Saturday in East Hartford, the Black Knights were just plain taken for all they were worth. Bobby Ross' troops were the victims of a Conn job--a UConn job. The 40-3 score did tell the whole story, and the pasting suffered by the Cadets gives this hurting football team a very stark choice at the end of September: fold or fight.
It was ugly for Army on a sparkling Saturday afternoon in the Nutmeg State. Whether it was Carnell Brockington's running or quarterback Dan Orlovsky's passing, the Huskies did whatever they wanted against an Army defense that was whipped in every way. Whether it was power running, delay-draw finesse running, or pitch-and-catch routes on the perimeter, the Black Knights were totally outclassed by UConn's offense, which was able to play both power and finesse football, on the ground and in the air. As an extension of both strength and solid technique, the Huskies outflanked and outpaced Army at every pressure point on the field. Once the battle of the trenches was decided, UConn's backs and receivers were easily able to outrun Army's back seven.
The battle was no better for Army's offense, which--ironically enough--tried to do the very same things UConn did, implementing a lot of finesse change-up runs. But on those slow-developing draws--either from the quarterback or the tailback position--Reggie Nevels wasn't able to sell the play with much success, and as a result, the hard-charging Husky front four was able to smother plays before they even had a chance to develop. All of these developments, on both sides of the ball, led to a 27-3 UConn avalanche before the Black Knights even knew what hit them. It was a total beating that will lead Bobby Ross back to the drawing board.
Next Saturday, the Texas Christian Horned Frogs will be listed as Army's opponent. But in reality, Army simply has to measure itself against the standards Bobby Ross held out for this team at the beginning of the season.
What does good football look like? Not anything like Saturday's display. Simply performing at a higher level, relative to their abilities, is the only goal Army can have for itself right now. It's not about playing TCU, but about playing well, for a bunch of wounded Cadets who need to fight their way out of adversity.