Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Army Football Preview: at Yale

Last weekend Army dropped a completely winnable game to the worst team in the ACC Atlantic Conference.  Can the team recover, or will this be yet another season of ill-timed fumbles and lost opportunities?  Only time will tell.  Army travels to Yale on Saturday for its fourth game, and they badly need a win if they’re going to have any shot at redeeming their season.

Army: The Black Knights
Through three games, Army is averaging just over 50 yards per game passing and just under 300 yards per game rushing.  That’s good for 128th in nation passing and 14th rushing.  The team has scored an average of 22.7 points (97th) while giving up an average of 32.7 points to its opposition (104th).  For you math whizzes out there, that yields a Predicted-Wins value of .296 or 3.6 wins in a 12-game season, assuming roughly equal competition every game.
The way things have been going, that sounds about right.  It’s also right on par with last year’s performance.  As one of my classmates put it recently on Facebook, “[N]ew coach, new vibe, same old shit from that last decade.”  Adding insult to injury, Vegas hasn’t even bothered to put out a line on the game.  You can’t bet on it ‘cause they’re assuming nobody cares.
Yale: The Bulldogs
The Yale Bulldogs played their very first game of the season last week, a 54-43 win against the winless Lehigh Mountain Hawks.  In that game, Lehigh jumped out to a commanding early lead, but Yale came roaring back in the second half, scoring 28 points to the Mountain Hawks’ 8.  That was enough to give the Bulldogs the win.  Quarterback Morgan Roberts went 30/39 (76.0%) for 356 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception.  Yale’s top two running backs had a total of 30 carries for 256 yards.  Yale had nearly 700 yards of total offense!  They also picked off Lehigh three times.  
That must have been some game.
Truthfully, I don’t know what to make of it all.  It’s obvious that Yale’s offense can play, but they don’t seem too interested in defense.  I mean, it’s great that they got three interceptions, but there’s no getting around the fact that they also gave up 35 points in the first half last week and a total of 43 points overall.  Nick Saban would not approve.  Still, their adjustments at halftime were clearly effective, and that’s more than Army can say for itself of late.  Moreover, Army gave up 39 points to Buffalo, and I don’t think Saban would approve of that, either.  With Morgan completing more than 75% of his passes, it is entirely possible that he and his Bulldogs run wild in their home stadium on Saturday.  I expect Army will come out strong, but don’t think Yale’s gonna panic.  They’ll make adjustments and then mount a comeback, and if Jeff Monken’s team doesn’t play better, they’ll leave New Haven with their third loss of the season.
My last duty station was with 4-7 CAV in Korea.
4-7 CAV is the 2nd ID's divisional cavalry squadron.
On a personal note, this game takes place fifteen miles from my house, Army’s wearing the 2nd Infantry Division patch for the game, the Connecticut AOG is hosting a huge tailgate to support the team, and the entire 3rd Regiment of the Corps of Cadets is supposed to be in attendance.  I still can’t go.  Saturday is my daughter Hannah’s eleventh birthday, so I’ll be at the Milford Ice Pavilion until just after kickoff.  That is piss-poor planning, I know.  The game will be on 770 AM locally, and I’ll probably listen to most of it, but unless you have Army’s Knight Vision package, it won’t be broadcast on TV.
If you’re going, enjoy the game.  Army should win, but then, they should have won last week, too.  At this point I’m not feeling overly optimistic.  Still, the weather ought to be nice, and if you’re smart, you’ll take the time to stop by Two Roads Brewery on your way home.  Regardless of the outcome, that’ll make the trip worthwhile, trust me.

1 comment:

  1. Correction: This game will be on TV. It's on Fox College Sports Atlantic, which is channel 406 locally.