Army hosts Yale on Saturday in New Haven. ArmySports.com's Jim Lawler compares the two teams in several critical areas. He also makes a prediction on the game's final score.
Black Knights enter this game off a disappointing 24-21 loss to Wake Forest
in North Carolina. Army had taken a 21-14 lead into the halftime. Wake Forest shut out Army in the second half and the Demon Deacons scored ten points in the fourth quarter for the victory. Army continues to be plagued by costly turnovers, penalties, mental mistakes and an inability to finish a game. Normally a FBS team like the Army Black Knights would never travel to play Yale, an FCS team, on the road . However this is the 100th anniversary of the historical Yale Bowl and a long time ago these teams were rivals. This will be the 46th meeting between the the two schools. The Yale Bulldogs defeated Lehigh a 54–43 in their opener last week. The Bulldogs used 683 yards of total offense to overcome a 21-point deficit against a winless Lehigh team. Yale leads the all time series 21-16-8.
ARMY PASSING OFFENSE
YALE PASSING DEFENSE
REMARKS: Army quarterback Angel Santiago
has been an efficient 10-for-12 with 123 passing yards in 2014. Last year's leading wide receiver Xavier Moss
( 35 receptions for 463 yards and a touchdown) caught his first two passes of the season last game including a touchdown off a option pass. Slotback Raymond Maples
leads all receivers with three catches for a team high 78-yards. Santiago's first pass attempt on the second series last week was a deep out pattern to Maples which was a nice throw into a tight window but just out of bounds. Army has four new starters on the offensive line and have allowed three sacks on 17 pass attempts. Army, like most option offenses, struggle to protect the quarterback.
Yale's defense was lit up by Lehigh for 43 points, 311 passing yards and three touchdowns but did pick off three passes in the opener. Yale secondary is led by their safeties. Junior Cole
Champion was named second team All-Ivy last year. Champion made 78 tackles, three interceptions and four fumble recoveries. Foyesade Oluokun also earned second-team All-Ivy honors after making 59 tackles in 10 starts. Oluokun led Yale with 12 tackles last week and he had one of the interceptions. Sophomore defensive end Victor Egu
is a name that might be familiar to fans who follow Army recruiting. The Black Knights were one of at least 15 programs to offer Egu. The talented 6-4, 247 pound defensive end attended the same California high school powerhouse, De La Salle, as Army defensive back Josh Jenkins
. Egu was offered by Cal, Notre Dame
, Arizona State
among others. Egu can run and as a freshman led the team in sacks with three and had 4.5 tackles for loss. He also recorded 26 tackles.
ARMY RUSHING OFFENSE
YALE RUSHING DEFENSE
REMARKS: The Black Knights ran for 341 yards, averaged 5.8 yards per carry and scored two touchdowns last week. Quarterback Angel Santiago had for a career high 125 rushing yards on 22 carries and scored a touchdown. Santiago did a nice job with his reads and took advantage of Wake Forest overplaying the pitch back to rip off his season long 37-yard run which set up Army second touchdown run. Raymond Maples (5 att. for 50 yards) flashed his old form as he slide stepped a tackler on a 32-yard run that set up the Black Knights opening touchdown against the Demon Deacons. Fullback and team captain Larry Dixon
leads the Black Knights with 326 rushing yards, a 5.9 average and three touchdowns. Army's offensive line needs to limit the costly penalties that killed them in the second half last week.
The Yale Bulldogs allowed 210 rushing yards, a 6.4 average and two touchdowns last week against Lehigh. Yale defense is anchored by 300-pound sophomore defensive tackle Copache Tyler who had 33 tackles as a freshman. At inside linebacker is senior William Vaughan who was named honorable mention All-Ivy last year. Vaughan had a team-high 82 overall tackles including two sacks in 2013. The best outside linebacker is senior Charles Cook
who recorded 56 tackles and a sack in 2013. Cook is a legit Division I type athlete with size and speed. He had five tackles and two tackles for a loss against Lehigh.
YALE PASSING OFFENSE
ARMY PASSING DEFENSE
At the helm of Yale's spread passing attack is former Clemson
quarterback transfer Morgan Roberts
. Roberts completed 30- of- 39 attempts for 356 passing yards and three touchdowns and had an interception that was returned for a score. The mobile Roberts also added a rushing touchdown. He was a backup last season and completed 37-of-71 passed (52.1%) for 339 passing yards and four touchdowns with four interceptions. The best player and captain of the Bulldogs is wide receiver Deon Randall
who was a first-team pick on the FCS preseason All American team. Randall was first-team All-Ivy and All-New England last year after notching 85 receptions and 788 yards and eight touchdowns. Randall had a huge game against Lehigh with 13 receptions for 152 yards and a 68-yard touchdown reception. Grant Wallace is a possession receiver and he made 31 grabs for 421 yards and a pair of TDs in 2013. He caught seven passes for 67 yards against Lehigh. Tight End Stephen Buric
caught a touchdown pass last week. If given time Roberts, a former ACC quarterback, and Randall, a FCS preseason All-American may test the Black Knights secondary.
