Army (0-3): Lost to Wake Forest, 49-37. Remember back in 2007, when Navy’s defense was so bad that the first time the offense didn’t “hold serve,” the game was pretty much over? That’s Army now. The Black Knights went into halftime with the lead, and Wake Forest responded with a touchdown on the opening drive of the second half to take it back. On Army’s next possession, and errant pitch gave Wake Forest the ball on the Army 25. Three plays later, Wake Forest had a two-score lead that they never relinquished.
You can make a very legitimate argument that right now, Army’s offense is playing the best out of all the service academies. If you were to rank the defenses, though, it’d look like this: 1. Air Force 2. Navy 3. Merchant Marine 4. Coast Guard 5. Navy Sprint 6. Royal Military College of Canada club team (12 players make all the difference) 7. Army. As bad as Army’s defense is playing, though, keep one thing in mind: Navy’s lousy 2007 defense played their best games against Air Force and Army.
Air Force (1-2): Lost to UNLV, 38-35. The Falcons’ trip to Las Vegas was sort of like the Army game, with both teams’ offenses moving the ball almost at will in the first half. Air Force had the lead at halftime, but their offense wasn’t the same after losing a fumble in the third quarter. While the Falcons finished with 352 rushing yards, more than half of that total came in the first quarter. They were out-rushed by UNLV 199-172 over the last three.
The dirty little secret in service academy football is that the Air Force defense is as bad as the other two, even if perception is otherwise after they managed to keep things close against Michigan. Giving up 422 yards to Wolverines isn’t all that bad in the big picture, but Air Force also gave up 431 to Idaho State in week one. That UNLV was able to pick up almost 450 probably shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.
This was a UNLV team that was starting a freshman quarterback and was 0-3 going into the game, including a loss to Northern Arizona. They are not good. Navy fans know after last year that close losses to BCS programs don’t mean anything. If any Air Force fan didn’t learn that lesson in 2006, they have by now.