Army 6-2

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Bowl bound Army has a nice ring to it. In a way back-to-back-to-back bowl bids signals a shift in what Army football plays for. The academies will naturally covet the Commander in Chief's Trophy, that is Army's measuring stick, and even though the Black Knights haven't kept up pace with the CIC competition over the years - that has always been their goal.

Bowl games have been so rare for Army football that until the last two years there has been virtually no postseason presence for Army. The expectation was never a bowl bid, and there were full decades where the Navy game was Army's chance at "post-season" redemption. The expectation of a bowl game every year is lofty; Army will eventually lose a game at home, and they shall lose some rivalry games and some road games -  maybe they drop a close one gambling on 4th down.... maybe they fumble a game away. Maybe they fumble two games away. It can all happen in some future season just like Army's bowl chances can be dashed by week 8. The 2018 Army team is built to win, and winning college teams play in bowl games.

We're looking at 3 straight years of bowl participation, and that can change the mood of a fan base. As for myself, I am just starting to get comfortable with the idea that Army routinely wins at football - Am I correct to expect Army to win? I think so. West Point crafts their own schedule, so winnable football games should be a common thing for Army. Would I be correct to expect a bowl game every year? No - I see the college postseason as a good team goal and a fine reward for the players and staff, but fans can sow a lot of disappointment by having inflated expectations of their favorite mid-major independent football team. I love that Army is attracting bowl interest, and I love that they have a post season bowl as one of the team goals. I don't think I will ever expect Army to go to a bowl year in and year out, but I will appreciate it when Army is selected. This will be the first time Army has made three straight bowl appearances. I think we all can agree that it's much more comfortable attaining bowl eligibility in week 9 as opposed to bowl selectors waiting for a 5-6 Army team to play Navy in mid December.

I have to say how much I like CBSSN's Army away game coverage. There was a time not too long ago where Eastern Michigan / Army games had so little TV interest the game at Ypsilanti might as well been played on the moon. This is the second time this year that CBSSN showed up for an Army away game and I appreciate CBSSN more and more every week. I noticed ESPN's poor camera work in the season opener at Duke - Television production can only expand so far and so fast, and with the ACC network ramping up television ops it's clear to me that ESPN has diluted its college football product.

Also - ESPN can't start the weekend with our favorite song.

Army got back to their deep freeze tactics. There were runs off the freeze, passes of the freeze, a new counter off the freeze. By the 4th quarter there was enough freeze that I thought Army might actually achieve ABSOLUTE ZERO. That's right, friends - 0° Kelvin.

Freezer Burn

Army offense kept things fresh in the game at Ypsilanti.  There was plenty of variety within each play. Army can pitch to the B back, they can also run inside with the slots . It looked like they had a few other wrinkles that maybe Kelvin Hopkins kept the ball instead of showing off their playbook. I'll let you know which one it was if they do end up running the play for real. I can't imagine a team that is harder to prepare for than Army. Just imagine the pressure that Army puts on their opponents. Opponents' offense needs to execute and move the football - defense needs to stop an offense that is sure handed, tricky and explosive. There were 11 minutes left in the 4th quarter in this one and Army already had 40 minutes of possession. It takes one hell of a 4th quarter to overcome that kind of dominance.

Army's opponents have had to play a perfect game just to hang with the Cadets. Eastern Michigan did not play a perfect game. The Eagles dropped passes and senseless penalties crushed the EMU early, and those are just the self inflicted things. EMU had a rash of injuries that didn't help their cause, and the entire first half belonged to Army. Army's 16-0 halftime lead was just as much a testament to the USMA defense as it was to the offense- Eastern had just 18 total first half yards (zero 1st downs).

It was nice to see Monken "take the points" on 4th down in the red zone. The coaches liked it so much they grabbed 3 short field goals in the first half. The win was Army's 10th straight home win, that's pretty special.

Here are the Army /Eastern Michigan story, stats, highlights, and replay.



Danno E. Cabeza said...

Just wanted to say that I love this website. You do good work.


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