The Army Black Knights (3-0) routed the UTEP Miners (1-2) 66-14 in front of over 35,000 people at the Sun Bowl in El Paso on Saturday evening. It was a massive win for an Army team that is now half way toward bowl eligibility with just three games of the season completed. More than that though is the confidence flowing through this squad as the wins, and points keep piling up.
Here is a look back at how the three keys played out:
1) Keep the option strong - Pass
It looks like Jeff Monken has something going at Army right now. The Black Knights rolled into the Sun Bowl and scored the most points the school has put up since 1944. Amry scored the first nine times it had the ball, before taking a knee to end the game, and seven of those scoring plays were rushing touchdowns. For the game, the Black knights seemingly unstoppable rushing attack went for 426 yards on 74 carries and those seven touchdowns. A total of 13 players had positive rushing yards, with fullback Andy Davidson having 106 yards and fullback Darnell Woolfolk scoring three touchdowns. Also worth noting was the time of possession, with Army holding the ball for over 41 minutes.
2) Big plays on defense - Pass
The big plays on defense were not of the instant turnover or highlight reel type, but in the first half especially the Army defense was on fire. UTEP had three drives the entire first half, running just 15 plays in the first 30 minutes of action. Those plays combined to go for just 40 yards as the Army defense swarmed all over UTEP, effectively taking star running back Aaron Jones out of the game by the time the second half began. The biggest defensive play of the entire game came on 3rd-and-3 in the second quarter with Army up 10-0. UTEP quarterback Zach Greenlee threw incomplete, Army scored to make it 17-0 on the following drive, and the game was over.
3) Stop Aaron Jones - Pass
This is a big time pass for the run defense as Aaron Jones is a legitimate star. Jones was stuffed for losses of one yard and four yards on the Miners first drive of the game and he reached half time with just four yards rushing. With the offense rolling, Army was up 24-0 at the half, the threat of UTEP using their best player to get back into the game was completely negated and Army could let Jones get meaningless yardage as the game played out.