Tuesday Army Football Ramblings

We saw it in the Spring with Ali Villanueva and now we see it in the preseason practice as well. It's something winners do and it's good thing we have Rich Ellerson and his staff in West Point. Here's my latest Army football ramblings.

Senior Fritz Bentler has played on the defensive line since he came to Army. Now he's suddenly on the offensive line. Why? Because that's where his team needs him.

It's refreshing that the new Army staff refuses to accept failure or mediocrity. They will move players and troubleshoot their tactics as much as they possibly can before the Eastern Michigan kickoff to ensure that the United States Military Academy has the best possible combination of personnel on the field in order to give the Black Knights the best possible chance to experience victory.

In April Ali Villanueva was moved from the offensive line to wide receiver. Ellerson and his offensive coordinator, Ian Shields, wanted to give the Cadets the chance to create mismatches against their opponent's secondary. Victor Ugenyi, who in the past has played at defensive end, was moved inside to defensive tackle. Having a great defensive lineman on the inside will make Ellerson's swarm defense more effective by forcing opponents to the outside where linebackers can chew them up. The movement of Bentler (6-3, 248) to the offensive line gives that unit a quick, athletic player who has ability to stay with blocks and help make the Army option offense a success. Army, with over 150 players on its roster, has to find the best 22 to be starters and the next best 22 to be their backups.

All these moves point to a new attitude at the USMA. Instead of just accepting failure, fix the problems!

Get your Eagle Bank Bowl Tickets! Because of poor attendence (29,000) in the 2008 Eagle Bank Bowl, bowl officials have reduced the price of a regular tickets from $45 to $30. If Army manages to win six games they'll play a team from the ACC. LINK

Kicker Rory Noonan, who orginally committed to Army and played at the West Point Prep school last year, has enrolled at Northern Illinois University and been added to that school's football roster.

Former Army player Rick Angle, who played at West Point in the early 1990s and must be in or near his forties now, recently played as a cornerback in a U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League's and intercepted a pass to help lead his team to a 25-7 victory and Southern Division title.

Steve Szabo, who is the associate head coach at Eastern Michigan, is excited about playing Army. This according to a writer for the Ypsilanti Courier who said, "I am sure in his first game at EMU he will want to beat Army."

The first order of business for Army's swarm defense will be to stop EMU quarterback Andy Schmitt. Schmitt is big, strong and an accurate passer. In fact, he's passed for over 6,350 during his career with the Eagles. Interestingly his total career offensive yards amounts to only 5,439 yards, almost 1,000 less than his passing yards. That indicates a lot of sack lost yardage!


"What Army has needed is its own Paul Johnson, the Georgia Tech head man who created the current run in Annapolis. And here he comes ... Rich Ellerson."

Pete Fiutak, CollegeFootballNews.com, August 6, 2009

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