Army 1-0

Saturday, September 3, 2016

It's a new year and a new team and there is a lot to talk about, so let's get right to it.

There is only one word to describe Army football's will to win yesterday: poised. The team showed composure and grit in turning yet another close game into a well deserved win. It's year three for Jeff Monken and the timing couldn't be better for Army to get their first win in Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field.

On defense Army loaded up against the run and exhibited excellent gap control, neutralizing Temple's run game and forcing Gap control is one thing, but on offense West Point showed mind control. Conditioning and preparation were there, scheme and confidence were both there too. Army got to a point where they looked to be in mid-season form. But in a one possession game, on the road, in that particular stadium - all the anxiety of the last 5 (plus) years was invited back in for conversation.

It was a very strange feeling for me to clearly see Temple on the ropes with no real answers to anything Army was trying - but still worry about a late-game letdown. The letdown never came and Army, a program that had at that point never won at Lincoln Financial Field, rode big play after big play in a 4th quarter that may define their year and shape the coaching tenure of Jeff Monken at Army.

Big day running the ball, I liked a lot of the play calling. Davidson scored on runs of 3 yards and 17 yards and picked up a total of 121 yards rushing. Ahmad Bradshaw looked as good as I can recall an Army QB in a season opener. The team went for a robust 329 yards rushing and they did so without really digging deep into the playbook.

Some of the early passing was effective in the long run in the sense that Temple never seemed to know what to expect. Temple just couldn't catch up with Army's scheme. Temple wasn't pushing Army's offense anywhere, and the owls seemed off balance against some pretty basic play calls. The early success of Army offense vs Temple defense eventually became extended drives for Army and a lot of frustration for the Owls.

To me, the best part was that Army showed very little. They ran some misdirection, the systemic misdirection was present with those early passes and some of the later stuff like the designed toss play to the short side; but mostly Army's most basic stuff was enough to wear down and confuse Temple.

I would love to see a super cut of Temple head coach Matt Rhule whining to the refs. I don't begrudge the interaction, it's part of effective coaching, I just thought it was funny that he was featured so often whining, or pleading, or groveling, how ever you want to put it.

Seeing Jeff Monken
I believed Army could win from the start. History told me to tense up, maybe it was coming in 0 for 10 at Lincoln Financial field or their penchant for losing close games last year, maybe it was their record against the American Athletic Conference, or the result of last year's game against the Owls. By the 4th quarter it was clear which team had the advantage. Army came in ready and took advantage of almost every break that Temple gave them. The defense played as well as advertised, and despite a few things getting loose in the secondary the defense played exceptionally well. It seems like this is the Jeff Monken that we thought was coming in. The team was clearly in a different mindset than in recent years past. It remains to be seen just how good the team will be against an experienced team and a team that wants to play for 4 quarters, but as far as the first test - Army passed with flying colors.

Andy Davidson going home
Andy Davidson with his 22 carries for 121 and 2 touchdowns was an absolute horse. There were guys committing to their assignments and understanding their role in an offense that was humming from the first time they touched the ball. I didn't see too many missed blocks and pretty much every block that could be sustained was sustained. Andy Davidson went back to his backyard and had a storybook game. He will have another chance to make the Linc his home on Dec 12 during the Navy/Army game. Let's hope Andy Davidson makes the end zone his home in the season's build up to that contest.

Ahmad Bradshaw was another star and Army fans are sure glad to have him.

You can take in the opponent reaction here.   I understand their frustration, but I don't know how they thought Temple was going to take such strides forward after losing the pieces that they lost.

Army earned it last night and made a great impression... 1-0

Here's  your Army Temple story, stats and highlights.


Honorary Heisman: Bill Cosby

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Through all the annals of Temple University's esteemed history, one person - one player - exemplifies the spirit of the university and exudes the will and character of the city of Philadelphia. Bill Cosby was Temple University's greatest football player and was also the greatest mind to ever graduate from Temple University.

From his beginnings as a humble Pennsylvanian Bill Cosby championed the ideals of his city and his state. Very much a Philadelphia every man, Cosby failed out of high school and ultimately sought to augment his studies at Temple University.

