Quick thoughts: Morgan State

Jeff Monken was genuinely upset with his team’s play despite leading Morgan State 29-3 at halftime.

Army scored two touchdowns in the final 2:45 of the first half to separate from the Bears.

Army’s offensive line and fullbacks appeared to have received Monken’s halftime message of blocking better and running harder on the interior. Fullbacks Andy Davidson, Darnell Woolfolk and Cole Macek combined for 220 yards on 20 carries in the second half.

Believe it was the first time in Army history that three fullbacks (Davidson, Woolfolk and Macek) had 100 or more rushing yards in the same game.

100-yard rushing games this season: Andy Davidson 5; Ahmad Bradshaw 2; Cole Macek 2; Darnell Woolfolk 1.

Army scored 60 points or more for the third time this season. Only Ohio State and Louisville have had three 60-point games in 2016.

Blake Wilson’s 47-yard field goal was a confidence booster for the junior kicker. But, Army continues to have blunders in the kicking game that can’t happen on Dec. 10 if the Black Knights expect to beat Navy. Malik McGue fumbled two punt returns. He probably should have called for a fair catch on the first one. Yes, Army does coach its punt returners to make fair catches…Scott Flanick’s snap on a extra point sailed over Wilson’s head and the attempt failed. Jermaine Adams had a 10-yard punt.

Don’t think Army wanted to take a delay-of-game penalty on Adams’ first punt. But, it worked out for the best as Adams’ punt was downed at Morgan State’s 2 by Kell Walker after Rhyan England kept the ball from going into the end zone.

Jeremy Timpf’s 10 tackles Saturday leave the senior linebacker three shy of becoming Army’s 11th player with 300 or more career tackles.
Army’s career tackle list: 1. Mike McElrath (1989-92) 436; 2. Jim Gentile (1981-84) 376; 3. John Hillard (1976-79) 366; 4. Kevin Czarnecki (1991-93) 352; 5. Greg Washington (2001-04) 334; 6. Mike Williams (1980-82) 333; 7. Brian Zickefoose (1999-2001) 327; 8. Ryan Kent (2001-03) 325; 9. Caleb Campbell (2004-07) 307; 10. Jason Frazier (1999-2002) 306; 11. Jeremy Timpf (2014-current) 297; 26. Andrew King (2013-16) 245. 

Senior linebacker Andrew King recorded his 14th career sack with a third-quarter takedown of Morgan State quarterback Chris Andrews. King is now No. 2 on Army’s all-time sack list behind Josh McNary (28).

Army’s six sacks against Morgan State increased the Black Knights’ season total to 23. It’s Army’s highest sack total since 24 in 2010. McNary accounted for 10 of the 24 that year. Alex Aukerman leads Army with 5.5 sacks. Four players have three sack or more – King (5); Kenneth Brinson (4); James Nachtigal (3.5) and John Voit (3).

Sophomore linebacker Jarrod Jones made the tackles on Army’s first three kickoffs of the game. Jones entered the game with one tackle on special teams.

Don’t know if it was necessary for Army to score the game’s final touchdown with 43 seconds.

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Branch assignments

Army seniors received their branch assignments following graduation Thursday night.

Linebacker Jeremy Timpf, offensive lineman Colby Enegren, defensive end Eddy Ruzga, defensive end Jordan Smith and kicker Mitchell Howard will branch field artillery.

While, linebacker Andrew King, slotback Joe Walker and fullback PaulAndrew Rhoden will begin their active-duty careers as infantry officers.

Here’s a list of the branch assignments:

Colby Enegren – Field Artillery
Mitchell Howard – Field Artillery
Steven Johnson – Signal Corps (Infantry)
Matt Kaufmann – Signal Corps (Infantry)
Andrew King – Infantry
Xavier Moss – Engineers
PaulAndrew Rhoden – Infantry
Eddy Ruzga – Field Artillery
Gervon Simon – Ordinance
Jordan Smith – Field Artillery
Elijah St. Hilaire – Signal Corps (Infantry)
Jeremy Timpf – Field Artillery
Joe Walker – Infantry

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Bowl chances improve for Army

Jerry Palm of CBS Sports has some good news for Army football and its fans in his latest blog projection.

