Army Report Card: Yale

Army fell to Yale 49-43 in overtime on Saturday in New Haven, Conn.'s Jim Lawler grades the Black Knights performance in several key team areas.

Army Black Knights were stunned by the Yale Bulldogs from the Ivy League 49-43 in overtime. Army's Daniel Grochowski missed field goals both at the end of regulation and in overtime. The Army's defense allowed 625 yards of offense and 36 first downs. For the second consecutive week Army took a 21-14 lead into the halftime yet relinquished the lead. Army's record drops to 1-3.

Army quarterback A.J. Schurr completed 6-of-12 passes for 94 passing yards with one touchdown. Schurr completed his first pass to plebe John Trainor for 8 yards. Kelvin White dropped a well thrown pass that should have been a first down catch on the opening drive. That drive ended when he was sacked attempting to pass. On the third drive he completed a 12-yard pass that was short of the first down to Xavier Moss (2 rec. for 25 yards).

The following series on third and nine Schurr completed a pass to Joe Walker for 27 yards after the Yale defender slipped in coverage. He then hit slotback Tony Giovannelli. for 12 yards to the Yale 28. Two plays later Schurr hit Edgar Poe for a 22-yard touchdown on a nice throw to his back shoulder.

Schurr hit Xavier Moss in stride the next series but Moss dropped the ball as he failed to look it in. With 33 seconds left in the first half Schurr did hit Moss for a 13-yard completion but his last three passes were incomplete as he scrambled under pressure. Interestingly Jeff Monken had strong armed ex-quarterback Kelvin White fire up the Hail Mary before the end of the half but it was out of the end zone.

Angel Santiago came on after Schurr was injured on the opening series of the third quarter and he threw the ball well. He completed 6-of-8 passes for 117 passing yards. He also completed a pass to Kelvin White for a successful two point conversion. White made a tough catch in traffic and kept his foot in. Angel completed his first pass to Tony Giovannelli for 11 yards after an illegal block penalty by Edgar Poe made it first and 20.

On third down Giovannelli couldn't bring in a pass. Angel hit Larry Dixon for 46 yards down to the Yale 24 to set up the failed fourth and one play. Dixon exploded down the field after the catch. Santiago was clutch on the last series as he completed three straight passes including converting a third-and-10 pass to Edgar Poe (3 for 38, TD) to set up the field goal attempt at the end of regulation. Santiago hit Tony Giovannelli (4 rec, 67 yards) for 26-yards to set up the field goal miss at the end of regulation. They connected again for 18 yards in overtime.

The Black Knights ran for 386 yards, averaged 7.3 yards per carry and scored four touchdowns. Quarterback A.J. Schurr ran 15 times for 135 rushing yards and a touchdown all in the first half. On the third play Schurr ripped off a 38-yard run with a nice move. A.J. missed some reads early as the Black Knights scored on only one of their first three drives. Schurr ran hard breaking a tackle for three yards on a key fourth-and-2 play down to the Yale three. It set up the Larry Dixon touchdown. Schurr showed excellent speed on a 43-yard touchdown run off a quarterback draw. He was hurt on the opening run of the third quarter and Santiago played quarterback the rest of the way.

Angel Santiago ( 8 for 88 yards, 2 TDs) led the Black Knights to a touchdown on first drive. He raced 53-yards for a touchdown as he exploded down left side. Angel’s next run was a nice second effort after being initially stopped on a one yard touchdown run. Santiago looked like he was going to score in overtime but he was tripped up at the 2-yard-line. Matt Hugenberg then threw a poor shotgun snap past Santiago that Larry Dixon picked up and was dropped for a one yard loss.

Yale did a nice job shutting down the fullback almost the entire day. Larry Dixon ran seven times for a season low 12 yards and scored a touchdown. Matt Giachinta ran three times for six yards and was dropped for a loss on the key fourth-and-1 play at the Yale 15. Gianchinta never seems to get any extra yards on his own. Third string B-back Aaron Kemper (7 for 83 yards) ripped off a 74-yard run to set up Santiago's second touchdown. He was run down at the 1-yard line. Kemper had six carries for just 9 yards on his other tries as Yale took away the fullback dive almost all game.

Tony Giovannelli led the slotbacks with 33 yards on three carries. Raymond Maples (6 for 24 yards) and Terry Baggett (4 for 5 yards) continue to be underutilized.

The offensive line, despite some big plays, failed to get it done four times on third and less than three yards. There were too many bad penalties and Hugenberg's poor shotgun snap in overtime was a killer. The offensive line had their moments but was beat physically by an Ivy League front seven. That shouldn't happen.

Yale's spread passing attack under Clemson quarterback transfer Morgan Roberts moved the ball well against Army. Roberts completed 23-of-40 attempts for 290 passing yards and a touchdown and had an interception that was returned for a score. Roberts hurt Army off his scrambles and read option runs.

