Army 7-2

Friday, November 9, 2018

That shit don't fly

I get where the pranks come from historically, but it is always a poor decision to steal an animal.

Army football wins against Air Force are pretty rare, but Last Saturday made for 2 in a row for Jeff Monken's Cadets. Army is just 16-35-1 all time against the Falcons, and it feels even more lopsided recently, Army having just 6 wins in the series since 1987.
Air Force has absolutely owned Army for as long as I can remember.

Triple Option Football Academy features some great option offense X's and O's. Their video posts detail many of the nuances of the Paul Johnson option offense. Triple Option Academy listed this sheet of figures which absolutely blows my mind.

The two rankings that stand out are the 4th down conversion % and the time of possession ranking. We know Monken gambles on 4th down, and they're so good in short yardage that they can extend drive after drive by rolling the dice on 4th down. From that Triple Option Academy post:

"Army averages 4 fourth down attempts per game, which is #1 in the nation right now."

Triple Option Football Academy is a great resource for those trying to keep up with what it is that Army does so well, you can find a link to Triple Option Academy site the sidebar under CFB links.

Army averages 39 minutes of possession per game. 9 games into a season, that is just unbelievable. That's the kind of number I would imagine teams having if there was no play clock. If you ask me, that 39 minute T.O.P. average is the best evidence I can find that the world we all live in is actually a computer simulation. 40 minutes per game - that's 2/3 of any game - 2/3 of any season - spent pounding the ball. What this team can do over the football just defies belief, and I don't think they're through revealing their playbook.

Just look at what Army has done in the last 2 years.

Man, that is a lot of wins!

Here's what that visual can guarantee:

Well, it makes for three bowl bids in a row, that's a new level of success for Army. Also we can expect to hear Jeff Monken's name in more and more NCAA coaching searches. That is one uncomfortable side effect of that kind of success.

No Limit Hold-em

What a finish! With under 2 minutes to play, Cole Christiansen and James Nachtigal combined for two defensive stops on 3rd and 4th down to end a serious late game threat with Army leading by 3. That's all to the good, but once they earn the ball back and are facing 4th down one last time - the best option is to punt the ball in. I like that Monken is a gambler, but there has to be a point were this "analytics" sheet comes back to convention. I've seen a lot of woulda-shoulda 4th downs attempts at midfield, and it's a shameful way to lose a game. I can never advocate going for "extra" late-late in either half. There is always the Tecmo Bowl temptation to go on 4th down. With 17 seconds left preserving the lead is important and the best way to do that in that situation is to punt the ball away. Preserving the lead is one thing, but a bigger goal is stability at the coaching spot, and you can easily Ron Dickerson yourself by running a sneak at midfield with a hobbled QB.

The blackout uniforms looked nice, I wouldn't mind seeing these again against Navy. We're probably a few weeks away from any announcement on the Army/Navy uniforms.

Compared to all others, I think this is the #1 best Army football team ever.

Ok they're not going to win a national title, but the 2000's are a different paradigm than football in the 1940's. To have a chance at 10 wins in today's NCAA Div. 1-A is a remarkable achievement for a service academy. If today's team played the 1945 team it w These coaches need to be recognized as great - and whether or not they are recognized with awards  - they should be recognized in history as the greatest Army football coaches and staff of all time. Things change fast in college football fortunes, but I'm willing to debate that claim if anyone cares to challenge me on that.

Anyway, Lafayette is coming up to play. Their game notes are up.

Army Game notes

Lafayette Game notes

I'm always happy to find another eastern college football blog, and Ramblings from the Bench is a Lafayette themed blog written by veteran sportswriter Paul Reinhard.

He's got a few articles out there that may be of interest to Army fans. Here's a puff piece on Andy Davidson and his return to his backyard.

Some people might think he would be a bit disappointed because, after a sophomore season in which he gained 910 yards and scored nine touchdowns, his production has decreased each year. He had 627 yards and five TDs in 2017 and has just 44 carries for 176 yards and two scores this season for a team that is 7-2.They would be wrong.“I’ve been redefined every year,” Davidson said. “You do whatever you have to do to help the team win, and thankfully, I’m playing my part the best I can and we’re winning a lot of games." 

Very interesting write-up for Army fans.

Alright here are the Army/ Air Force story, stats, highlights and replay.




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