The Army football team fell to 5-4 Saturday after losing to Air Force 42-22. The Black Knights honored 29 members of the senior class at Michie Stadium prior to kickoff.
Coming into the game, Army was fifth in the nation in turnover margin. This has been a major factor in the team’s success this season. Sometimes watching the team this year it seemed as if they were walking a tightrope, and needed to be perfect in order to pull the game out. Army cannot get away with mistakes the way other teams can, and we saw an example of that Saturday.
The loss against Air Force provided a good chance for Army to measure were it stands. The game showed just how far they still have to go as a program. Still, the game turned on a few plays, and with a little better luck it could have been a different game.
Army turnovers crushed their chances of winning, with Trent Steelman first interception of the season setting up an Air Force score and a Jared Hassin fumble returned for a touchdown. Army missed its opportunities to create turnovers, with senior linebacker Stephen Anderson dropping an interception. The Black Knights also failed to pick up an Air Force fumble in the first half that they had a good shot at recovering. Finally, down 35-22 and in desperate need of a stop at the goal line, Army forced an Air Force fumble and came out of the pile with the football. It was ruled Air Force’s ball, and the review was inconclusive. Tim Jefferson scored on the next play to make the score 42-22.
What Went Right: Rushing attack. Army was able to rush for 244 yards against the Falcons. Jared Hassin has now rushed for 100 yards in four straight games.
What Went Wrong: Turnovers/Defense. The turnovers really killed Army’s chances, as I detailed above. The defense was put in some tough situations, but that is no excuse to allow the Falcons to run wild. Air Force rushed for 277 yards and threw for 124 more.
Player of the Game: The seniors. What I hope is not lost in this is the improvement that has occurred in this program in such a short period of time. The seniors on this team have talked about bringing winning football back to Army, and they are on the verge of doing so. Many of the seniors stepped up and had big games today.
Final Word: This was the game it would have been nice to have. Still, I favor Army in each of the last three games, beginning next week at Kent State. If Army doesn’t get the win next week, there will be a lot riding on the Notre Dame game at Yankee Stadium. Army needs to take care of business next Saturday.
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.