The Black Knights once again didn't generate much pressure. Andrew King (3 tackles, 1 PD, sack) had the only sack which led to a missed field goal. Linebacker Jeremy Timpf (14 tackles, FR INT, PD ) had an interception return 45 yards. He jumped the route and gave Army a 28-14 lead.

Cornerbacks Josh Jenkins (4 tackles) and Chris Carnegie (one tackle, PD) had their worst games this year as they were often beat underneath and on seam passes. Carnegie sat on one rout and was beat by Deon Randall for 31-yards to set up a touchdown pass to Ross Drwal to make it allow Yale to close within a touchdown. Jenkins was beat for 19 yards by Grant Wallace to set up Tyler Vargas 18-yard touchdown run to tie the score 36-36.

Safety Steven Johnson (6 tackles, PD) had a costly 15-yard pass interference penalty on a third-and-8 that led to Yale first touchdown. Hayden Pierce (10 tackles) was often a step late in coverage. I'm not sure if it’s a result of his multiple shoulder surgeries he's undergone but Pierce seemed to want no part of squaring up to take on Yale's hard running Tyler Varga. Safety Luke Prioux (5 tackles) struggled in coverage after replacing an injured Geoff Bacon. It was an ugly performance as receivers were often wide open. The interception return for a touchdown and the four pass break ups kept this from being a failing grade. Still it was a terrible performance.

The Black Knights defense allowed 335 rushing yards as they gave up 6.0 yards per carry and six rushing touchdowns. The Black Knights were stuck on blocks, often failed to cover their gap assignments and missed too many tackles.

Richard Glover (1 tackle) was badly outplayed up front. Ryan Alexander (4 tackles) filling in for an injured Mike Ugenyi was also pushed around. Joe Drummond (2 tackles) and Stephen Riccardi (no tackles) were non factors and beat up by an FCS offensive line. Geoff Bacon (4 tackles) left the game with what appeared to be an ankle injury. He was bent back awkwardly and left the game. Converted quarterback Tevin Long (4 tackles) saw his most extensive action in the secondary and forced a fumble that was recovered by Timpf. Yale's Tyler Varga, who ran for 185 yards, seemed like he was a varsity back running through and around an overmatched scout team. It was embarrassing how Yale was more physical and tougher than Army. The open field tackling was terrible and some in the Army secondary acted like they wanted no part in tackling the hard charging Varga.

First the good news, punter Alex Tardieu had another nice game with four punts for a 42.2 average including a 51-yard punt and had his first punt downed at the 1-yard line. The Bad news was the rest. Dan Grochowski missed field goals from 42-yards before the end of regulation and from 25-yard in overtime. Grochowski had five touchbacks on seven kickoffs but kicked one out of bounds Grochowski was once recruited by Florida and was automatic during the 2011 USMAPS season. He has regressed badly this year and may lose his job after this game.

Sean McBryde’s roughing the punter penalty helped start the Yale rally. Army was up 28-14 and would have had the ball at midfield. Josh Jenkins and Chris Carnegie continue to see little running room on returns. Army's kick coverage gave up a 29-yard return. The Black Knights were beat for a two point conversion pass by not being aware and covering the receiver on Yale's unique pre-snap extra point formation. If Army covered everyone in that spot then Yale wouldn't have run it. Another mental breakdown.

Jeff Monken's team struggled on defense, special teams and failed to make the big play time and again. Monken's team exhibits many of the same flaws as Rich Ellerson's with the additional issue of committing both untimely and an excessive amount of penalties; The Black Knights were flagged 8 times for 70 yards. While Daniel Grochowski choked later, I'm still surprised Monken didn't go for a 32-yard field goal to put Army up two scores with 8:34 left in the game. It may have cost the game. An Army football team should be able to get a yard against an Ivy League opponent.

Offensive coordinator Brent Davis saw his unit produced 597 yards of total offense but he needs to make better use of Maples and Baggett. Defensive coordinator Jay Bateman saw his unit give up 36 first downs and seven touchdowns to an Ivy League team. It was a complete disaster.

You could argue this was a "D" grade since the offense did put up nearly 600 yards of offense. Still that would be too kind. Yale has some talent but is a nothing special Ivy League team. We know the Black Knights are prone to mistakes, penalties and lack top talent. The worst part is the reality that this team lacks toughness and the ability to make plays when faced with adversity. Monken's more demanding workout and training regimen were expected to improve this aspect. It hasn't. Army is now 1-3. They led three games at halftime but have been outscored 102-48 in the second half so far this year. I always viewed this as a rebuilding season. Now it should be obvious to all that this is surely a rebuilding team and all bowl bid hopes need to be put to rest if anyone was entertaining them.

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