Army In 2013: Pivot Points, Part Two

If you're going to subdivide Army's FBS season into three-game segments, as we're doing in Pivot Points, the best three-game stretch was clearly the second one of the season. When Army faced Louisiana Tech, Boston College, and Eastern Michigan, the Black Knights found answers more often than not. Extending good sequences beyond a narrow sliver of the season will be Army's challenge in 2014.


PIVOT POINTS, PART ONE: BALL STATE, STANFORD, WAKE FOREST

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LOUISIANA TECH

-- Army’s defense gets a three-and-out on its first series.

-- Army’s offense converts on third and eight, en route to a touchdown on its first drive.

-- The defense gives up only one first down on the following possession and forces a punt.

-- The offense converts two third downs and one fourth down to score a touchdown, building a 14-0 lead for the Black Knights.

-- After Louisiana Tech scores to make the score 14-6, Army’s offense immediately responds with a touchdown. The Black Knights convert a third and five and then a fourth down. Army takes a 21-6 lead and re-establishes control with the timely kind of performance that was missing for much of the season.

-- Army’s offense, on its first possession in the second half, scores a touchdown for a 28-9 lead. Army faced only one third down, a third and goal at the 1.

-- Up 28-16 late in the third quarter, Army’s defense gets a three-and-out. The offense scores a touchdown on the very next possession to put the game away, 35-16.

BOSTON COLLEGE

-- Boston College scores a touchdown on its first possession, for a 7-3 lead over the Black Knights.

-- Army promptly answers on its next possession. 10-7, Army.

-- Boston College scores on its next possession. 14-10, Eagles.

-- Army’s offense strikes back, converting a third and seven and then a couple of third-and-two situations. The Black Knights re-take the lead at 17-14.

-- Continuing the streak of possessions with scores, Boston College’s offense is able to regain the lead at 21-17. What is worth noting about this third touchdown drive for the Eagles is that it occurred even though Army’s offense had already produced two separate scoring drives of at least five and a half minutes in length (5:39, to be precise). Army’s defense was rested, but it still couldn’t stop Boston College in this first half. Accordingly, the Black Knights couldn’t preserve leads right after their offense gained them.

-- After an Army punt, Boston College scores on yet another consecutive possession for a 28-17 lead. Army responds with points, but an 8:12 drive leads to nothing more than a field goal. Army watches a second drive of at least 5:30 end in three points during this frustrating first half.

-- Just to add to Army’s irritation in the first half, Boston College sneaks in a quick field goal for a 31-20 halftime lead. That 8:12 drive by Army’s offense wasn’t able to give the Black Knights’ defense a lift.

-- Army scores a touchdown on its first possession of the second half, cutting BC’s lead to 31-27.

-- Boston College answers with a 93-yard touchdown drive, including a third-and-12 conversion. 38-27, Eagles.

-- The game quickly unravels. Army’s offense, after doing so much of the heavy lifting for the team, punts on its next two possessions. Boston College stacks on two touchdowns for a 48-27 lead.

EASTERN MICHIGAN

-- Eastern Michigan scores a touchdown on its first drive, but Army promptly answers to tie the game at 7-all.

-- EMU gets a touchdown and a two-point conversion. Army is able to match that feat on its next possession. 15-15.

-- Army’s defense forces a three-and-out. The offense then scores a touchdown on a 17-play drive of more than seven minutes. The Black Knights converted three third downs and one fourth down on the drive. 22-15, Army.

-- Army’s defense gets an interception on EMU’s next possession.

-- Later, Army’s defense gets a red-zone stop, limiting EMU to a field goal just before the half. 22-18, Army, at the intermission.

-- Continuing a streak, Army yet again scores a first-possession touchdown in the second half, building its lead to 29-18.

-- Army’s defense recovers a fumble at its own 4. A 96-yard touchdown run pushes the lead to 36-18.

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