I'm convinced this team is trying to kill me.
Nice to finally get that Yankee Stadium win, nice to get that monkey off the back and put the other foot out front for this team and the new coaches. I called for a statement win, and Army definitely won, but statement win?... I don't think so. If anything, it made a statement that Army is still having trouble closing out games. You can't even argue with that. Be honest, you saw UConn get down to the doorstep at the end and in your mind you knew Army lost the game. It's been the case in the 3rd and 4th quarter all year and, really, the way Army/UConn unfolded it shouldn't have been any different.
If you play any team on Army's schedule and give them the ball on the 6 with a minute left and the game on the line there isn't much hope for the win. It's that sort of scenario that has become all too familiar for the Black Knights and fans as Army has had games where they've been competitive through 3 quarters but for whatever reason fall back late in the game and end the game pretty far back in the rear view mirror.
My optimism when Army handled UConn for the better part of 4 quarters was like riding the crest of a wave. I knew Army owned UConn play after offensive play. Offensively they were in tune chip, chip, chipping away. UConn had poor pursuit to the edge, focused too many guys on trying to stop the inside run, and every single time the ball got pitched - Army had even numbers or better and were ripping off big time runs. It's one thing to commit 2 guys over the center, it's another to commit 5 players central and still get run on both inside and outside plays. Longtime UConn blog Ramblings from the Runway phrased it like this:
In each of the games against East Carolina and Central Florida, the Huskies' two best efforts of the season, UConn's opponents ran six plays on either 3rd and 4 or shorter and seven of at least 10 yards to go on third down. However, against Army the Black Knights ran 10 plays between 3rd and 1 and 3rd and 4 (converting 10 times) and just one time did Army have to run a play on 3rd or 10 or longer.
That isn't to highlight ECU & UCF as potential playoff teams, it is just showing that stopping teams has more often than not been a weakness for Connecticut.
I thought Army played Air Force on ABC last year, and I'm pretty sure Army played on CBS in 2011, but this leftover from the Air Force game surprised me:
Network television visited Michie Stadium on Nov. 1 when CBS broadcast the Army vs. Air Force contest. It marked the first time CBS broadcast a game from West point, N.Y. and the first time Army was on a network since Nov. 9, 1996, an ABC regional contest.
One other broadcast related item involves Army's former OC Ian Shields' new team Lenoir-Rhyne... I've been checking for highlights but haven't seen much out there til this week... looks like Shields is still operating a beastly T formation option game.
This video is by far the best video of Shields' schemes with Lenoir-Rhyne, and it looks like they're keeping the stuff pretty simple as the plays shown don't have the layers and layers of misdirection that we've gotten to know from Ian. Nice to see he's keeping it real: Lenoir-Rhyne is 10-0 and plays 6-4 Catawba this weekend for home field in the D-III playoffs.
OK, back to reality Army/Western Kentucky game notes are up (.pdf)
Don't miss Danny Wild's photos of Army at Yankee Stadium
the UConn/Army story, stats and highlights here and here.