Army football in salvage mode

It's official, Army's season is salvage mode. There have been some bright spots, but the Black Knights are 3-7, two losses away from a third straight 3-9 campaign.Army's latest loss came 38-31 at Rice on Saturday. The Black Knights close the season out with games at Rutgers and against Navy in Philadelphia.

It's official, Army's season is salvage mode. There have been some bright spots, but the Black Knights are 3-7, two losses away from a third straight 3-9 campaign.Army's latest loss came 38-31 at Rice on Saturday. The Black Knights close the season out with games at Rutgers and against Navy in Philadelphia.

"The first half, and the whole game, was all about turnovers," Army coach Stan Brock said after the loss. " I told the team at halftime that if we don't turn the ball over in the second half, we'll beat them [although] we came up seven points shy. We turned the ball over three times, in critical situations: one of them going in for a score, one of them was on a toss where we had one man to beat to get a long gain or could possibly be a score, and then on a screen that could have been a long gain or a score. It's disappointing that we played like that in the first half, but I'm very proud of the way they played in the second half."

Army lost three fumbles in the first half, helping Rice score 31 unanswered points, and take a 31-10 halftime lead. The turnovers sure didn't help Army, but they are part of the game. It doesn't matter that the Black Knights likely would have won the game if they didn't turn the ball over.Fumbles and interceptions are part of the game, period. The Black Knights will have to step it up the next time out, on Nov. 22, at Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are playing their best football of the season after getting off to a slow start.

Rutgers started the year off 1-5, maybe suffering from a Ray Rice hangover. But the Scarlet Knights have followed with three straight wins over Connecticut, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. Rutgers plays South Florida on Saturday, before the Black Knights march into town.There were some bright spots in the Rice game, mainly another big performance by bruising Army fullback Collin Mooney. With his parents watching from the stands, Mooney, a senior, rushed for 297 yards on 26 carries. Mooney now has 1,173 rushing yards on the season.That ranks fourth all-time in West Point history. Mooney has four 100-yard games this season. He is the first Army player since Jones in 2004 to rush for at least 200 yards twice in the same season, and is the only West Point player ever to reach the 170-yard mark four times in the same season. Army finished with 461 rushing yards.

"I'll be honest, most of that was missed tackles, and most of it was the fact that we had to move some young men into the linebacker position that have not been there," Rice coach David Bailiff said.

Armysports.com politely disagrees with Bailiff's assessment. We think Mooney was just too much for the Owls. If Mooney keeps running hard, the offense holds on to the ball and Army's defense rebounds from this game, let's all hope Army can make something happen with its last two games of the season.

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