Army persevered on the road at Wake Forest and now have their 5th win to show for it.
It just goes to show that there is a fine line between a 400 yard rushing game and a 240yard rushing game. At the end of the day - Army ended up being too good for Wake Forest. Army was too good at moving the football and they were too good on defense.
It's just a little bit of the system playing out and producing - and when I say system I mean not just the offensive plays as called, but the personnel making the plays work. If Jeff Monken panics and pulls Bradshaw in the 3rd quarter I don't think Army gets out of Raleigh with the win. Instead they stayed the course and the entire system of players, coaches and plays turned around and won the game.
That's just the kind of thing I meant earlier in the year when I mentioned that Army football has finally blossomed under this coaching staff and we can expect start seasons 3-1 just as we can expect to start competing against these kind of teams that have shut Army down in the recent past.
Two things to highlight:
First, the system is good. DAMN good. To watch Army's offense operate and win games like this and keep on schedule as far as A) expanding/showing their playbook throughout the course of the year and B) developing the young players that will play large roles in the upcoming season(s) - it's just perfectly on schedule and there are only positive things to discuss. The playbook will take care of itself - you show what you know and the Army offense has faced some tough tests this year with some very positive results. Compare last year's rushing stats to this year's. By the end of the Air Force game Army will have outrushed last year's team. Currently the numbers have current rushing yards at 2,737 as compared to last year's total 2,931 rushing yards. That is 8 games vs all 12 games - night and day difference. The defense has the same story to tell they have trimmed a full 100 yards per game off their total defensive ypg (375 ypg down to 266 ypg) that's as stunning a turnaround as you can imagine for a defense. Couple that with the better handling of the football in general and you see how the team has turned the program around just by returning some players, sticking to the system and trusting the coaches. It's not the on-field changes that have been made that have made the difference, it's all Jeff Monken's system, and that system has and is currently proving to be a winner.
Second thing: These players run plays the way they were coached and the coaches teach the plays and system masterfully. I think I've seen an Army QB try to pitch of the wrong read one time all year. The linemen have turned out to block their assignments pretty much perfectly for long stretches of the season. Watch the QB follow they have been running every game - every single time a lineman literally cuts the defense in half. It is no surprise that Army is the #2 rushing team in the nation with this system just absolutely clicking on offense.
Compare that to how Ohio State runs the option. There is either a lack of commitment by the players to the plays that are called, or the coaches for whatever reason are telling key players to avoid contact. Either way that's all on Urban Meyer - your QB doesn't want to take the hit on the outside veer? Sit him down and play the kid that runs the play the way it's been taught. Alternately it's the coaches who need to coach the technique of running into the alley with the intent on taking a hit from the pitch read. It's not a difficult concept, but for whatever reason Ohio State isn't willing to take the hit. Not saying they are a bad team, but imagine what they could do if they actually ran the veer the way it's meant to be run. I hope it isn't until next season that the Buckeyes get around to examining that aspect of their offense.
Ok, here are the Army/Wake Forest story, stats and highlights.