Quick thoughts: Boston College

Some quick, random thoughts on Army’s 34-31 win over Boston College Saturday.

Senior linebacker Nate Combs’ wicked hit on Boston College wide receiver Bobby Swigert set the tone for Army. Combs send a message to Boston College and his teammates that it was going to be a high-energy game.

The decision to name Combs and senior quarterback Trent Steelman is well-deserving and maybe is a few games too late. Army used senior game captains for the first four games. Didn’t understand why Combs and Steelman, a four-year starter, weren’t named captains of  the beginning of the season. I asked Army coach Rich Ellerson about senior leadership at his press conference earlier in the week. I mentioned Stephen Anderson, Army’s two-time captain (2009-10) and how leaders of Anderson’s ilk are hard to find. Ellerson said Combs is a pretty, good second choice.

Give senior safety Kyler Martin and junior safety Thomas Holloway a lot of credit for being ready to play and having an impact when called on Saturday. Martin, who started the last four games of 2011 at strong safety, had last played on defense in the fourth quarter of Army’s season opener at San Diego State. Martin knocked away a pass, which forced Boston College to punt in Army’s territory in the third quarter. Holloway, who had not played in the last two games, led Army with nine tackles after replacing Ty Shrader, who was injured in the second quarter. Holloway is one of the most positive players I’ve met. At practice Wednesday, Holloway was encouraging his teammates from the sidelines, pumping them up. It almost took me back to high school game. Holloway’s passion was pure enthusiasm for the game.

Army’s offense struggled inside Boston College’s 20-yard line. The Black Knights scored just three points on three straight trips deep into Boston College territory in the second half.   Arny ran 12 times for just 28 yards on plays, which started inside BC’s 20, on the three drives.

Once again, Army’s starting offensive line went the distance. Tackles Ben Jebb and Momo Kime are playing through nagging injuries.

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