Ellerson comments after Wake Forest loss

Rich Ellerson (AS/Sheldon Y.)

While the Army defense played well at times, the offense had a dreadful day. Eight penalties including six false starts, three fumbles and zero touchdowns were the offense's highlights during the Black Knights's 25-11 loss to Wake Forest on Saturday. Army head coach Rich Ellerson spoke to the media after the game.

On the game's turning point:

"There are more than a point. There were some opportunities in the first half where if we're better with the football. We handled some really adverse situations. We had them on their heels a little bit. Our defense had them on their heels a little bit. We survived some horrendous stuff that could have gotten us early, but we hung in there and hung in there, and battled back to get a lead in the third quarter. We were doing some things defensively that are a little bit off the beaten track. That was being effective, but they looked at it for too long. To their credit, they made a big play at the end of the first half, and then they started to calm down and run the ball. It's not a question so much of being worn down, but of just trying to stay a series ahead in terms of what they were up to. For the most part, I thought we were able to do that. The guys did a nice job of managing some personnel challenges we had. Offensively, we have to hold onto the ball. My hope was they wouldn't have that many looks at us defensively, and that we would possess the football and do what we do. The most disappointing things to me are the ball on the ground and those penalties, those unforced errors. That's tough."

On the six false start penalties that were called on Army:

"That's so uncharacteristic. That's something we pride ourselves on and have worked so hard on. Maybe some of those wrinkles we used trying to compensate for some personnel challenges were harder for us than they were for our opponent. Frankly, in the offensive line at least, we were able to keep it pretty consistent for those guys."

On the offense's 9 point production and failure to score a touchdown:

"We need to find some production, there is no doubt. The whole thing is exacerbated by an opponent that really understands what they're looking at. There is no mystery about what we do offensively to those guys. They've run that offense in their past, and they know exactly what they're looking at. They prepared well for it. They're good up front. Obviously, Whitlock is a nightmare. It was a little bit of a perfect storm, however the turnovers and the penalties don't need to be in our way. That takes us off the field, and it puts us on a longer field, and it allows that offense to keep looking at the defense and find some answers."

On the drive at the end of the first half that ended at the Wake Forest 32 when Army failed to get the ball out of balls to stop the clock:

"We were trying to get the ball to the sideline, but the way the ball was thrown there was no way to get that done. That's not where the ball is supposed to be. We're trying to get him out of bounds, but the ball was thrown where he had to lay out to catch it in bounds. You'd rather him just let it bounce and throw one more into the end zone."

On missing slotbacks Larry Dixon and Raymond Maples:

"We'll have to slow it down and see. Terry (Baggett) was making a lot of yards after someone was hitting him. We got him started some, but sometimes he had to get himself started. We were dabbling in some things to put the ball in his hands. If we're in our spread and have one running back on the field that they don't want to see, they can make it hard to get the ball in his hands. That's why we got into the I-formation some and did things like that. We could put the ball in his hands regardless of which way they wanted to lean defensively."

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