Loss to Air Force stings for seniors

This weekend's loss to Air Force served as the ultimate buzz kill for Army. The Black Knights entered the game on the high of winning three of four games and having a legit chance of taking out the Falcons.

They left on the low of losing to Air Force for the 18th time in the last 20 meetings between the service academies. The 13-7 loss to Air Force served as the last time the seniors will play at Michie Stadium.

"I'm sick for the seniors," Army coach Stan Brock said after the loss. "I wanted very badly to get them a win over Air Force in their last game at Michie Stadium. I am very proud of the seniors. If it wasn't for their leadership, we wouldn't even be close to be able to compete with teams like Air Force."

It's clear that Army is hurting, but the Black Knights (3-6) have to get it together for the last three games of the season. That shouldn't be a problem, but avoiding another 3-9 season could be a challenge. There have been plenty of positives this year, like Army's defense and the flashes the option has shown, but another 3-9 season isn't good enough for Brock, his players, or the fans. Army closes out the season with high-scoring Rice, Rutgers, playing its best football of the season, and nemesis Navy. Those three teams are a combined 15-11.

It's apparent that Army may have to rely heavily on its real-deal defense down the stretch as the offense continues to grow.

Army's defense limited Air Force to 174 total yards and 142 rushing yards on Saturday. The Falcons' longest drive of the day was a paltry 34 yards. Air Force ran eight plays or more on just two of its 13 possessions. The 142 rushing yards was 149 yards below Air Force's average. It also marked the lowest rushing total by the Falcons against the Black Knights since 1996. Army held Air Force to 69 yards on that glorious day and eventually took out Navy to win the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy.

Army has now held two consecutive opponents under 175 total yards. Army hadn't done that since 1996 when it shut down North Texas and Yale.

Some might say that the Air Force loss provided a moral victory. But it seems like isn't interested in those kinds of wins. That's a good thing.

"This team isn't really satisfied with moral victories," Army linebacker Frank Scappaticci said after the loss. "We go out every week and expect to win the game. That in itself shows we've made progress. We're a team that can overcome adversity and stay together when we need to. In that respect we've gotten a lot better."

Now let's hope Army can get back on the winning track against Rice on the road this weekend. It would be a great start to the last quarter of the season, which, as we all know, is very important.

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