Report Card: Army vs. Temple

The Temple Owls running back duo of Bernard Pierce and Matt Brown took turns running wild over Army's defense. The Owl running backs combined for 290 yards and five touchdowns in an easy 42-14 victory over the Army Black Knights. Temple's huge offensive line, that averages 6-5, 319 pounds, dominated the Black Knights in racing out to a 28-0 first half lead.

Army was blown out on the road by all four MAC opponents it played this season by a combined 174-89 margin. The Black Knights record dropped to 3-8.




Plebe quarterback Angel Santiago completed 1 of 4 passes for 7 yards. After throwing the ball well in his first start Santiago struggled with his accuracy. His first pass attempt to Davyd Brooks (1 rec., 7 yards) was incomplete as he was well covered. Santiago overthrew Austin Barr open on a slant the next series. On the final series of the half Santiago had his only chance for a big passing play but he under threw an open Anthony Stephens on what should had been a 48-yard touchdown pass. Senior quarterback Max Jenkins replaced the struggling Santiago on the second series of the third quarter. Jenkins moved the team better than Angel but he also struggled with his accuracy. Max completed only 1 of 8 passes for 21 yards and threw an interception. Jared Hassin caught a 21-yard pass from Jenkins to open the Black Knights final touchdown drive. Jenkins deserved a better fate on a few passes. He threw a deep pass to Anthony Stephens that hit him in hands but Stephens dropped it. Jenkins final pass to Jared McFarlin also bounced of Jared's hands and was intercepted. Army's offense line didn't allow a sack but their quarterbacks were under pressure on a number of occasions.
If you look at Army's final rushing statistics you would have thought they had a good day. Army rushed for 340 yards and averaged 5.7 yards per carry. They actually out rushed Temple by five yards. The truth is that Army struggled to maintain any drives until after the game was already decided against the Temple 4-4 defense. Quarterback Trent Steelman's comeback lasted only two plays. He left the game after re-injuring himself following two carries for 7 yards. Angel Santiago (6 att., 11 yards) replaced him at QB but was ineffective. He missed a number of reads and failed to pitch a few times. Max Jenkins (7 att., 27 yards, 1 TD) replaced Angel and did a nice job running the team. Raymond Maples (12 att., 93 yards) ran well after returning from a concussion. He showed a nice burst on a 33-yard run that set up a touchdown. Larry Dixon (10 att., 42 yards, 1 TD) ran through three tackles on a 15-yard touchdown run. Jared Hassin ran eight times for 32 yards. Malcolm Brown (6 att., 61 yards) was very effective on the fly sweep. He had a terrific 28-yard run before the half. Plebe Stephen Fraser (6 att., 35 yards) demonstrated good speed but took a huge hit late in the game. Brian Austin saw playing time late and ran three times for 32 yards including 26 yards on a fly sweep. The offensive line struggled to block a Temple defensive line that features two future NFL players in the first half. They were able to get the running game going in the second half but the game was out of hand at that point.
Army defense struggled in all areas. Temple rarely passed but completed 4 of 5 passes for 79 yards and a touchdown. Josh Jackson (5 tackles) was called for a holding penalty but it was a smart move since he was beaten on a double move by Joe Jones on what would have been a touchdown. Kyler Martin (4 tackles) was beaten by Jones for a 36-yard touchdown pass when he overran the play. Martin had played well the two previous games but missed a number of tackles against the Owls. Thomas Holloway (11 tackles) was often the last line of defense but even he missed Brown at the line of scrimmage and allowed a 22-yard touchdown run. Freshman pass rush defensive end specialist Colin Linkul sacked Coyer for a 9-yard loss to take Temple out of field goal range and force a punt.
Army's front seven was dominated up front by Temple's huge, physical line. It was simply a mismatch as Temple ran for 335 yards, averaged 8 yards a carry and scored five rushing touchdowns. To make matters worse, Army tackling was consistently broken down by the moves of Pierce and Brown. Based his career statistics Temple running back Matt Brown (37 att., 367 yards, 9.9 avg., 6 TDs vs. Army) would win the Heisman trophy if he played against the Black Knights every week. Geoffrey Bacon made 10 tackles but was guilty of a number of missed arm tackles. Usually reliable captain Steve Erzinger (7 tackles) had a rough game. Erzinger missed a key third down tackle on Temple's second series. Pierce ran right through Erzinger tackle attempt at the line of scrimmage to pick up 6 yards on third-and-3 situation when Army needed a stop. A few plays later Pierce juked Erzinger and scored on an 11-yard touchdown run. Defensive end Andrew Rodriguez (5 tackles) had a hard time getting off blocks. Quick ends Zach Watts was knocked out of the game and replaced by his brother Corey Watts (1 tackle). Both were engulfed at the point of attack. Inside it was worse with defensive tackles A.J. Mackey (2 tackles) and Jacob Drozd (2 tackles) being dominated and consistently knocked off the line of scrimmage. Whip linebacker Nate Combs (1 tackle) was overpowered and a non-factor. Matt Brown's 52-yard touchdown run and Bernard Pierce's 49-yard touchdown run to close out the game for Temple were clinics by Army in poor defensive technique and worse tackling.
Chris Boldt had the worst game of his career averaging just 30.2 yards on his five punts. Boldt nailed a 49-yard punt on his first effort. Then the problems started when Rich Ellerson had Boldt attempt to directional punt away from the dangerous punt returner Matt Brown. Boldt proceeded to shank punts of 26, 13 and 27 yards respectively. The Black Knights would have been better off just punting straight away. Alex Carlton didn't attempt any field goals. Eric Osteen had a touch back among his three kickoffs. Army usually reliable punt and kickoff return coverage teams were nearly burned like the defense was on a few plays. Kyler Martin made a probable touchdown saving tackle on a Matt Brown. Josh Jackson didn't get a chance to return any of Temple's three punts. Scott Williams missed the game with a bad back. Marcus Jackson (2 KOR, 36 yards) dropped the ball on two kickoff returns. Jackson caught the ball with his body rather than his hands and the ball bounced off his pads in this game like it did against Vanderbilt. Larry Dixon had to pick up one fumbled ball and returned it 9 yards giving Army horrible field position after Jackson's fumble.
Rich Ellerson made a mistake in not giving backup quarterback Angel Santiago enough first string snaps to prepare him to play last Saturday. Steelman wasn't ready to take a hit. Once he went down, Army was in an uphill battle. Steelman is the unquestioned leader of this team and when he left it probably took the winds out of the teams sails. More importantly it put the burden on a freshman QB that hadn't been prepared to play. Angel struggled against Temple's 4-4 scheme. Ellerson took the blame for that in his postgame comments. The move to quarterback Max Jenkins gave the offense a boost in the second half as Max played one of the better games in his career. I don't blame this rout on the coordinators because I believe Army was simply outclassed by a more physically talented team. Most of the breakdowns were by the players being outplayed than schematically. The special teams I do blame on the coaches. They were a mess because of Ellerson insistence on directional kicking away from Brown. Boldt couldn't do it and his 13-yard punt before the half set up an easy Temple touchdown pass to put the game out of reach. Ellerson's choice of Marcus Jackson to replace the injured Scott Williams didn't work out either. There is a lot to like about plebe Marcus Jackson since he has legit speed. Jackson won the Georgia State 400 meter title in both his junior and senior seasons in high school. However, the plebe running back has shown against Temple and Vandy that right now he struggles to catch kickoffs and has hurt the team's field position when he's attempted to returned kicks.
The Black Knights were outclassed, outplayed, outhit and out coached. It wasn't competitive.

Discuss this game in our Black Knight's Alley FORUM. Top Stories