Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Army Football: Observations at the Halfway Mark

This will be the last article of this series for the season.  As I said in my note about the hiatus, it’s not you, it’s me.  I’m back in the water training for the Swim Across the Sound, and I’ve been working on the new (3rd) Sneax & Elaina Emboo book, and that stuff needs to go a little higher on my personal priority list.  The easiest, most efficient thing to drop was blogging and social media outreach, so that’s what I’ve done.  I’m going to have to re-activate my Facebook feed when I finally get around to publishing Sneakatara Boatman and the Crown of Pluto, unfortunately, but in the meantime, I’m enjoying the relative lack of mental clutter.  
Honestly, my Facebook feed had started feeling like an NRA convention run by Socality Barbie.  I just couldn’t take it anymore.

“Here’s me and Ken on our trip Shangri Lai.  The stupid rental car agency fucked up our reservation, so we couldn’t get the Maserati Ken wanted.  We had to settle for this piece of shit Audi, but at least the heated leather bucket seats made it feel authentic.  The locals were all so cute and respectful, especially after Ken put the AK in the Audi’s trunk, along with the extended magazines and the spare ammo boxes.
I love traveling.”
As I was saying…
Team Comparison: Army vs. the rest of its schedule.
Click to enlarge.
Getting crushed by Duke cost the Black Knights two games in p(wins) statistics and a full win off of ESPN's projected total for the year.  The over/under on the season is back down to three.  That’s doable, but it’s a pathetic goal number.
Army can move the ball on anybody, but they are sloppy as Hell.  The offense looks better now than they did under Ellerson, but only just.  I said this before, but it bears repeating: Bradshaw fumbled three times in his first seven snaps against Duke.  By the time he calmed down, Army was losing by more than twenty points.
It's no secret that statistics can be misleading.  In this case, Army's defense looks like it's struggling, but if you’ve watched the actual games, you will know that the problem is actually Army's offense.  The offense puts the defense in bad spots with alarming regularity.  In reality, I think the defense played okay against Duke, but the offense was on the field for about five minutes in the first half, gaining all of 44 total yards and going 1/5 on 3rd down.  Army’s defense broke down under that kind of repeated pressure, and it will again if the offense continues like that.  Considering their inexperience and what we saw during the summer scrimmage, it’s probably not correct to say that the offense is disappointing.  It is frustrating, however.
Rice looks vulnerable.  They score a lot of points, but they've given up a shit-ton of points as well.  That's a game Army ought to win by dominating on offense and strangling time-of-possession.  Rice has given up more than 200 points this season!  If Army’s triple-option can’t make that work, this team has serious problems.
Army brought a ton of recruits to the Duke game.  Why?  The obvious game to bring recruits to is the Tulane game.  Everyone has heard of Tulane, it’s also a well-regarded school in the South, but Army ought to move the ball on them pretty effectively.  Why do you bring recruits to the toughest game on your schedule?
Air Force looked like shit against Navy, but they are not a bad team.  Their offense is struggling a bit, but they've scored 20 more points than Army has.  Army may catch Air Force in a few years if they keep recruiting the way they have been, but this won't be the year.
I want to win that Rutgers game with a burning, indescribable passion.  How has the #111 defense allowed only 123 points?  They must give up a colossal amount of yardage and then stiffen like mad in the red zone.  Rutgers' p(wins) score looks decent, but ESPN projects them to win at most 5 games.  This is a home game that Army can win, but not if they keep making idiotic mistakes.  Bradshaw simply cannot keep fumbling ten fucking times per game.

Good grief, Navy has a good team.  4-1 with the nation’s #9 offense?  It's a crime that Keenan Reynolds isn't getting any love in the national Heisman debate.  They mention it in every Navy telecast, but no one else is talking about it anywhere.  Reynolds has an excellent case based on his body of work.  I doubt that will matter, though, considering the season that Justin Fournette is having.

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