While at Temple Bill Cosby ran on the track team and played on the Owls football team and his contributions to the University were many - though not contained solely on the field of play. Cosby's intellect gained him attention from universities nationwide, and he went on to complete numerous advanced degrees at colleges like:

Colgate University
Tufts University
University of Connecticut

Haverford College
Goucher College

University of Cincinnati
Paine College
Brown University
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Yale University
Oberlin College
Carnegie Mellon University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Berklee College of Music
Virginia Commonwealth University

Amherst College
University of San Francisco
Marquette University
Drew University
Wilkes University
Sisseton Wahpeton College
Lehigh University
Boston University

West Chester University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
Baylor University
Fordham University
Swarthmore College

University of Southern California

Bill Cosby's intelligence aside, it was his charisma that gained him national attention.
It was Cosby's penchant for cracking hilarious jokes at Temple that thrust him into the spotlight and made Bill Cosby a household name. Some of his rockingly funny comedy jokes can be found on the web just like this one:

In 1968 something happened that changed Cosby's life. At the age of 30 Cosby slept with his brother Russell in an act of passion that divided  his family and almost ended his marriage. After the memoir of the incident was made public Cosby's wife Camille stuck by his side, but never truly supported him again and from that point onward was one of Bill's most outspoken critics. 

After achieving international fame as a joker and for being the smartest man alive, Bill Cosby's merchandising ventures continued his string of success. His home crafted BBQ sauce was a hit with friends and family, and at their urging, Cosby, made his secret recipe available across America.

That is the untold story of Temple's finest son, Bill Cosby. Many years have passed since his commercial success and despite his best efforts, he's had a tough time getting his name back in the headlines.

So today, we would like to commend and immortalize Bill Cosby with the first ever honorary Heisman trophy. His lifetime of performance will not be matched any time soon and may we never see another man so gifted at misdirection. Never has there been a human being more worthy of being called a clown.


Temple's Yearbook is called the Templar and can be found here. The database presents a high quality searchable repository of historic Temple University undergraduate, social, and athletic happenings.

Related post:  Yearbook: Temple


It is the mission of The Unbalanced Line Online Library to present important and interesting historical texts to college football fans. Items will be added regularly as blog postings and can be easily indexed in the Yearbooks button on the site bar.

Copyrighted material is used expressly under the fair use guidelines of U.S. Code 17 #107 through #118 stating that the criticism, comment, news reporting, educational use or research of copyrighted material is not held in violation of copyright laws.

         _______________ © 2016 The Unbalanced Line _______________ 

Game Notes: Temple

The game notes came out for the Army/Temple game. There are more than a few items of interest.

The two-deep is listed and there are some notables there. 

Sophomore Andy Davidson is the starter at fullback. Also returning is Aaron Kemper

Ahmad Bradshaw is definitely still a part of the team and he's listed as co-starter with Chris Carter. It made me wonder if Monken was planning to ride dual QBs, but I guess it's nice to see they are both right there. If it were up to me I would name one starter and let it be implied that both are ready to go. Coach Monken gave some insights on the position in his press conference:

Ahmad's (Bradshaw) gotten most of the reps in preseason camp, we've had Chris (Carter) healthy for the last couple of weeks and he continues to improve so we may likely play both of those guys.  Right now, its Ahmad's (Bradshaw) game and he'll start. He's the No. 1 quarterback.
Coach also mentioned that he may spread the carries around with a deep stable of capable backs. The two-deep lists Tyler Campbell and Jordan Asbury as the starters at slotback and the slightly larger Joe Walker and John Trainor as their relief. Should be interesting to see whether having capable and fresh ball carriers on the sideline will translate into a slower substitution system or if Army chooses to go with a faster tempo and spell players on the fly as needed.

Edgar Poe is backed up by his younger brother Christian Poe. 

Mitchell Howard and Nick Schrage will do the kicking and punting respectively. 

Temple team notes are here 

Army West Point's Media Guide (.pdf) is available online and should make for a fun read as a lead-up to Friday night's game.

Army is 95-28-3 all-time in their season openers.



Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Subscribe in Bloglines

Subscribe in a reader