Tuesday Takeaways: Buffalo week

The news was positive on the injury front following Saturday’s game at Oklahoma.

Jeff Monken reported no major injures from Army’s overtime thriller.

“(Safety) Max Regan was a little dinged up,” Monken said. “He practiced some. (Safety Jaylon) McClinton was a little banged up but he practiced the whole day. There’s some bumps and bruises but for the most part, we came out it pretty good.”

How Army comes out physically from games against Power Five schools can be concerning. Army lost starting fullback Darnell Woolfolk and starting safety Rhyan England to knee injuries at Ohio State last season.

But, it was Oklahoma, which had a few players come off the field banged up. Not Army.

“I think probably a lot of it is by chance,” Monken said. “Woolfolk got hurt against Ohio State on the opening play. He played the rest of the game but he took that shot right on the knee. He had to have surgery…It was one of those freak things. England hurt his knee so it wasn’t just getting pounded. It was just some things that happened. Fortunately playing Oklahoma Saturday night, we didn’t have those injuries. I supposed those can happen regardless of who you are playing.”

How did Army rush the ball for 339 yards and move the ball against Oklahoma’s defense? Monken pointed to the offensive line’s play.

“I was really proud of our offensive line and how they did go in there and battle,” Monken said. “That comes through maximizing the potential that they have to grow and maximizing their potential as an athlete to play with great fundamentals, technique and effort.

“I thought Oklahoma played really hard and with effort. That’s what made it fun to be out there and battle. They have a great football team and a very talented team but those guys play like a championship team. I watched their offensive line and after plays they are trying to get after guys and chase after guys. That’s the way our guys play and that’s why they were able to slug around and I guess hold their own.”

Senior John Abercrombie replaced sophomore Landon Salyers on extra points Saturday. Abercrombie, a former sprint football kicker, made all four of his extra points. Monken said if Army advanced into field-goal range late in the fourth quarter that he likely would have used Abercrombie. Salyers remained Army’s kickoff specialist.

“He (Abercrombie) had just kicked it better throughout the week,” Monken said. “In pregame warmups, we just felt like he was more accurate and more prepared at that point to be the guy on Saturday.”

Will the kicking competition continue in practice this week?

“There’s a practice battle at every position I hope and certainly at that one,” Monken said.

 

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    Sal Interdonato

    Award-winning writer Sal Interdonato has been on the Army football beat since 2007. He'll take you inside the huddle and into the lives of the Black Knights. Read Full
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