The game could not have opened much better for Army – after forcing a Temple fumble on the opening kickoff and recovering deep in Temple territory, Army scored on a 2-yard plunge from sophomore quarterback Trent Steelman to take a 7-0 lead. After two Temple touchdowns by way of sophomore running back Matt Brown, Temple took a 13-7 lead after the first quarter.
The Black Knights dominated the second quarter, and seemed to have a stranglehold on the game midway through the third. Three unanswered Army touchdowns – two Steelman runs and a 31-yard pass from Steelman to Austin Barr – made it a 28-13 with 8:05 left in the third quarter. Temple finally answered, using some trickeration to create a big play. Wide receiver Joe Jones threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Michael Campbell, and the two-point conversion made it 28-21 in favor of Army.
Then the wheels fell off the wagon for Army. Temple opened the fourth quarter with three more touchdowns. Brown ran for two more, and Campbell caught another – this time from junior quarterback Chester Stewart. Down 42-28, and not built to be a quick-strike offense, Army was in an uncomfortable position. Steelman was able to show some of the strides he has made throwing the football – Army drove down and scored with 1:13 remaining. After Temple recovered the onside kick, with 18 seconds left in the game, and facing a fourth and three, Stewart ran for five yards and a first down to seal the win for Temple.
What Went Right: Offense. Army was able to put up 35 points on a Temple defense with quite a few players who have NFL potential. Army was able to consistently move the ball and actually had their longest drive of the year in this game: a drive that took about 10 minutes off the clock and resulted in an Army touchdown.
What Went Wrong: Defense/Fourth Quarter. Army blew their 28-13 lead, but even after the game was tied 28-28, they could have recovered and won this game. Temple’s big offensive line wore down the Army front seven and Brown seemed untouchable at times. If Army hopes to have a great season, which they still can, they need to be able to make big stops on defense and prevent teams from scoring bunches of unanswered points. In both losses this year Army has given up multiple unanswered touchdowns and dug themselves a hole.
Player of the Game: I am going to do this a little differently this week. Both teams had individual performances deserving recognition.
Temple: RB Matt Brown/Offensive Line. Matt Brown was excellent filling in for the injured Bernard Pierce. The Temple offensive line used their size advantage and physically punished the Army defensive front. It seemed as though Army ran out of gas late and looked like they were on their heels. This Army defense is based on attacking, but late in the game they were being attacked. Brown finished with 226 yards and four touchdowns.
Army: QB Trent Steelman. Steelman scored each of Army’s five touchdowns. He showed his ability to run and pass and willed his team down the field late when down two scores. He is only a sophomore, but he is the clear leader of the offense. He has continued to mature and runs the offense efficiently. Steelman finished the day with 65 yards rushing and four touchdowns, plus 124 passing and a touchdown.
Final Word: This loss stings. Army had a very good team on the ropes, but did not finish them off. This Temple team is very talented. Army did show that they can compete with a team much bigger and faster. Then again, there are no moral victories and defensively Army needs to improve. Next week the Black Knights look to get back on track against the Tulane Green Wave.
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.