Cy'zing Up the Competition - Army

Friday night's meeting between Iowa State and Army will be the two schools second; the last was a 9-7 Army win at Michie Stadium in 1964.

Friday Night Lights

Army and Iowa State meet "under the lights" at Michie Stadium Friday night in the first Friday night game in the fabled venue's 82-year history.

  

Knight Owls
Friday's game marks only the fourth night game (
6 p.m. kickoff or later) in Michie Stadium's 82 years as the home of Army Football. The Black Knights are a perfect 3-0 in their home night games, having defeated Air Force 24-12 on Nov. 3, 1984; Boston College 45-14 on Oct. 12, 1985; and Louisville 59-52 in double overtime on Oct. 7, 1999. The Louisville contest, Army's first-ever Thursday night game, was televised nationally by Fox Sports Net.

 

Army Against the Big 12
Following last Saturday's 20-10 home loss to Baylor, the Black Knights own a 10-15 all-time record versus the dozen teams that presently comprise the Big 12 Conference (0-3 vs. Baylor, 1-1 vs. Colorado, 1-0 vs. Iowa State, 1-0 vs. Kansas, 2-0 vs. Kansas State, 1-3 vs. Missouri, 2-3 vs. Nebraska, 1-2 vs. Oklahoma, 0-1 vs. Oklahoma State, 0-1 vs. Texas and 1-1 vs. Texas A&M). Last week's tilt with the Bears marked the first time Army had faced any of those teams since the Big 12 formed prior to the 1996 campaign. Previously, all of the teams in the Big 12 were members of the Big 8 or Southwest Conference when they battled the Black Knights.

Ross Against the Big 12
During his collegiate coaching tenure, Bobby Ross has coached against just two teams presently affiliated with the Big 12. In 1990, Ross' Georgia Tech squad trounced
Nebraska 45-21 in the Florida Citrus Bowl, helping the Yellow Jackets earn a share of the national championship. Last week, Baylor edged Army 20-10 here in Michie Stadium.

Facing a Nationally Ranked Opponent
Army's last victory versus a ranked foe came on Nov. 4, 1972, when the Black Knights dispatched 15th-ranked Air Force 17-14 at Michie Stadium. There have been some close calls during the interim. In 1995, Army's potential game-tying drive stalled on the 1-yard line as time expired in a 21-13 loss at No. 22 Washington. Later that same season, Army's two-point conversion try came within inches of the goal line in the final minute, allowing Notre Dame to escape Giants Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.) with a 28-27 win. Other close calls in subsequent years include: a 20-17 loss at Notre Dame in 1998 and a 49-35 defeat versus TCU in 1998. Sandwiched between those 1998 defeats by the Irish and Horned Frogs was a 35-7 loss to Air Force as the Black Knights endured a three-game stretch against ranked opponents that season.

Approaching the Century Mark
Army head coach Bobby Ross enters Friday's game needing just four victories to reach 100 collegiate head coaching wins. In 16 seasons on campus, spanning four different programs, Ross has carved a 96-87-2 (.524) record. Including nearly nine full seasons in the National Football League, in which he built a 77-68 (.531) ledger, Ross owns 173 career head coaching wins at both levels combined.

"New Look" Defense Shows Promise
Despite a 20-10 loss to Baylor last Saturday, Army's revamped 4-3 defensive scheme, replete with a host of talented but largely unproven young players, appears to be making strides. Army limited the Bears to just 351 total yards, the lowest aggregate by a Black Knight foe since UAB managed just 337 yards in a 24-9 win here at Michie Stadium on Nov. 1, 2003 (a span of 17 games). A year ago, the Black Knights allowed opponents to average 490.1 yards per outing, ranking last in the nation in total defense.

Takeaways by the "D"
Army's defense created three Baylor turnovers a week ago, intercepting two Bear passes and recovering one fumble. It was the Black Knights' highest takeaway total since they forced five turnovers in a 48-29 win over
Cincinnati here at Michie Stadium last Oct. 9. In 11 games a year ago, Army had only 18 takeaways (11 fumbles and seven interceptions).


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