Prediction time: Kent State

At last check, Army is a 5-point road favorite at winless Kent State Saturday afternoon.

Army (2-4) is 2-0 against Mid-American Conference teams this season with wins over Buffalo and Ball State.

The last time Army played at Kent State’s Dix Stadium it left with a 45-28 win and clinched a berth in the Armed Forces Bowl in 2010.

The Black Knights have not won a regular-season game at an opponent’s stadium since.

Army must win this game to keep its slim bowl hopes alive. The Black Knights need four wins in its next five games to qualify for this season’s Armed Forces Bowl.

Kent State averages less than 12 (11.8) points per game. Army allows more than 35 points per game.

Sal Interdonato (Times Herald-Record Army football beat writer): Army 31, Kent State 21. Coach Jeff Monken will have his team prepared to play. The Black Knights won’t take Kent State lightly.  Running back Terry Baggett should have big day if Army can get him close to 10 carries.
Will Montgomery (Times Herald-Record sports reporter): Army 28, Kent State 17

Predictions from around the college football universe
Brian Pedersen (Bleacher Report): Army 27, Kent State 21.

For more on the game, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato

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Inside the numbers: Army passing

It’s no secret.

Opposing defenses have loaded up at the line of scrimmage to stop Army’s run.

Would more passing on first down push back the second level of  defense a step or two?

Looking purely at the stats, defense shouldn’t be too concerned about Army throwing on first down.

The Black Knights have attempted 19 first-down passes through its first six games. Nine of those passes came against Yale on Sept. 27.

Army is 9-of-19 for 123 yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions on first down this season.

My research shows 11 passes were called within a game’s normal flow. Three were attempted during a two-minute, drill-like situation.

Senior running back Tony Giovannelli has caught four passes on first down for 67 yards.

Here’s a game-by-game breakdown of Army’s first-down passing:

Buffalo (W 47-39): 1-1, 29 yards
Stanford (L 35-0): 0-1
Wake Forest (L 27-24): 1-2, 5 yards
Yale (L 49-43 OT): 6-9, 84 yards
Ball State (33-24): 0-1
Rice (L 41-21): 1-5, 7 yards

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato



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Player updates: Ryan Alexander, Rhyan England

Army’s coaching staff has shaken up the roster in the past few weeks.

The most notable moves are junior Ryan Alexander, who started at defensive end at Yale, to tackle, and freshman Rhyan England from running back to safety.

Coach Jeff Monken views Alexander as one of his best players in terms of toughness and maturity.

“We need some athletic guys and he’s more athletic than some of the guys,” Monken said. “We are sitting there saying who is the next guy if so and so goes down and who’s going to give us the best chance. If you say who are the best football players on our team and let’s get them in there at starting positions and get the other guys in there as backups, he’d be a guy (starting)…He helps us a lot more being able to play on the offensive line and take snaps than taking eight or 10 snaps on defensive line.”

England was a scout-team player at the start of the season due to Army’s senior heavy backfield. He was an all-state, first-team safety at Collins Hill (Ga.) last fall. Watching England in practice, he seems like the hard-nosed, tough football player that coach Monken is looking for.

“He’s only been over there (at safety) a couple of weeks,” Monken said. “Athletically, I think he’s going to be a good player. He’s a freshman, though. It takes some time.”

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato

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Coach Monken Tuesday presser wrap

Starting quarterback continues to be a main topic of Army coach Jeff Monken’s Tuesday press conference.

Monken sounds like he’s getting tired of talking about it.

Nothing has changed. Senior Angel Santiago and junior A.J. Schurr are evaluated in practice during the week. The starter will be who the coaches feel gives the team the best chance to win.

“One is not clearly so much better than the other, that it is a clear-cut decision,” Monken said. “I think both are very capable. If one of them gets hurt and the other one trots in there, I don’t think there’s a big change in what do. Other than jersey number, there really isn’t a difference between two.”

Monken said as the Rice game was going, “Angel got into a groove and we had discussions on the head set. I think both are good football players. At that point, we felt better leaving Angel in the game and letting it go.”

