Three Keys Revisited – Army at UConn

Army suffered a 22-17 loss on the road in Connecticut on Saturday afternoon to drop to 0-2 for the first time since 2012. Much like in the loss against Fordham there were glimmers of good things to come from this Black Knights team, but the inability for the three phases to put a complete game together has resulted in the winless start to the season.

Army now has a week to put this game in the rearview mirror, learning along the way, before a meeting with Wake Forest at West Point.

Here is a look back at the three keys:

1) Win the battle offensively on third down - Fail

Army watched as Villanova went 9-of-17 on first down against the Huskies in the FCS team’s near upset bid in week one. Jeff Monken had hoped that the Black Knights would be able to exploit the less than impressive third down defense which the Huskies had thrown out there, but this aspect of the game did not go according to plan in any way. The Black Knights ended the game just 2-of-8 (25%) on third down, while the Huskies went 7-of-15 (47%). Obviously this allowed UConn to extend drives, eating up clock and dominating the time of possession 39:01 minutes to 20:59 minutes.

2) Work the fullbacks more – Fail

Army was once again unable to get much of a run game going unless it was Ahmad Bradshaw keeping the ball himself. The two primary fullbacks, Aaron Kemper and Matt Giachinta, carried the ball a combined seven times for 17 yards. As we pointed out in the preview piece, the fullback run is the key to sustained success in the triple option. The Army offensive line was just too small to handle the physical nature of the UConn defensive front, regardless of how the team attempted to scheme their way around the size deficiency. For Army to win more than one or two games this fall, the distribution of ball into the fullback’s hands must increase.

3) Win the turnover battle – Push

The turnover battle in this game ended tied at one a piece, which gives the Black Knights a push in this category. The Army turnover was in desperation time when A.J. Schurr had entered the game in relief of Bradshaw to throw the ball down the field as the more proficient passer in the offense. At first it worked as Schurr hit Joe Walker for a 71 yard touchdown to make the game close, but an attempt into coverage with seconds remaining in the game sealed the deal for UConn.

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