Army 9-2

Thursday, November 22, 2018

After manhandling Lafayete, (story, stats, highlights replay)

Army fought off a GAME Colgate team, in what was Army's 13th consecutive home victory. It wasn't much of a nail biter, but Colgate played pretty well. Colgate left it on the field, but came up short in a few spots and ultimately lost their first game this year.

Army found themselves up just 7 points in the 3rd quarter, but were able to keep the Colgate Raiders at an arm's distance, as they employed their usual ball-control style. Army finished with 35 minutes of possession, and even though it was close at times, I didn't really feel like Army was in any risk.  Colgate had a decent game running the football, finishing with 188 yards on the ground. Colgate's 188 rush yards was the second most yards rushing that Army gave up this year - second only to Oklahoma's 190 in September. It was really 3rd down that unraveled the Raiders, Colgate went just 2-8 on third down and in the second half had a pair of key loss of downs on 4th down. Things weren't all bad for 'Gate as their 9-1 season earned them a bye in the 1-AA playoffs. Colgate will face the winner of Colonial Athletic Association teams James Madison and Delaware.

Army's win vaulted them into the AP top 25 for the first time since 1996. Quite a momentous feat.

Army sits just above Pitt in both the the AP and Coaches' polls (Army #23 AP, #24 Coaches' -  Pitt #24 AP, #25 Coaches') so I guess this is finally the time of year where I compare Army and my Alma Mater. I've thought about this off and on this year - from Army's Oklahoma road trip to Pitt thrashing Georgia Tech in ACC play and their run to the ACC Coastal title. I know Army is damn good, but I think Pitt has all the pieces to beat Army on a neutral field. Pitt has a tricky offensive scheme predicated by the dual threat rushing attack of Qadree Ollison and Darrin Hall, they sort of play you inside out with their underneath shuffle pass plays to their ends and fullbacks, plus their Quarterback has great vision downfield and can tuck the ball and run. Pitt played well defensively against Paul Johnson's Yellow Jackets and I think they would take this one, if they played. I know one thing for sure I never want Army to play Pitt in a bowl. A bowl game between my two favorite teams would take most of the fun out of the postseason for me. And now that that is out there I'm 100% sure Army will not only play against Pitt this postseason - but they will do something like shut out the Panthers and make a mockery of the above comparison. Army vs. Pittsburgh is the only way I will ever root against Pitt. I hope it never comes to pass.

As predicted, Army's Chi-squared ranking that I noted in earlier posts has actually dropped Army out of the top-25 despite their win streak, mainly due to strength of schedule. Army now sits at #31 in Soren Sorensen's rankings.

For me the surreal nature of this season was amplified once I saw Navy football on this Bottom 25 list.

Army top 25 - Navy Bottom 25... go ahead and prepare yourselves now for another nail biting finish in the year end classic.

Here's the Colgate/Army storystatshighlights and replay.



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