Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Three Keys Revisited: Army vs. Tulane

In a season of nothing but frustration Army found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory once again on Saturday as the Black Knights fell 34-31 at home to Tulane. The Black Knights are now 2-8 on the season and lost by less than a touchdown for the sixth time in 2015.

This was also the second time this year that Army has lost to an opposition field goal as time expired. Another point of note is that the Black Knights are 1-7 on the season when trailing at half time, but that a furious comeback by the offense showed that this Army team can do some serious damage when firing on all cylinders.

Here is a look back at how the three keys played out:

1) Find a way to run the ball - Pass

This was the third time that Tulane had faced a triple option team this season following games against Georgia Tech and Navy. When you consider that the Green Wave held the Mids to just 133 yards on the ground then Army putting up 216 yards is definitely a win. Army was forced to go to the air much more than usual, but even then Ahmad Bradshaw was a very solid 6-of-10 for 121 yards in two touchdowns when passing the ball. The one issue that stopped this from being an even more highly rated day from the rushing attack was the bad pitch in the second quarter which was scooped and scored by Parry Nickerson of Tulane. That 48 yard fumble return for a touchdown opened up the game and took the life out of Army for the next series or so. By the time the Black Knights recovered their poise it was a 28-7 game in the favor of the Green Wave.

 2) Keep Tulane off of the scoreboard – Fail

The Army defense had far from its best day of 2015 as it allowed a Tulane squad that had been averaging less than 10 points per game over the last month to put up 27 of the team’s 34 points when on offense. The frustration here is that Army started the game well on defense, forcing the Green Wave to punt after going three and out on the team’s first drive. What cannot happen following an early three and out is to allow a big play on the opposition’s next possession, yet that is exactly what happened as quarterback Tanner Lee connected with wide receiver Teddy Veal on a 90 yard touchdown catch and run. After half time the defense played well, but the first two quarters saw Army give up too many points.

3) Wear down Tulane - Pass

Just looking at the scoring you would have to say Army did a good job at making Tulane less effective as the game went on. The Green Wave scored 28 points in the first half, compared to just six after the break. This second half defense is something that Army has been working on all year and, in the third quarter especially, the Green Wave had all kinds of trouble moving the ball. Unfortunately the Army offense also stalled more often than not in the second half and, as a result, the Black Knights were not able to hit the front and put pressure back on Tulane.  

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