I'm not sure how much analysis is needed when one team knocks the snot out of the other team, but here goes.One step closer to earning that CIC Trophy #GoArmy #BeatAirForce #BeatNavy pic.twitter.com/G1A6fcxMZn— Army WP Football (@ArmyWP_Football) November 4, 2017
Tailgate tent is up! Lisa says to park in Lot 2.#GoArmy #ScoutsOut #ReconInForce #WithHonorWeStrive#ARMYvsAF pic.twitter.com/LH8z6Gplhu— USMA Class of 1995 (@USMA_1995) November 4, 2017
|Classmates Brian & Fred with their wives/fiances.|
|The Supe fires up the crowd.|
On the football field, Army's defense got a huge boost from the expected return of firstie S Rhyan England from a knee injury and the unexpected but thrilling return of yearling CB Elijah Riley, back from some kind of academic suspension.
These guys' return improved Army's team defense immeasurably. England is the captain of Army's secondary, the guy who gets everybody in position. Army's secondary has given up some big plays without him back there, almost from the moment he got hurt during the Ohio State game. From the very first defensive play, though, we could see that his return was going to be a big deal. Riley, meanwhile, is Army's most athletic cornerback, a literally irreplaceable player in a unit that has struggled all season to cover top-end receivers down the field. With these two guys in place, Air Force struggled to run outside all game, and although they completed a few long passing plays on desperation downs, Army also got a few coverage sacks, too.
For only the second time this season, Army's defense actually looked like the Army defense.
It's worth noting that the return of England and Riley both appears to have pushed DB Jaylon McClinton off the field. That surprised me because McClinton has been a really good player this season, especially at safety. However, the TV announcers noted that CB Cam Jones was in there opposite Riley, and James "Gibby" Gibson was in opposite England. Army's website lists safeties Max Regan and Mike Reynolds as additional participants, so I'm not sure where that leaves McClinton. He's too athletic to sit too long, I'd imagine.
|Air Force March-On.|
|My old room-dog Brian with his fiance Jen.|
Starting off strong. Bradshaw sees daylight and takes off for the @ArmyWP_Football 1st Down. pic.twitter.com/rbFhHsoHyO— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) November 4, 2017
Air Force got the ball next and moved it okay. They drove to within range of a long field goal but missed it in very windy conditions. Then Bradshaw went back to work.The atmosphere is absolutely electric. @ArmyWP_Football gets the first points of the afternoon on this tough Bradshaw TD run. pic.twitter.com/zV5LWzMDQ1— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) November 4, 2017
Bradshaw continues to march down the field. A huge gain for @ArmyWP_Football. pic.twitter.com/2o9EoeGKgn— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) November 4, 2017
Bradshaw finished the day with 23 carries for 265 yards and a touchdown. That is 11.5 yards/carry! He put the team on his back and carried them to victory. Honestly, it was one of the most dominating rushing performances I've ever seen.Strong physical running has been @ArmyWP_Football's calling card all season long. Bradshaw gets them another 1st Down. pic.twitter.com/t0aQTysUJw— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) November 4, 2017
To put this another way, Air Force came in with a plan on defense. They wanted to stop Army's fullbacks. And they did. FB Darnell Woolfolk carried 17 times for 54 yards (3.2 yards/carry) and a few notable first downs. FB Andy Davidson had 2 carries for 5 yards. FB Connor Slomka had 1 carry for 2 yards and a critically important first down. Even SB Kell Walker got frustrated between the tackles a few times, though he finished with 15 carries for 67 yards (4.5 yards/carry) and 2 touchdowns. But the Falcons only rarely accounted for Bradshaw, and with his ability between the tackles, that was absolutely deadly. Notably, the Falcons got to Bradshaw twice, and both of those plays became option-pitches to Kell Walker for touchdowns.
Kell Walker breaks away to get @ArmyWP_Football into the end zone. Army leads 14-0. pic.twitter.com/mz1PnZ8E0T— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) November 4, 2017
Army ran at will, Air Force couldn't sustain drives, and that was your ballgame. The Black Knights held the ball for 35:20 and got 20 first downs to the Falcons' 12. They held a very potent Air Force offense to just 184 yards of total offense and 0 points.Making the right decision is the key to the Triple Option. @ArmyWP_Football tosses on another 7 points late in this game. pic.twitter.com/GNiuIk8ofM— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) November 4, 2017
That is simply incredible.
We're back at Michie Stadium next week for the last home game of the season. The Duke Blue Devils (4-5) are coming to town, and they badly need a win if they want any chance at bowl eligibility. A quick glance at their stats tells me that their offense has struggled, but that they have the 40th ranked rushing defense in FBS college football.
Should be a good game.
Go Army! Beat Duke!!!