Palm says if there’s not enough bowl-eligible teams (80 are needed) Army will be the first in line for a bowl bid from the remaining teams.

Guess Academic Progress Rate isn’t the next criteria for eligibility. Maybe, overall record is.

According to my calculations,  64 teams have qualified for bowls and 19 teams still have a chance to become bowl-eligible for the remaining 16 spots.

Palm is now predicting Army to play Houston (9-2) in the Military Bowl at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, of all places.

Below is a list of the bowl-eligible teams and the potential bowl-eligible teams left with their final opponents.

Note: Palm says Army will go ahead of Hawaii (5-7) even if Hawaii defeats UMass Saturday.

Bowl-eligible teams

ACC (9): Clemson (10-1); Louisville (9-2); Florida State (8-3); North Carolina (8-3); Virginia Tech (8-3); Georgia Tech (7-4); Miami, Fla. (7-4); Pittsburgh (7-4); Wake Forest (6-5).
American Athletic (7): Houston (9-2); South Florida (9-2); Temple (8-3); Navy (8-2); Tulsa (8-3), Memphis (7-4), Central Florida (6-5).
Big 12 (5): Oklahoma (9-2); Oklahoma State (9-2); West Virginia (8-2); Kansas State (6-4); Baylor (6-4).
Big Ten (7): Michigan (10-1); Ohio State (10-1); Nebraska (9-2); Penn State (9-2); Wisconsin (9-2); Minnesota (8-3); Iowa (7-4).
Conference USA (4): Western Kentucky (8-3); Louisiana Tech (8-3); Old Dominion (8-3); Middle Tennessee State (7-4).
Independents (1): BYU (7-4).
Mid-American (5): Western Michigan (11-0); Toledo (9-2); Ohio (7-4); Central Michigan (6-5); Eastern Michigan (6-5).
Mountain West (6): Boise State (10-1); San Diego State (9-2); Air Force (8-3);Wyoming (8-3); New Mexico (7-4); Colorado State (6-5).
Pac-12 (6): Washington (10-1); Colorado (9-2); Stanford (8-3); USC (8-3); Utah (8-3); Washingtonville State (8-3).
SEC (10): Alabama (11-0); Florida (8-2); Auburn (8-3); Texas A&M (8-3); Tennessee (8-3); Arkansas (7-4); Georgia (7-4); LSU (6-4); Kentucky (6-5); South Carolina (6-5).
Sun Belt (4): Troy (8-2); Appalachian State (8-3); Arkansas State (6-4); Idaho (6-4).

Teams that still have chance to be bowl-eligible

South Alabama (5-5, Saturday at Idaho, Dec. 3 New Mexico State); TCU (5-5, Friday at Texas, Dec. 3, Kansas State); Akron (5-6, Tuesday at Ohio); Arizona State (5-6, Friday at Arizona); Boston College (5-6, Saturday at Wake Forest); Indiana (5-6, Saturday, Purdue); Maryland (5-6, Saturday, Rutgers); Miami, Ohio (5-6, Tuesday, Ball State)

North Carolina State (5-6, Friday at North Carolina); North Texas (5-6, Saturday at UTEP); Northwestern (5-6, Saturday, Illinois); Ole Miss (5-6, Saturday, Mississippi State); SMU (5-6, Saturday, Navy); Southern Mississippi (5-6, Friday, Louisiana Tech); Texas (5-6, Friday, TCU); Texas-San Antonio (5-6, Saturday, Charlotte); Vanderbilt (5-6, Saturday, Tennessee); Hawaii (5-7, Saturday, UMass); Louisiana-Lafayette (4-6, Saturday, Arkansas State; Dec. 3 at Louisiana-Monroe).

