The sixth game of the year matches the Army Black Knights (2-3, Segarin #112)
and the Conference USA Green Wave (1-3, Segarin #144). This is a revival of
a conference USA match-up. Tulane leads the all time series 8-5-1, and has
won the last three meetings (2003, 2004 & 2006.) These games have been
very high scoring with the least having a combined 70 points. In recent
history, Army could not stop the pass and Tulane could not tackle – making for
Army won! The cadets compiled 329 yards in offense, scored twice on
special teams and recovered a touchdown in the end zone. The offense had a
few bright spots. A 69 yard touchdown pass from Carson Williams to Jeremy Trimble and a 39 yard scamper by Tony Dace were the notable plays on
offense. Discouraging were the three turn-overs that Army
committed. Two of them were in the red zone, which allowed Temple to stay
close in the first half. The make shift offensive line performed admirably,
not allowing a sack, and giving Carson Williams time to step up into the pocket
and throw. Although Williams did not have a good game, he certainly showed
some blue chip ability. Williams and the Army offense are much more
effective when he can make a five step drop and step up into the
pocket. Williams usually can find an open receiver and advance the
ball. This is much more effective than the three step drop pass to the flat
(that every defense expects). The running game was still sub
par. Occasionally Tony Dace and Patrick Mealy can hit the hole. But
rarely is there a hole present and the Army corps of running backs are really
too small to do anything on their own.
The defense was very good – clearly their best performance of the
year. They scored once and caused 5 turn-overs. Army did give up 463
total yards, which, on the surface, does not sound good. Army special teams
scored twice and the offense had three turn-overs, which gave Temple 5 more
opportunities with the ball. Army constantly pressured the Temple Offense –
however there is a significant difference when DT Ted Bentler is in the game
(can we get that year of eligibility back?) Army was physically superior to
Temple and the Owls had to gamble to move the ball – that resulted in the
turn-overs. Caleb Campbell and Jordan Murray hit hard. In the second
half, the Owl receivers wanted no part of them. This was the first time
that Army was physically superior on defense.
Special teams were special. Owen Tolsen is earning himself a spot on an
NFL roster. His punting is fantastic. Corey Anderson and Jeremy Trimble
returned kicks for touchdowns. This is certainly needed by the Army
Tulane fought valiantly against their cross town rival #1 ranked LSU and was
winning well into the first half. Unfortunately, LSU woke up in the second
half and scored 24 unanswered points to win 34-9. Tulane gave up 391 yards
and forced one turn over.
What we Learned
If Army could consistently move the ball, they could be a winning football
team. Their defense is stellar and special teams can keep them in
games. They need to find a way to consistently move the ball. Sweeps
and dives to undersized backs has not worked thus far. I am sure Coach
Walsh sees this – it will be interesting to see how he adjusts in the coming
Tulane is going to have a long year. They are giving up 450 yards a game
and scoring a couple of touchdowns. They will probably have a game or two
where they will put it all together and have a chance to win. Army, Rice
and UTEP will probably give them their best chances at victory.
Who is favored?
Army is favored by 6 points.
What to look for?
Look for a lot of scoring and a lot of turn-overs. Army may be able to
run the ball, which will open up the pass. Army should be able to amass
400+ yards in offense. Look for Tulane to throw the ball often with 4 or 5
wide-outs. They will score, but they will also commit
turn-overs. Also, look for Army’s suddenly dangerous pass rush to harass
Tulane’s diminutive QB Anthony Scelfo all night long, especially when Bentler
and super-plebe DE Joshua NcNary are on the field at the same time. The
Campbell/Murray team should make ESPN highlights. I would look for a game
very similar to Temple, without Army having to rely on Special Teams
scores. I expect a fired up Army Team – striving for a .500 record and a
disenchanted Green Wave Squad.
Final Score – Army 42 – Temple 21 (Predictions versus the spread this
Game will be televised on ESPNU 7:00PM EST.
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