Saturday, December 22, 2018

Army 10-2

We've got a STREAK!

Army's 17-10 win over Navy brings the current Army/Navy win streak to 3 and gives Army the chance to win 11 games for the first time in program history.

The game was a close one - as prescribed. I don't know whether it was the intensity and intelligence with which Army played or if I had just expected the game to be close -but I didn't find myself worried about Navy playing their way back into this one - even with TEAM USA punting back to Navy with under 5 minutes left in the game.

The Black Knights' offense showed some new plays and some fun wrinkles to their usual schemes. We saw some reverses, a bunch of misdirection out of their usual variety of formations and the introduction of at least one freeze option play into the mix. They played some shotgun, they played unbalanced. It was another feast of positional play.

Navy's offense was particularly bad. I really expected Navy senior QB Zach Abey to have a much better game. Abey finished the game 0/6 passing with 2 INT.  Navy's offense didn't cross the offensive 30 yard line until the 4th Quarter.  Navy was just 3 of 13 on 3rd down.

Army won the game by doing what they've done all year -  by employing the overwhelming Hopkins/ Woolfolk overwhelming running attack - and maintain a smart fortuitous defense. Without the four(!) turnovers Army well could have lost this game and ruined this stellar season. Army got some lucky takeaways, but I think it was petty clear that Army earned the win.

As comfortable as I happened to be - this one was a dog fight. Army looked pretty clean on offense - having a 7-0 lead at the half - maybe I was expecting Army's offense to break out and finish a long touchdown drive, but Army was never able to step on the throat.

Army cracked the game open twice with freeze plays. Kelvin Hopkins counter keeper took Army inside the 5 with 2:00 to play.

I prattle on about the freeze concept and I count up the style points - but Army uses their freeze concept as a misdirection off of more standard base plays.  The QB draw, in this case, was set up by the previous passing play which held the linebackers back and gave Kelvin Hopkins just enough space to pick up the 8 yards for a first down. It's just masterful plan/execution from the coaches' play call to the athletes on the field. I don't know how they remember all of the formations and plays, but Army fans have been treated to a clinical precision from Army's offense.

It's nice to win over Navy.

The Black Knights rushed for 222 yards and passed for 61 on Hopkins' 4/9 passing. Army held the ball for 34:21 

Here's your Army/Navy Story stats, highlights and replay.

File Under Miscellaneous:

I didn't catch this note before the Lafayette game, but this was a pretty cool move by the Lafaytte Leopards equipment staff.

Houston will be missing a few key players and has had a tough time handling the run this year.

 The Armed Forces Bowl is sold out, and I'm expecting some solid support for the Black Knights in Texas.

Personally, I like Army's chances in this one. I don't usually do predictions, but I've watched both teams play - I know the situation and the venue... Right now the line is Army -5.5.   I think Army wins by 9 or 10

A bowl win Saturday would set off celebrations of Army's first ever 11 win season.



Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Subscribe in Bloglines

Subscribe in a reader