Scouting Report: Army

The Navy Midshipmen (4-7) face off with the Army Black Knights (3-8) in the 112th annual Army-Navy Game in Landover, Maryland. The Mids' have won the previous nine encounters against the Cadets and lead the Black Knights 55-49-7 overall in the historic rivalry.

Army quarterback Trent Steelman suffered a high-ankle sprain against Vanderbilt and returned only to suffer a leg injury in his second snap against Temple. Army coach Rich Ellerson has stated that Steelman will get the start against the Mids' after having three weeks to recover. Steelman is 20 for 39 with two touchdowns on the year and as many interceptions. Against Tulane and Miami (Ohio) he completed 100 percent of his passes, going 11-11 with a TD pass in each. The signal caller is also the Cadet's second-leading rusher in the triple-option offense, running for 583 yards and 11 TDs.

The Black Knights are currently on a three game skid after their 55-0 thrashing of Fordham. Army led Air Force 14-0 at halftime but was unable to stop the Falcons, who scored 24 unanswered points in the third quarter. The Cadets outgained the Falcons 366-301 but five costly turnovers would result in 13 points for Air Force.

The Army triple option offense is led by sophomore Raymond Maples who has rushed for 984 yards and four TDs, averaging 7.4 yards per carry. Freshmen Larry Dixon has made a splash in his first year for the Cadets, reaching the end zone five times and accumulating 477 yards over the season. Fullback Jared Hassin has done good work blocking for the Black Knights while gaining 443 yards and a TD of his own.

Against another common opponent with the Mids' in Rutgers, the Black Knights would capitalize on good field position early and jump to a 6-0 lead in the first. A failed fourth-and-2 conversion attempt on the Rutgers 40-yard line would give the Scarlet Knights good field position. Rutgers would miss the extra point to leave the game tied at 6-6.

The Cadets never turned the ball over against Rutgers and dominated the time of possession by 10 minutes. However, in the fourth quarter a blocked punt returned for a touchdown would put the game out of reach for Army who would fall to the Scarlet Knights 27-12.

While Army holds the top ranked rushing attack in the country averaging over 350 yards per game, the Black Knights passing offense ranks last in the FBS behind Navy. The Cadets average just 48 yards per game through the air. Senior Davyd Brooks is the top receiver with 137 yards and one TD. Junior Malcolm Brown is the second leading receiver, averaging 23 yards per catch. Army has yet to have a receiver reach double figures in receptions this season.

The Black Knights tout a linebacker corps that's filled with leadership this season. Steve Erzinger leads the team with 92 tackles, 7½ for a loss and three sacks. Beside Erzinger is Andrew Rodriguez who has 55 tackles, an interception and two fumbles recovered. Rodriguez was recently named the winner of the William V. Campbell Trophy, an award for the nation's top football scholar-athlete.

Sophomore Thomas Holloway has made an impression this year for the Cadets; he's the second leading tackler with 72, and an interception. Defensive tackle A.J. Mackey has 34 tackles, 6½ for a loss and quarterback hurry.

In their last matchup against Temple, the Cadets were ripped apart by the ground attack of Bernard Pierce and Matt Brown who rushed for a combined 290 yards and five TDs. Things would get ugly early as the Owls would jump out to a 28-0 at half before Army could get points on the board. Temple would capitalize on good field position as Army punter Chris Boldt had punts of 13 and 26 yards, averaging 30 yards per punt on the day.

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