Teams with seven or more losses
Ball State (4-7); California (4-7); Charlotte (4-7); Cincinnati (4-7); Duke (4-7); Florida International (4-7); Georgia Southern (4-7); Louisiana-Monroe (4-7); Mississippi State (4-7); Nevada (4-7); Northern Illinois (4-7); Notre Dame (4-7); Oregon (4-7); Syracuse (4-7); Texas Tech (4-7); UCLA (4-7); UNLV (4-7)

New Mexico State (3-7); Bowling Green (3-8); East Carolina (3-8); Florida Atlantic (3-8); Georgia State (3-8); Illinois (3-8); Iowa State (3-8); Kent State (3-8); Marshall (3-8); Michigan State (3-8); Missouri (3-8); Oregon State (3-8); Purdue (3-8); Rice (3-8); San Jose State (3-8); Tulane (3-8); UConn (3-8); Utah State (3-8); UTEP (3-8).

Texas State (2-8); Arizona (2-9); Buffalo(2-9); Kansas (2-9); Massachusetts (2-9); Rutgers (2-9); Virginia (2-9); Fresno State (1-10).

 

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Sunday reading/viewing: Morgan State

Photographer Josh Conklin and I was walking onto the Blaik Field at Michie Saturday during pregame when we were stopped and asked if we were shooting Army’s final home game against Morgan State.

Morgan State linebacker Rico Kennedy told us his story about his friendship with the late Brandon Jackson, Army’s cornerback who passed away in a car accident. Kennedy would wear No. 28 in honor of Jackson Saturday. He asked Josh to take a picture of him during pregame remembering Jackson by the No. 28 painted at the 28-yard line.

Read more on Kennedy’s moving story here.

Game story: Edgar Poe & Black Knights set sights on Navy after sixth win. Link here.

Good, bad and ugly: Army’s six sacks increased its season total to 23, the program’s most since 2010. Link here.

Josh Conklin’s photo gallery

VIDEO: KnightCap

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and SoundCloud @salinterdonato. Started a Facebook page, solely for Army coverage. Here’s the link.

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KnightCap: Morgan State

Army’s inconsistent play was keeping Morgan State in the Black Knights’ home finale.

Army led the Division I-AA team 13-3 deep into the second quarter.

Jordan Asberry’s 50-yard touchdown woke up the crowd and began a run of 47 unanswered Army points in a 60-3 victory.

Here’s a video recap includes Andy Davidson, Darnell Woolfolk and Cole Macek eclipsing 100 yards, Army’s setting its sights on Navy and Morgan State linebacker Rico Kennedy’s tribute to Brandon Jackson.

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and SoundCloud @salinterdonato. Started a Facebook page, solely for Army coverage. Here’s the link.

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Postgame Morgan State: Poe, Woolfolk, Gilbert, Timpf, Monken

Is this the year Army beat Navy?

Army senior wide receiver Edgar Poe said he’s tired of getting asked that question every day.

After Army’s 60-3 win over Morgan State for the Black Knights’ sixth victory, Poe said his team is now setting its sights on Navy and snapping a 14-game losing streak to the Midshipmen on Dec. 10 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

Coach Jeff Monken’s postgame, locker-room speech was geared toward the Navy game.

“We talked after the game about focusing on the next one,” Monken said. “We play in three weeks in the biggest football game. I don’t know a bigger football game.”

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and SoundCloud @salinterdonato. Started a Facebook page, solely for Army coverage. Here’s the link.

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Pregame blog: Morgan State

Junior quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw will make his 10th start of the season.

Bradshaw didn’t play quarterback last week against Notre Dame due to a knee injury.

Junior kicker Blake Wilson worked with top snapper Scott Flanick during warmups.

Morgan State linebacker Rico Kennedy will wear No. 28 in honor of Army cornerback Brandon Jackson, who passed away during a car accident on Sept. 11. Jackson and Kennedy were teammates at Army Prep in 2014.

Kicker John Abercrombie and punter Travis Vosvick, who made the team after a tryout this week, are not dressed.

Freshmen dress list: QB Joey Benden; QB Kelvin Hopkins, CB Jaylon McClinton, LB Ryan Parker; QB-PR Malik McGue; LB Jake Ellington; CB Malik Hancock; CB Elijah Riley; RB Donovan Franklin; CB Richard Hansen; RB Kell Walker; LB Donavan Lynch; S Cameron Jones; FB Connor Slomka; LB Jacob Covington; T Alex Herndon; LB Rashaad Bolton; T Kyle Wilkins; LB Cole Christiansen; G Mike Johnson; G Jaxson Deaton; OL Jack Sides; WR Michael Toure; DE Amadeo West

VIDEO: Edgar Poe on Senior Day

VIDEO: Senior Day ceremony

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and SoundCloud @salinterdonato. Started a Facebook page, solely for Army coverage. Here’s the link.

