Army (1-6): Lost to Eastern Michigan, 48-38. Every Army game is pretty much the same. The offense piles on the yards and points, but makes too many mistakes to bail out a horrible defense.
This might be the worst one yet for Army, who fell to a previously winless Eastern Michigan team. EMU’s defense used the ol’ 4-4 cover 3 with the safety playing the pitch man, and Army was able to score every single time they were able to make their blocks. That isn’t hyperbole, either; the Black Knights had touchdown runs of 55, 73, and 75 yards. The problem is that they just weren’t able to carry out their blocking assignments consistently enough. This is the second week in a row where that has been the case, and it cost them. Army also fumbled the ball 5 times (losing 2), including a botched snap on a punt that gave EMU the ball on the Army 13. That put Army in a 14-0 hole right off the bat, and they were never able to recover.
Still, when you score 38 points and roll up 413 rushing yards, that should be good enough to win most games. Unfortunately for Army, Eastern Michigan’s offense appears to be hitting its stride. They were able to put up over 600 yards on a very good Toledo team a week ago, and followed that up with 577 yards on Saturday. Army’s defense is just plain slow. They gave up 13(!) plays of 20+ yards, including three touchdowns.
This game was Army’s best shot at a win the rest of the year. Looking at their schedule, things don’t get any easier, starting with a 5-3, pass-happy Ball State team coming to Michie this week.
Air Force (4-3): Beat New Mexico, 28-23. I said last week that this game would be a big test for Air Force, but I didn’t think it would be this interesting. New Mexico RB Kasey Carrier set the Mountain West record by rushing for 338 yards. New Mexico’s pistol-based option offense rolled up 409 rushing yards, and the Lobos outgained Air Force by nearly 80 yards.
So how on earth did Air Force win this game? Three reasons. 1. New Mexico drove all the way to the Air Force 1-yard line on their first possession, but settled for a field goal. 2. Alex Means was able to tip and intercept a swing pass as New Mexico was driving late in the 2nd quarter, returning it 65 yards for a touchdown. 3. New Mexico played the entire second half WITHOUT A QUARTERBACK. Seriously. The Lobos only have two scholarship QBs on their roster, and Bob Davie told the sideline reporter after halftime that neither would be available the rest of the game due to injuries. They basically ran nothing but “wildcat” plays the rest of the way, rotating three different players at the quarterback position.
The craziest part is that it almost worked. After recovering an Air Force fumble on their own 40, New Mexico was able to drive 60 yards to take the lead in the 3rd quarter. Air Force scored on its next two possessions to take a two-score lead, but New Mexico was able to cut it to 28-23 after Kasey Carrier ran for a 37-yard TD. Another Air Force fumble gave the Lobos the ball with a chance to take the lead, but they couldn’t convert on 4th & 4 from the Air Force 12. Air Force ran out the clock after that.
I assume that Nevada (6-2) will have a quarterback when they visit Colorado Springs on Friday night.