Game On

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The video stream is up, you can find a link to the Pac12 feed by clicking the Radio tab above.
That's the one I'm watching, check back if that one cuts out.

Update: Link updated.

Seeing Cardinal

Friday, September 12, 2014

Undefeated Army makes a rare trip to California to play Stanford on the farm. Last year this matchup stood out to me as a mismatch - but at the end of the game I was relatively pleased with the score, but aggravated by the result. .

That Stanford game was a meat grinder for Army's 2 deep and a paper shredder for the Black Knight's depth chart. The one result I will hope for above all else will be no Black Knight injuries at all this week.

The Idaho Statesman has a brief preview of the game. There are a few nuggets at the end of that one.

Facts and Figures:

Stanford has not lost consecutive games since 2009 and is 7-0 following a loss since David Shaw became coach in 2011. ... The last time Army beat a nationally ranked opponent was No. 15 Air Force on Nov. 4, 1972. ... Stanford has won its last 11 home games against nonconference opponents since losing to Notre Dame in 2007. ... Army's last win at Stanford was Sept. 22, 1979. ... Army has 21 players from California, the most of any state.

Stanford blog Rule of Tree has this succinct view of Army's most dynamic element.

"...there's very little to learn about the defense this week - Army's offensive scheme is the triple option and they're a largely over-matched squad - so it shouldn't be much of an issue."

Nobody thinks it's an issue until they're getting reamed out by their coach 
down 0-6 while silently wondering where the A back will slip through next series.

If you would like any more bulletin board material here are some Stanford Army score predictions

I will believe Stanford is better than Army when I see it on the field. Here's to a long wait - - - -


Army 1-0

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I don't know if I've ever seen an 8 point blowout, but if ever there was one, wow that was it.
Army throttled Buffalo for three quarters before a furious comeback to make the game more than close: it was downright competitive down the stretch. The result was in question at the end, but for 3 + quarters it was a Black Knights showing of force.

Army continues to live and die by the turnover, and while they had some takeaways (key takeaways as it turned out) there needs to be improvement on taking care of the football. Things like special teams and keeping that laser-beam focus.

The coaching staff clearly had the team prepared. Once Angel dropped the ball on the second play of the game the natural thought was "Not again." Unlike years past the team not only weathered the early storm - they played on that proverbial 'edge' making some very good plays on both sides of the ball and had the game sewn up until the 4th quarter debacle.

When Army had the lead just after the half I actually wondered aloud if they would take their foot off the gas or keep the conclusion of their playbook in the back pocket. In the past few years we wouldn't even see the inside counter "Doc" or half of the misdirection plays until the 3rd or 4th game of the season. Saturday, Army was relentless until the 4th quarter running of the Bulls.

We sort of knew the schemes coming in: a multiple option look with some pistol, and some wing-t, plus a 3-3 stack on defense. I didn't expect the seemingly effortless offensive outburst nor the impressive defensive performance. After watching the first half it reminded me of 2004-2007 West Virginia.

If you asked me at any point in the past if I would make that comparison between Army and Rich Rodriguez' WVU teams I would have told you to get lost. Here we are, though, Army has talent all over the field - not WVU talent, but seasoned men on both sides of the ball. They may not be as fast, they may not end up ranked, but the schemes just kind of looked alike. For the first game of the season I could think of a lot of worse teams to be compared to than WVU. Any way, Army earned any positive accolades they've gotten for the Buffalo game.

Even if the game exposed Buffalo as a punching bag (in  fairness, they showed a lot of punch to be able to bring the game back) it was a must-win game for Army - and they played like it was must-win.

Sal has a postgame video analysis up.

Larry Dixon had a great game rushing for a career high 174 yards and 2 scores.

Take nothing away from Josh Jenkins' 2nd pick - it was a heck of an athletic play to make that grab, but buffalo QB Joe Licata took about a 4 second wind up on that toss. Throwing that pass from the college hash mark to the deep boundary was just the wrong decision. A pick is a pick, though - and a win is a win.

Up next: Army's most physical challenge.

Here are the Army/Stanford game notes (.pdf)

Your Buffalo/Army story, stats, and highlights.



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