Army Report Card: Stanford

Army fell to Stanford 35-0 on Saturday in California. ArmySports.com's Jim Lawler grades the Black Knights performance in several key team areas.

PASSING OFFENSE: D
Army quarterback Angel Santiago only attempted a few passes. He threw twice and was completed both for 13 yards. He was sacked once. He completed a short pass to fullback Larry Dixon on third and long on the opening series and the Black Knights had to punt. Santiago later threw a nice 10-yard completion to Edgar Poe to move the chains. On his last pass attempt the pocket just collapsed and Angel was sacked for a three yard loss. Santiago has completed all eight of his pass attempts this season. A.J. Schurr (0-for-2, INT) replaced Santiago and didn't throw the ball well. He missed an open Kelvin White on his first pass. On his last throw he had a receiver open but held the ball too long on a roll out and was picked off by Stanford's A.J. Tarpley ending a promising drive.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F
The Black Knights ran for 198 yards, averaged 3.5 yards per carry and had no touchdowns. The numbers were padded by some late rushing yards against Stanford second team defense. It actually was much worse.

Army's offensive line was dominated by Stanford up front. Last year they ran for 284 yards against a better Stanford defense but the new offensive line was dominated in this game. The tackles, Drew Hennessy and Todd McDonald, really struggled and were at times pushed back in the backfield and rarely sealed the edge. Center Matt Hugenberg couldn't establish the fullback against Stanford's Parry who played a "0" technique over his nose much of the game.

Quarterback Angel Santiago (8 att., 29 yards) earned most of his rushing yards off quarterback scrambles. He did a solid job keeping the ball off the ground considering how the Cardinal defense was blowing up plays on a consistent basis. Larry Dixon ran 19 times for just 60 rushing yards. Dixon earned over half his yards on two carries. Larry ran hard but often looked like he was running straight into a wall of Stanford defenders. His costly fumble deep in Army territory with the Black Knights down only a touchdown changed the game and gave Stanford a cheap score and a two touchdown lead. Dixon went down with a left leg injury late in the game but was jogging on the sidelines later. Hopefully he's okay.

Quarterback A.J. Schurr came off the bench late to lead all Army runners with 65 rushing yards on six carries against Stanford's second team defense. He showed a nice burst on back-to-back runs of 35 and 17 yards respectively. Schurr demonstrated his bad habit of forcing pitches under pressure when the pitch back is covered and getting slot back Raymond Maples (4 att., 13 yards) blown up for a 3-yard loss. If AJ wants to be the starter he has to be disciplined enough to turn the ball up and take the hit. Schurr was stuffed twice on 3rd-and-one at the two yard line as Stanford preserved its shutout on the last series.

Terry Baggett (6 att., 28 yrds) ran hard and broke a few tackles but didn’t find any running room. He fumbled once but recovered it and took a four-yard loss which helped stall a promising drive in Stanford territory. Tony Giovannelli 's numbers of four carries for one yard showed the lack of blocking on the edge. Giovannelli took a silly 15-yard penalty hitting a defensive back late after a nice Dixon run. Jeff Monken protested by it was a penalty. B-back Matt Giachinta had 7 carries for 13 yards. Giachinta ran into the same issues as Dixon with the offensive line unable to create running room. Unlike Larry he doesn't have the power or run skills to break many tackles.

Wide Receiver Xavier Moss went in reverse on an end around taking a 12-yard loss end when the backside linemen failed to block anyone and Moss had nowhere to run.

PASSING DEFENSE: C
Stanford's Kevin Hogan completed 20-of-28 for 216 yards and four touchdowns. The Black Knights did a nice job in the first half after allowing a touchdown on the first drive as they forced four straight punts. Dixon's fumble changed the game and Stanford scored the next four times they had the ball.

Cornerback Josh Jenkins (5 tackles, 2 PD) was impressive in matching up well against Stanford's talented receiving corps. He nearly picked off a pass attempted for Rector and forced a punt. He broke up a fade pattern in the end zone to prevent a score. His running mate Chris Carnegie (6 tackles) played well but was beat in the end zone on the final touchdown pass to Montgomery.

Free safety Geoff Bacon (5 tackles) continues to struggle is pass coverage. He was late helping on the opening drive touchdown and Cajuste was wide open on his first touchdown catch. Later Bacon failed to track the ball and was beaten on a fade for a two yard touchdown pass. It was the identical pattern that Jenkins had knocked down the play before. Bacon forced an incompletion on a safety blitz. Safety Hayden Pierce was beat for a touchdown pass.

Army's 3-4 defense had two sacks against Hogan and was able to generate some pressure but not a lot. Andrew King ( 7 tackles, sack) made a sack which helped end a drive. Defensive tackle Joe Drummond (3 tackles, Sack) posted a sack. He has done a nice job coming off the ball this year.

RUSHING DEFENSE: C+
The Black Knights run defense allowed 199 rushing yard and the Cardinal averaged 6.2 per carry and scored a touchdown. They played better than those numbers suggest in the first half.

Sophomore inside linebacker Jeremy Timpf (10 tackles, 2 TFL FF, PD) had a huge game and played very well. Timpf made a nice tackle shooting gap to tackle Stanford's Kelsey Young for a loss on third-and-1 during the second series. It forced just Stanford's second three and out of the of entire season. Jeremy also forced a fumble on special teams and nearly intercepted a pass. He played very well.

Free safety Steven Johnson made his first career start and was in on 8 tackles. Johnson showed good speed but took some poor angles on a few plays. He was crushed on the touchdown run. Outside linebacker Stephen Ricciardi (5 tackles) had a solid game playing with leverage and getting off blocks.

Richard Glover (2 tackles) and Mike Ugenyi (2 tackles) did a nice job holding their own in the first half against a talented and very physical Stanford offensive line but wore down as the game progressed. The defense deserved a better grade after keeping the Black Knights in the game but they were on the field too much and didn't hold up.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B
Punter Alex Tardieu had six punts for a 40-yard average. He placed a punt inside the twenty yard line and hit another 49- yards. He hit a 36-yard punt that was downed at the 2-yard-line. His pass on a fake punt was completed to Deandre Bell but it was read by Stanford who tackled Bell for a 4-yard loss. Dan Grochowski had a touchback on his only kickoff.

Jeremy Timpf forced a fumble by punt returner Troy Montgomery which was recovered by Matt Giachinta. Jenkins had five yards on two punt returns. Jenkins only returned one kickoff four yards. There wasn't any room. Army's punt coverage was outstanding holding the dangerous Montgomery to just 11 yards on two returns. Josh Jenkins made a terrific tackle on the long 49-yard punt dropping him immediately for no gain.

COACHING: C
Jeff Monken’s team competed on defense but in the end they were just overmatched physically by a far more talented team. What was nice to see was the penalties dropped from the ridiculous 12 against Buffalo to just two against Stanford. It's a good sign. Army needs to be disciplined to win. Monken handles the special teams personally and the improvement has been obvious. I understand the special team fake play call but I didn't like the play that was called.

Jay Bateman's defense played well in the first half and competed through the game despite allowing five touchdowns. They just wore down because Army couldn't sustain any offense. The defense had some breakdowns in coverage on a few pass plays but generally was sound and the tackling has improved over last year. Nothing offensive coordinator Brent Davis tried work. Army simply could not block Stanford. It was the Jimmy & Joes being the case here rather than the X's & O's.

OVERALL GRADE: C
The Black Knights competed but were physically overmatched against the No. 15 ranked Stanford Cardinal. This was easily the best team that they will face this year. Thankfully Army doesn't have any other teams as talented as Stanford on their schedule.

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