Army 2-1-1

Friday, September 28, 2018

Whew! Having taken a step back from this one. It's an uncomfortable feeling counting up multiple positives from a lost game. Mildly uncomfortable - not nearly as uncomfortable as listening to the bellyaching from Oklahoma fans about OU football taking Army to overtime.

As soon as Army touched the ball the Black Knights maintained full ownership of the football. Army's pay-per-view offensive package dominated possession for most of  this one and the Oklahoma Sooners held the ball for just 16 total minutes. The Cadets extended drives with 4 of 5 4th down conversions.

I'm not going to wait around for the fans of Army's power 5 opponents to start respecting Army
After astute reactions like "Why couldn't OU stop the same 3 plays?" and "If ARMY can run for 339 yards what will Baylor, WVU, Texas and TCU do?" Just going by the NCAA stat sheet I would guess those teams might run on OU for something like 172, 203, 181, 225 yards respectively - possibly more if the Sooners give up 40+ minutes of ball possession.

Watch the Oklahoma game - there is nothing there to suggest that Army should physically dominate Oklahoma. But -- schematically - with the time of possession imbalance and the Sooners' inability to stop Army down the stretch - the option physically wore down Oklahoma's defense. Army is a team averaging 41 minutes on the ball in their their first 4 games and Kelvin Hopkins is playing QB like Ahmad Bradshaw with a lawn dart. Considering what Army is doing on offense and some of their depth,  they're gearing up to really put some of the lighter teams on the schedule through a meat grinder.

339 yards rushing is a robust number - it edges Army's season average of 314 yards/ game.

Likewise the 41 minutes of possession shoulders up to their average.

This was just a dominant offensive performance the likes of which I can't recall from Army. Just to meet a challenge like that against Oklahoma in Norman - it's just an amazing spectacle to see how organized and focused Army has been both at home and on the road.  Talk about tough environments - Overtime in Norman. Unreal. Don't even get me started on the shameful institution of college football overtime.

If you haven't gotten used to this type of dominant offensive performance, well, get used to it. Hats off to Coach Monken and the whole coaching team for their efforts in every single game. I always consider stability at the head coaching spot so important for success in college football. Well Jeff Monken came to West Point with a championship pedigree and you can tune in any given Saturday- - doesn't matter Army's opponent -  and take in an exhibition of football excellence.

To even play Oklahoma into the 4th Quarter like that - and then have that 4th Quarter. It was maybe 2 first downs short of knocking off #5.

It's either that Army's offense is an unstoppable arsenal OR Oklahoma's defense is soft and got gradually worn down by a solid running attack. Any post game suggestion that the Oklahoma defensive alignment alignment made the game run like "pitch drills" holds within it the truth that Oklahoma was outcoached and additionally outplayed overall and on the defensive side of the ball Oklahoma football showed up in name only. Oklahoma basically bested all-time tackling records TWICE and squeaked out the OT win in a game where Army's offense should feel like they had a few more plays in some drives.

We will see how Oklahoma's D holds up over the Big 12 season.

Saturday's game against Buffalo looks like a measuring stick game for both teams and both teams should come in with something to prove. Buffalo won't be one of the aforementioned 'light teams'. In Buffalo we're seeing another championship caliber coach in Lance Leipold and a team that has grown with him since he joined Buffalo 4 years ago. This game may actually be Army's last chance for a statement win this year. 4-0 Buffalo at home for a shot at revenge for Army's cheeky fake punt game winner last year. I don't know what if anything Buffalo will use for motivation this week - but whatever it is they better bring it with them because Army is nasty.

Army / Oklahoma StoryStatsHighlights and Replay 


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