This Week in Service Academy Football

Army (1-5): Lost to Kent State, 31-17. Unfortunately for Army, they couldn’t turn an exciting win over Boston College into momentum for the next week. Kent State spent most of the game in the “wishbone defense” (4-4 with a single safety deep to play the pitch). It’s a very beatable scheme, but Kent State defenders were able to make up for it by winning most of the individual 1-on-1 battles. Army’s offense did a little better in the second half and actually ended up gaining more yards than Kent State, but it was too little, too late.

If there’s a silver lining for Army, it’s that their defense really didn’t play that badly. They had no answer for Dri Archer, who ran for 222 yards on only 12 carries (including an 87-yard TD run to put the game away in the 4th quarter), but Kent State only managed 84 passing yards. The defense kept Army in the game while the offense was held scoreless in the first half. Army even had a chance to make it a one-score game in the 4th quarter, but couldn’t convert on a 4th down from the Kent State 11 yard line. The game might have been even closer if Rich Ellerson didn’t make a somewhat desperate decision to go for it on 4th & 1 from his own 38 in the 3rd quarter. They failed to convert, and it led to a Kent State field goal.

My impression while watching this game was that the Army offense just had a bad day. They’ll get back on track soon enough. If their defense really is improving, then the second half of their season could get a lot more interesting.

Air Force (3-3): Beat Wyoming, 28-27. Wyoming blew a 27-14 lead and fell to 1-5. The turning point in the game came in the 3rd quarter, when Connor Dietz ran for 48 yards on a draw play on 3rd & 8 that kept alive what would become a 95-yard touchdown drive. Air Force’s defense held Wyoming to their only 3 & out after that, and the Falcons took the lead with a 16-play, 67-yard drive on the ensuing possession. Air Force’s defense continued to struggle, as the Cowboys actually out-rushed Air Force, 252-230. Wyoming was also starting a freshman backup quarterback, with starter Brett Smith out with an injury. Jason Thompson went 23-for-36 for 195 yards and a TD.

It might be a Pyrrhic victory for Air Force, depending on how badly Cody Getz is hurt. Getz left the game on the go-ahead TD drive with an ankle injury and did not return. His status for this weekend’s game against is unclear. Once upon a time that wouldn’t have been too big of a concern against New Mexico, but Bob Davie’s Lobos are born again hard and will be a big test for Air Force.

Getting more attention than the game itself is the postgame non-handshake between coaches. Dave Christensen chose instead to hurl a few choice words at Troy Calhoun. When asked about the confrontation after the game, Christensen said that he felt that the Air Force coaches told Connor Dietz to fake an injury in order to avoid having to call timeout. On what would turn out to be the game-winning drive, Dietz lost his helmet on 2nd & goal. By rule, that meant that he had to leave the game, and he started walking toward the sideline. Then, for some reason, he decided to sit down and have the trainers come look at him. Christensen claims that Air Force coaches told Dietz to sit in order to have extra time to set up the next play with his backup, Kale Pearson.

It certainly looked shady the way Dietz left the field, and there’s no doubt that the extra time was a big advantage for Air Force. If you’re on defense, you want nothing more than a backup quarterback rushed onto the field to call & run a play in that situation. I couldn’t see on television whether or not the Air Force coaches told Dietz to go down, so the coaches themselves are probably the only ones who know the truth. What we do know is that now Troy Calhoun is using the incident to reflect on the First Amendment, which makes him the biggest tool on earth regardless of whether or not he actually cheated.

12 thoughts on “This Week in Service Academy Football

  1. Edgar

    “Biggest tool on earth”

    I love it. Couldn’t have said it better.

    I might be the only Navy die hard who operates this way, but I basically root for Army to win all of their non-Navy games. when we play the Black Knights, i want a crushing Navy victory every time, of course. It’s not that way for Air Force. Not only do I want Navy to destroy them, I root for the Zoomies to suffer heartbreaking losses each and every week–especially against the watered-down Mountain West.

  2. newt91

    If Getz is out for a while that could really hurt AF. when i rewatched the AF game i was even more impressed with him than during the actual game. he’s both quick and tough to bring down.

  3. TJ

    I think we just discovered “Calhoun’s Law” … when Troy Calhoun starts talking about the Constitution, you know he’s covering something up.

    You can also substitute “Constitution” with “Soviet Presidium”, “F-105 Grey”, or “Academics.”

  4. kevin

    Man AF schedule is mega easy this year. I figured they would have a tough time making a bowl as a 3-3 team after playing three 1 win teams and a FCS. But the MWC has more mediocre teams left…. The WAC, with 7 teams, is better than them. Army has a tougher schedule.

  5. 81Zoltan

    AF scored with 7:45 left in the game to take the lead. Plenty of time to work up the field for a game winning FG. Wyoming needs to look in the mirror before assigning blame. “Cowboy up Wyoming.”

  6. USMC06

    “I may not like what people say, but I’ll defend to the death their right to say it…” is a platitude only used by someone who has never had to defend anything to the death. He may not be a cheater or an idiot, but he’s definitely a tool and a fraud.

    Just answer the question TC, and stop trying to act like you can teach those kids anything about military service. You’re not qualified.


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