My buddy Brian came up from Ft. Knox. Brian was my roommate for all of Firstie year, first when we were on staff in the 2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment (out of Company E-1) and later when I talked my TAC into letting me be the "Company Historian," at which point I personally spent a lot of time working on the "Viking Yellow Press," a company newspaper that my buddy Matt and I started as cows. I don't remember what Brian did that semester, but in both cases, I think our primary focus was on drinking beer at the Firstie Club. Brian and I also served together in the 4-64 AR at Ft. Stewart, Georgia.
We've been friends a long time.
|Tailgating for Brunch.|
|Cooking out on Thayer Roof.|
It was Branch Week at the Academy, and Brian, who just got selected for full-bird Colonel, absolutely had to stop by and talk to the Tankers and Cav Scouts manning the M-1 and Stryker displays, respectively. I listened politely, but I've been out long enough to have--essentially--no idea what they were talking about. The Armor School is now at Benning, and it's apparently run as a subsection of the Infantry School. This not only makes no sense to me, it's changed the way Armor Branch does business so completely that the branch itself is now almost wholly unrecognizable.
|Brian took this shot of the Fly-By.|
|Jumping in the flag.|
The game played out about like I expected, with an added note that the heat was a significant factor. Army struggled a bit to run in the middle, but Rice had to commit completely to stopping the Fullback Dive. This opened up the pitch and especially the quarterback keeper. Bradshaw ran really well, and when Chris Carter spelled him, you could see the effect of fresh legs in that 100-degree heat. They never did punch through in the center with the fullback the way they did against Temple, but when Davidson managed to get outside with the Dive, that almost always resulted in big gains. I'll say as well that Rice's defense never wore down, despite the heat and Army's time-of-possession. Rice was just over-matched, and their offense didn't give them any help.
On defense, Army played really well, save for two long plays where I assume someone missed an assignment. Rice QB Tyler Stehling also left a few long passing plays on the field; he consistently overthrew his receivers down the field. Some of this was down to pressure, I think, but a lot of it was just inaccuracy from the quarterback. To my eyes, it looks like Army needs to find a way to bring pressure more consistently, or the team is going to continue to be at risk of giving up long passing plays. That's not a new problem, but it's going to become a legitimate concern eventually.
|Obligatory selfie in front of the team.|
We're on to UT-El Paso next week for a high altitude game in the desert against a newly-installed spread offense. I suspect this one will be a significant challenge, and if Army can't get consistent pressure on the quarterback, the secondary may be in for a long day.
Go Army! Beat UTEP!!!