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Army adds Abercrombie, Vosvick to roster after kicking tryout

Three days before the final home game of the season, Army held a tryout for kickers and punters after the team’s practice Wednesday.

Army players, including its kickers and punters, stayed and watched the tryouts.

Following the tryouts, coach Jeff Monken said he was keeping a sprint football player and a soccer player.

Sophomore John Abercrombie and senior Tanner Vosvick are the newest members of the football team in the 12th week of the college football season.

Abercrombie made 8-of-10 field goals with a long of 44 yards for the sprint football team this fall.

Vosvick was a captain for the Black Knights soccer team this season. He started 62 games and scored three goals and six assists in his career. Vosvick was the Patriot League’s rookie of the year in 2013.

Army’s season-long, special-teams struggles are well-chronicled. Mitchell Howard and Blake Wilson have combined to make 5-of-11 field goals, ranking 107th in the nation. The Black Knights rank 120th out of 128 Division I-A teams in net punting (34.10). Junior wide receiver Jermaine Adams has been the team’s most effective punter.

When asked if Army’s newest kickers would play against Morgan State Saturday, Monken said, “Probably not this Saturday but maybe the next time that we play…Desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Army wraps up its regular season against Navy on Dec. 10 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope or SoundCloud. Started a Facebook page, solely for Army coverage. Here’s the link.

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Notebook: Banged-up fullbacks, kicker wanted

Maybe, Army’s recent slide is directly related to the health of fullback Andy Davidson.

Davidson recorded four 100-yard efforts in Army’s first five games. The sophomore hasn’t been the same since injuring his shoulder early against Lafayette on Oct. 15. Davidson has rushed for 152 yards since and hasn’t scored a touchdown in five games. He didn’t receive a carry in a limited role against Notre Dame last Saturday.

“Andy hasn’t looked like himself for a good while and that’s a little concerning,” Army coach Jeff Monken said. “I thought at the beginning of the year he really looked different and we was making a difference for us. I know he’s struggled with some injuries. Frankly, I would like to get him healthy where he looks like himself again.”

Monken said Davidson has tried to play through shoulder, knee and ankle injuries.

Fullback Darnell Woolfolk didn’t start against Notre Dame but the sophomore finished as Army’s leading rusher with 95 yards. Woolfolk was questionable to play after suffering an apparent shoulder injury in practice last Tuesday.

“Frankly those two guys (Davidson and Woolfolk) are at the top of the depth chart and Cole (Macek) got the start on Saturday,” Monken said. “He was the healthiest one out of all of them and he did some good things. We are going to really try to be careful with those guys (Davidson and Woolfolk) and try to have them a full strength on Saturday (against Morgan State). We feel like we need the whole group of those guys. When we can play them all and rotate them in and have fresh legs in there, I think it makes us better on offense.”

Army has two weeks off after Saturday’s final home game against Morgan State. Time for Davidson and Woolfolk to heal up before the Army-Navy game on Dec. 10.

Monken is more than aware and concerned about Army’s kicking issues. He rattled off a stat that Mitchell Howard and Blake Wilson’s combined 5-for-11 on field goals, ranks Army 107th in the country.

“It’s not very good,” Monken said. “We have to go find a kicker. Mitch was recruited and Blake Wilson was recruited. The two freshmen (David Cooper and Caleb Watkins) that we have were recruited. It is what it is.”

How does Army solve its kicking issues? Is Army holding a competition to see who kicks Saturday?

“You go for two (points),” Monken said. “I don’t know what else you do but go for it.”

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and SoundCloud @salinterdonato. Started a Facebook page, solely for Army coverage. Here’s the link.

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Morgan State week: Jeff Monken presser

Army coach Jeff Monken met the media Tuesday ahead of his team’s final home game against Morgan State Saturday.

Monken spoke the Black Knights’ chances of making a bowl here:

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    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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