Army In 2013: Pivot Points, Part Three

Army's loss to Temple spun out of control fairly quickly. The Black Knights' losses to Air Force and Western Kentucky unfolded in much more complicated ways. Which specific twists and turns led to Army's downfall? The pivot points of this section of the 2013 season will give Jeff Monken added information on how to author a course correction in 2014.


PIVOT POINTS: TEMPLE, AIR FORCE, WESTERN KENTUCKY

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TEMPLE

-- Army’s defense gives up touchdowns on Temple’s first two possessions. The Owls faced only one third down longer than one yard in that pair of possessions.

-- Army’s offense holds the ball for seven plays on each of its first two possessions, but each of those drives stall. The Black Knights trail, 14-0, after the first four possessions of the game (two for each team).

-- Army’s offense gets a total of one first down on its next four possessions. Temple drives for a score and then returns a fumble for a touchdown to immediately put the game away in the first half.

AIR FORCE

-- Army’s offense scores a first-drive touchdown.

– Air force promptly answers. 7-7.

– Army counters on its next possession. 14-7, Black Knights.

– Later in the first half, Army suffers a blocked 48-yard field goal attempt. Air Force scores a touchdown on its subsequent possession. 14-14.

– Army scores a touchdown on its next possession, continuing the flow of the first half. 21-14, Army.

– Air Force doesn’t interrupt the pattern, as Army’s defense – as was the case in the Boston College game – can’t consolidate the offense’s gains in the first half. 21-21 is the halftime score.

-- Army misses a field goal early in the third quarter. Air Force scores not just on the next possession, but the next play, to take a 28-21 lead.

-- Army’s offense goes three-and-out, but this time, Army’s defense gets a three-and-out on Air Force’s next possession. There is a chance that the game could stabilize and that the Black Knights, trailing on the scoreboard for the first time all day, can regain their footing.

-- Army’s offense gets one first down and punts, losing a chance to tie the game and reset the larger competitive feel of the contest.

– Air Force’s offense, on its next possession, converts a third and six en route to a touchdown and a two-possession lead, 35-21.

-- Later in the game (in other words, not on its next possession), Army’s offense scores a touchdown to trim Air Force’s lead to 35-28.

– One more time, Air Force’s offense scores a touchdown right after Army scores seven points. The Falcons put the game away on a score with 3:41 left in the fourth quarter. 42-28, Falcons.

WESTERN KENTUCKY

-- Army fumbles at the Western Kentucky 2-yard line in the first quarter.

-- Army later starts a drive at the WKU 35, but punts.

-- Early in the second quarter, the Army defense gets an interception in its own end zone for a touchback.

-- Army breaks a scoreless tie with under four minutes left before halftime, but a 14-play drive of almost eight minutes ends with only a field goal. 3-0, Army.

-- On the first drive of the second half, Army’s offense gets a touchdown, converting a fourth and three. 10-0, Army.

-- Western Kentucky gets its first score of the day on the very next possession.

-- On its next possession, Army’s offense is stopped on fourth and one.

-- Western Kentucky scores a touchdown on its next possession. 14-10, WKU.

-- Army scores a touchdown on its next possession, converting third and eight plus three other third downs of one, two, and four yards. 17-14, Army.

-- Army recovers a fumble near midfield on WKU’s next drive midway through the fourth quarter. The Black Knights gain a chance to amass a two-score lead and put the game away.

-- Army’s offense goes three-and-out.

-- Western Kentucky puts together an 87-yard touchdown drive, converting a third and eight with just under 1:10 left. The Hilltoppers win, 21-17, as Army’s offense tries unsuccessfully to throw the ball down the field in the final minute.

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