Report Card: Army vs. Rutgers

It's over now. Army lost to Rutgers, 27-10, on Friday. analyzes every element of the Black Knight's performance and assigns a grade to each area.




Army only completed one pas during the game. Trent Steelman went 2-of-6 for 16 yards and Chip Bowden was 0-of-3. Luckily there were no interceptions. In this game the passes to Ali Villanueva just didn't work and the Scarlet Knight defenders almost came up with picks at least once. Army has to get the pass to Ali right to have chance to win.
Not horrible here but the fumbles were killers. At least the passing game didn't result in turnovers like rushing game did. Army lost three fumbles on the day and this was probably the primary reason the Cadets lost the game. Lonnie Liggins had a nice scoring run in the third quarter to put the Black Knights within striking distance of Rutgers. 197 yards rushing is just not enough to be successful in a triple option offense. This number probably would have been higher without the lost fumbles.
Not horrible here either. The Black Knights limited Rutgers to less than 200 yards passing offense. The D-line also sacked starting quarterback Tom Savage twice. Probably would have been much better statistically here if the offense hadn't turned the ball over so much.
Not bad at all. Army limited Rutgers to just 132 yards rushing, most of the yards came from Joe Martinek who wore down the Cadets in the second half. Again, a lot of that has to do with the fumbles that kept the Army defense on the field longer than they needed to be and also gave Rutgers additional rushing opportunities. Linebacker Stephen Anderson led Army in tackles with 10. He also had two tackles for lost yardage.
The blocked punt was a killer. It gave Rutgers a two touchdown lead and Army was never able to overcome it. It wasn't a question of proper blocking, Jonathan Bulls just couldn't get a grip on the snap and the weather might have had something to do with it. Maybe he should have just jumped on the ball or tried to run for a first down. Bulls finished with a 37.7 yard punting average. Alex Carlton made a 41-yard field goal. Army coverage unit allowed a 35-yard kickoff return while Damion Hunter managed a 25-yard return of his own.
The coaching staff is doing the best they can with the talent they have present. It's particularly dreadful on the offensive line where the staff tries a new face virtually every week in an attempt to get better blocking. That said, they are responsible for everything their players do, good or bad. The fumbles, the blocked punt all fall on the coaches but you can bet these guys have already worked hard to prevent these type of breakdowns and they'll be working hard to prevent more of the same from happening in the future.
Losses stink but Army had their chances against a pretty good football team. The Cadets have to work to limit turnovers and special teams breakdowns in the future. Now the Black Knights get a week off before visiting a their rivals, Air Force, in two weeks. This will be head coach Rich Ellerson's first game in the Commander In Chief's trophy competition and you can be sure he'll have some new things on both sides of the ball awaiting the Falcons. Top Stories