Report Card: Army vs. Eastern Michigan

It's over now. Army beat Eastern Michigan, 27-14, on Saturday.'s analyzes every element of the Black Knight's performance and assigns a grade to each area.



Eastern Michigan

Army only had 8 total yards passing the entire game. Trent Steelman completed 2 of 5 passes. Both completions went to Damion Hunter one of which was a nice 9 yard reception during that first statement making drive. Definitely room for improvement but I think once Ellerson saw that he could run easily on the Eagles he just kept doing it. Running is always the safer option if you know you can be successful at it.
Army's rushing attack wasn't perfect but it got the job done. The option attack produced 300 yards of offense for the Black Knights and that's what it's intended to do. Kingsley Ehie and Patrick Mealy both played well for the Cadets. Mealy had over 100 yards rushing and also had the long 75-yard non-scoring run. Ehie was a thorn in the Eagles backs in the second half as he sliced through the EMU defense. He did have a fumble and those things happen sometimes in option football but they have to be kept to a minimum. We'll probably be seeing more of Ehie in the future.
Army's pass defense played very well and limited one of EMU's top career passers to just 187 yards and one touchdown. Ellerson's swarm defense kept him off balance and made it hard for the Eagle defense to successfully block Army defenders. Donovan Travis and plebe Joshua Jackson each had interceptions. Travis returned his 55 yards which was a a great boost for Army's victory hopes. We also can't forget the big guys. Josh McNary and Victor Ugenyi combined for five sacks on the day, not a bad day at all!
Eastern Michigan ran the ball 29 times and gained just 41 total rushing yards. Pretty amazing. On their first drive the Eagles tried to establish the run and it was pretty evident that they were going to have a hard time getting yardage on the ground. Of course the -53 yards rushing by Schmitt due to six sacks figured heavily into this low number. Black Knight linebacker Stephen Anderson had a great day with 7 tackles.
Jonathan Bulls made his debut as Army punter and did a nice job averaging 41 yards a punt with net of 34 yards which is not bad. The usually reliable Matthew Campbell had a tough day kicking and missed two extra points. Not sure what is going on here but I bet Ellerson will have it fixed by the next game. Army return teams did decent. They did give up a 30-yard return to EMU on a kickoff, I'll take that over an 98-yard return for a score any day; that's what Army allowed in last year's opener.
They have Army undefeated already so that weighs in heavily here. Mission accomplished. They do need to fine tune the offense some. The Black Knights converted on just two of 11 third down situations. However, something tells me the Army coaches are already working on fixing this and other issues as I type this. It's so refreshing to see a coach at Army who lives for the job and knows how to win football games.
A 13-point win on the road against an FBS opponent, we'll take it. Now it's time to get ready for Duke. Duke will be a step above EMU, talent wise. Their head coach, David Cutcliffe, is an outstanding coach. The Blue Devils fell to FBS opponent Richmond, 24-16, on Saturday so they might be pretty depressed over that and ripe for a second upset. Top Stories