Army Review- VMI

You might be tempted to yawn after realizing how easy it was for Army to power past the Virginia Military Institute on the first Saturday of October.

If you were at Michie Stadium, you might have gotten somewhat disinterested after seeing the home team roll to an easy 24-point lead in the early going. But don't shortchange the Black Knights: they haven't always done what they've been expected to do... sometimes for the better, but more often with negative repercussions. So after taking care of business against an overmatched opponent, one should heartily celebrate the fact that the Brave Old Army Team brought the hammer to the ballpark... and kept wielding it against the Keydets, over and over again.

This is, after all, the very mentality--and the very level of elevated execution--the Army program needs to maintain on a weekly basis. After this rollercoaster stretch of four games against four very diverse opponents--Texas A&M, Baylor, Rice, and VMI--it should dawn upon observers of Black Knight football that at a certain point, the other jerseys cease to matter. All that does matter--and all that can be controlled by Bobby Ross' team--is the mindset the West Point boys bring to the stadium. A good mindset equals three of the four brilliant performances Army has brought to the dance in the past month of time; a bad mindset and a lack of focus produce Arkansas State and Rice games, those unmitigated disasters that leave a team scratching its head not because it lacks talent, but because it knows that its talent didn't emerge on the football field.

Saturday was special--and not ho-hum--for any fan of Army football because, on a day when going through the motions was a possibility (just ask Auburn, Clemson, and other teams who played as though hypnotized for 60 minutes), Army didn't fall under any kind of mental spell. The Black Knights were wide-awake and very much alert--slam, bam, thank-you, maam (touchdown left, touchdown right, touchdown, touchdown, fight, fight, fight)--from the opening kickoff until the final gun. This kind of gridiron vigilance will keep Army in very good stead over the remainder of the 2006 schedule.

Don't sleep--literally and figuratively--on this VMI game or on the rest of the season for the Army Black Knights. Alert and emotionally vibrant performances will enable this team's talents to continue to flourish on the field. If that happens, the Poinsettia Bowl will be attained.

Bank on it.


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