Five Duke turnovers set up four of Army’s touchdowns as the Black Knights went on the road and picked up a 35-21 win. Army middle linebacker and senior captain Stephen Anderson returned an interception to Duke’s three yard-line, setting up a Brian Cobbs three-yard scamper on the next play that gave Army a 7-0 lead with 13:51 left in the first quarter. The Black Knights never looked back, scoring on a Trent Steelman run soon after, again set up by an interception. Army took a 21-7 lead into halftime, and came out firing in the third quarter.
After Donovan Travis recovered a Duke fumble, Army went play-action and Steelman found Raymond Maples wide open for a 34-yard touchdown. Josh McNary recovered another fumble later in the quarter and Steelman found Austin Barr for a 31-yard score.
Sean Renfree tacked on two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late for the Duke offense. Army pulled out the victory 35-21.
What Went Right: Takeaways/Passing Game. The Army defense made Duke quarterback Sean Renfree pay when he made a mistake. They intercepted him three times, twice early in the first quarter. The offense took advantage of the good field position and did not settle for field goals. Teams had started playing their safeties down in the box to try to stop the Army rushing attack, and Army finally made them pay. Steelman completed four of six passes for 85 yards and two long touchdowns. This should bode well moving forward as teams will have to respect Army’s passing game.
What Went Wrong: Not much to complain about from an Army standpoint. Surprising that Josh McNary was held without a sack against a team that threw 30 times, but McNary contributed in other ways. Army did have a field goal blocked against them and leaving points off the board is never a good thing.
Player of the Game QB Trent Steelman. Steelman ran for a touchdown and threw for two more. He hurt the Duke defense when they rolled up their safeties and also led Army with 62 rushing yards. Steelman continues to play with his injured left shoulder protected but it has not seemed to affect him. His maturity is obvious as he is changing plays at the line a looks very comfortable leading this team.
Final Word: Army played extremely well on defense, scored on offense, and won the turnover battle. A complete win on the road. Next, Army will face Temple, who nearly upset Penn State at Happy Valley. Looks like the makings of another good game at Michie Stadium.
About the Author
Written by Donald Lappe
Senior at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Double Major in Media & Society and United States History. Also writing for TapouT Magazine and MMA Worldwide Magazine.