the result. Army is racking up offensive yardage and has finally out-schemed their opponent, but that came along with some familiar defensive troubles. A win at home against Rice next week and Army's back on track. There is hope for this season yet, you would almost like to see them adopt a team mantra like "Finish Strong" - but really I'd be even happier if they spent the energy working on bringing down ball carriers.
Army jumped back up to 3rd in team rushing (avg/game)
Here's the Ball State/Army story stats and highlights.