The Black Knights' pass defense has struggled in 2014, allowing eleven touchdown passes, a 70.2% completion percentage and 285- passing yards per game. Sophomore cornerback Josh Jenkins has been a bright spot with 18 tackles, two interceptions and six pass defensed in the first three games. Inside linebacker Jeremy Timpf
had an interception before the half against Wake Forest off a tipped ball on a receiver covered by Geoff Bacon. Geoff Bacon (16 tackles, PD0 has been uneven in coverage. WF's Matt James made a leaping over Bacon on the first Deacon touchdown drive. Bacon had tough pass interference called against him on 3rd- and-long in the end zone. The staff might consider moving him to outside linebacker if Stephen Johnson (17 tackles, PD) continues to develop. Safety Hayden Pierce
(10 tackles) had struggled in coverage at times this year. The Black Knights failed to generate much of a pass rush against Wake' Forest's anemic offensive line. Army has just three sacks all year.
YALE RUSHING OFFENSE
ARMY RUSHING DEFENSE
REMARKS: Yale rushing attack is based around one of the Ivy League’s best running backs in senior Tyler Varga
. He ran 19 times for 152 rushing yards and a touchdown last week. Varga is a former two time All-Ivy player who battled injuries last fall as he missed four games. The 5-foot-11 220-pound Varga ran for 627 yards and a touchdowns in 2013. He had third best rushing day in Yale history last year against Colgate when he ran for 236 yards on 39 carries. Roberts is a mobile quarterback. Yale employs dangerous wide receiver Deon Randall on fly sweeps and he ran 33 times for 176 yards and three scores last season. The Bulldogs return three starters from last years offensive line. The best lineman is senior Ben Carbery who has started 26 straight games and and earned All-Ivy honors last fall.
Army has allowed only two rushing touchdowns so far this year but is allowing over five yards per carry. Sophomore inside linebacker Jeremy Timpf (29 tackles,5 TFL FF, 3 PD in 2014) leads the team in tackles and has played very well. Senior defensive end Mike Ugenyi rebounded from a first half injury to play his best football this year in the second half versus Wake Forest. He batted away a third-down pass which forced a Wake Forest to punt on its opening drive of the second half. Ugenyi posted three tackles in the second half. Steven Johnson
made seven tackles and shows good range at safety. The staff has discussed moving Bacon to outside linebacker to get him on the field more.
REMARKS: Kicker Kyle Cazzetta handled both the kicking and punting for Yale last year but is just the placekicker this fall. Cazzetta was an honorable mention All-Ivy League placekicker in 2013. He made 11 field goals in 15 attempts last season. The left-footer also punted 54 times for a 38.7 average. Bryan Holmes
is the new punter this year. He made three punts for 39.7 in the opener. Cazzetta nailed both his field goal attempts. Robert Clemons returned 29 kickoffs last fall for 579 yards and a 20.0 average. He had a team-best 64-yard kick return against Fordham
at the Yale Bowl last year. Jamal Locke had a 28 yard kickoff return in the opener.
Junior Daniel Grochowski missed a field goal attempt against Wake Forest due to a bad snap. Junior punter Alex Tardieu
is averaging 41.2 per punt. Six of his 13 punts have been fair caught. He hit the ball well against Wake Forest. Josh Jenkins has good speed and quickness but he hasn't seen much blocking from the return units. Army's kick and punt coverage team have been good. Luke Prouix made a nice tackle to limit a huge kickoff return last week.
Tony Reno was named head Coach of Yale football in 2012. Reno has a 8-13 record. His team beat a triple option and ranked Cal Poly team on the road last October in a big FCS upset. He has held multiple jobs for Harvard and Yale as an assistant coach. Jeff Monken
was named the 37th head coach in Army football history this off season. Monken's team lost a tough game due to two fumbles, penalties, mental mistakes and some questionable coaching decisions let a poor Wake Forest team beat them late in the fourth quarter. He needs to get his offense untracked. The Black Knights haven't scored in the second half the past two weeks.
REMARKS: Army enters this game off a frustrating loss in a game they should have won. They will be primed for a big effort to even their record. Army has won all four games against Yale since 1985 by an average score of 43-17. Yale will be excited to play an FBS opponent on an historic day in front of a nice crowd.
Army 45, Yale 17. Yale's passing game pitch and catch combination of Morgan Roberts to wide receiver Deon Randall could potentially test the Black Knights secondary if given time. This game should be a mismatch in the trenches. Yale's defense will have trouble handling Army's triple option attack and the Black Knights should roll all day.
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Also see: Tanner Sheffield talks Army commitment