Army 7-2

Friday, November 10, 2017

Army exorcised the demons in Colorado Springs on Saturday, and moved one step closer to the CIC trophy. Just by virtue of their being scheduled before the Army Navy game, Air Force had been the gatekeeper to the CIC trophy, and now having shut the falcons down and shut the Falcons out - Army moves on to play Navy in mid-December for the elusive trophy.

Ahmad Bradshaw elevated himself into the 2017 Top 10 in FBS rushing. Talk about an MVP performance - and a lot of those runs were designed QB keepers. It's as if the game plan was to roll into Colorado Springs, puke on their carpet and unleash the captain for 265 yards at 11.5 yards per carry. Check, check and check.

Top ten in FBS rushing is really something - add to that inclusion in West point's rushing single season rushing top ten.

    No.   Player            Year    ATT    AVG    YDS
    1.    Collin Mooney     2008    231    5.8    1339
    2.    Mike Mayweather   1990    274    4.9    1338
    3.    Carlton Jones     2004    209    6.1    1269
    4.    Trent Steelman    2012    241    5.2    1248
    5.    Raymond Maples    2012    223    5.4    1215
    6.    Mike Mayweather   1989    239    4.9    1177
    7.    Michael Wallace   2000    192    6.0    1157
    8.    Doug Black        1984    264    4.3    1148
    9.    Ahmad Bradshaw    2017    142    8.0    1132
    10.   Larry Dixon       2014    191    5.9    1118

Ahmad Bradshaw's season average is 125 yards per game. #17 needs 85 more yards to get his 2017 into Army's top 5 rushing seasons.

If I could show just one thing to help those who haven't been watching every Army football game visualize the Black Knights' success:

That's a lot of wins. It's enough to go bowling for the second year in a row. It's enough to spark the comparisons to 1996; and it's enough to put the CIC trophy in play. 

Tomorrow we have Duke coming up to a sold out Michie Stadium for senior day - Army hopes to go unbeaten at home for the first time since 1996.

Army is tied for third with several others for blocked kicks. 
37 penalties this season has Army into the top 10 for fewest penalties (4.11 penalties per game) which also translates to top top 5 for fewest penalties per game 
Army sits at 4th regarding time of possession , and 3rd in terms of fewest negative yard plays on offense.
Army has lost only two fumbles this year and sits tied for 6th for fewest fumbles for a team in 2017.

129th in passing and 28 pass ypg subtly implies that Army is a running team.

The job that Brent Davis has done in leafing through the playbook over the course of these first 9 games has been outstanding. I used to rave about how Air Force's offense was multiple (squared) They had multiple formations, they ran a variety of option looks and also tried conventional power run and they had a pretty filthy play action game. This is the first time I can remember being this impressed with how Army looked against Air Force. When you look and see the strides that Jeff Monken has taken with this team - keep in mind the style points they earned in this win at Colorado Springs - much of this team's swagger comes from Brent Davis' seemingly unbeatable offense.

Brent Davis is, of course, being mentioned for other FBS jobs.
I suppose that with this timely report on the 501(c)3 funding of service academy athletics now might be a good time to refresh Davis' contract. Let's hope that Davis' interest in GA Southern is a professional courtesy in line with his time with GA Southern as OC.

With the Air Force game we saw much more of the diamond formation and a few new wrinkles out of the flexbone. Some stuff didn't work. There was a new wishbone misdirection QB keeper that didn't have the time or space to gain yardage. I think that was stuffed for no gain right before Ahmad ripped off another long run for a first down inside Air Force's 20. It kind of opens my eyes to how much of a process it is to find a new edge and then find a place to try these things out in a game. Then blend these new schemes into the mix with the weekly offensive staples.

Even with Duke coming into this one with two weeks' prep time I am not so sure they will be able to bottle up Army's rushing attack. They saw plenty new last Saturday, they had a lot to digest from the first 8 games. Duke will still need to square up against Army's zone option game, and if they cover all of that then they can sit in amazement with Army fans on Saturday and sort out what Brent Davis has devised this week just for the Devils.

I cannot wait.

Army Air Force story, stats, highlights and replay



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