Army 4-2

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I don't know who Rice coach Bailiff thought he was up against - if Rice has hardly taken the ball away this year themselves I don't get the decision to start QB Miklo Smalls.
Emenuel Ellerbee succinctly states what may be the problem with Rice.

Discipline on the defensive side of the ball- the will to win when faced with adversity- these things appeared to be lacking When Rice found themselves up against the wall. Rice coach David Bailiff said his game plan was to catch lightning in a bottle - well what happens when that bottle turns out empty? I don't think you go with the kid in the first place, but if you do there has to be a short leash. Maybe you can't foresee an atrocious stretch like Rice had late 1st Q- it's questionable in the first place to start Smalls against Army's defense but to hang your rookie out to dry like that - that's on the coaches. Rice's previous starting QB Jackson Tyner (who found the field this year after 2017 starter Sam Glaesman) came onto the field after the game was decided and I was just had a feeling that Army would get another takeaway... soon after that thought manifested Rice turned the ball over again. It was 6 turnovers in all that put Rice under. Give credit to the Army defense - they found a way to make things happen on the road in Texas.

Army ran a lot of zone runs. It looked to me like the play calling was out of mercy for Rice... until each zone play proved to be very effective. If the defense gets 6 takeaways every game Army will be just fine to run zone all day, but I have a feeling that Brent Davis still has some ideas that have yet to be shown. It's a nice breather not having to stress every down of a nail biter, I could use about 7 more games of breezy shotgun zone runs with the QB stable finally getting some useful work.

Army's explosion of takeaways and points was nice, but I had to feel bad for Rice. They played Army close for most of the first quarter and then they started coughing up the ball. It reminded me of Georgia Tech Pitt from 2014.... Pitt had 4 fumbles in their first 6 offensive plays to start out 0-28 within the first 5 minutes. The Panthers fumbled again with 6 minutes left in the first and the game was decided there. Pitt played back into a 56-28 loss - clearly sticking with the Yellow Jackets for the remainder of the game.

Army won a key game, but even with the lopsided score - as we look ahead to Temple, Air Force, Duke and Navy are we sure about who this team is? Can Army finally make people respect the deep threat? What will Army's personnel look like down the stretch? Can Ahmad Bradshaw endure the grind of a progressively difficlut 12 game schedule?

It goes without saying tht EMU this week is another must-win. In the parlance of winning the CIC trophy and making a bowl every game down the stretch is a must-win game.

Here's your Army/Rice story, stats and highlights




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