Monken said 0-6 Kent State sees Army as a team it can beat. “I don’t think anyone is shaking in their boots when we come to town. We’ve won two football games and we’ve won 10 over the last four seasons.”

Both teams should have a ” sense of urgency” to get a win, Monken said.

Monken said junior tackle Drew Hennessy has been limited by injury. He hopes to get Hennessy,  “back to where he can play a whole football game.

Army’s defense missed, “close to 20 tackles” against Rice, Monken said.

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter at @salinterdonato

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Monday quotables

Here are some thoughts from Army coach Jeff Monken, senior quarterback Angel Santiago, senior linebacker Steve Ricciardi and senior safety Hayden Pierce after Monday’s practice following a 41-21 loss to Rice Saturday:

“We are who we are. We are working to get better and our kids are trying and our coaches are working hard. I don’t have any lack of confidence that it (winning) is going to happen. I’d like for it to happen a lot sooner. There’s nobody less patient than I am.” coach Jeff Monken

“When we are hitting all of our assignments, we are breaking free for 20 or 30-yard run and hitting long pass plays. It’s just maintaining that and being more consistent. Once we improve on that, and that starts out here on the practice field, we are just going to move forward and be successful.” – senior quarterback Angel Santiago

“We have a whole new half (of the season), six more games, hopefully seven. We just need to focus on making our assignments and not trying to do too much and do what we were taught to do.” – senior linebacker Steve Ricciardi

“We lost that game (Rice) ourselves. There were no schematic problems, no anything. It was all on us messing up little things.” – senior safety Hayden Pierce

“Speaking for the senior class as well as the rest of the team, we believe that we can win.


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Recruiting update: Meares attends Rice game

John Carroll (Md.) DE-LB Julian Meares, who has verbally committed to Army, visited West Point this week and was in attendance for the Rice game.

Toms River (N.J.) South C-DT Kyle Hebrew and Tampa Catholic LB Cody Endris were also in attendance.

Army 2015 verbal commitments

OL Jake Baumert, 6-3, 300, Lovejoy HS, Lucas, Texas
S Rashaad Bolton, 5-11, 205, Veterans HS, Kathleen, Ga.
LB Jacob Covington, 6-2, 215, Liberty Hill (Texas) HS
DE T.J. Jackson, 5-11, 245, Trinity Christian HS, Jacksonville, Fla.
S James Gibson, 6-1, 200 Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.: Three-star recruit by Rivals. Voted top safety at Army’s second prospect camp in June.
CB Richard Hanson, 5-10, 170, Prince George (Va.) HS: Voted top cornerback at Army’s second prospect camp in June.
QB Kelvin Hopkins, 5-10, 194, Independence HS, Charlote, N.C.
CB Jaylon McClinton, 5-10, 185, Charlotte (N.C.) Christian HS
DE Julian Meares, 6-3, 219, John Carroll School, Bel Air, Md. Made unofficial visit to West Point and committed on July 17. Voted top defensive lineman at Army’s first prospect camp in June.
CB Markale Moses, 5-10, 164, Broken Arrow (Okla.) HS
LB Corey Sanders, 6-4, 215, The Woodlands (Texas): Verbally committed to Army at first prospect camp in June. Earned best linebacker at camp.
DT Tanner Sheffield, 6-3, 245, North Paulding HS, Dallas, Ga.: Verbally committed to Army on July 10.
RB Connor Slomka, 6-foot, 205, Pine-Richland HS, Gibsonia, Pa.
QB Troy Smith, 6-0, 185, Harker Heights (Texas) HS
RB Calen Taylor, 5-7, 160, Christian Brothers Collegiate, St. Louis, Mo.
DT Raymond Wright, 6-3, 265, Ardrey Kell HS, Charlotte, N.C.

Here’s a list of the high school players from the class of 2015, who have received an offer to play Army football.

Might be missing a few but a pretty solid list.

CB Roland Adams, 5-10, 202, Florence (Ala.) HS
S D’Angelo Amos, 6-1, 175, Meadowbrook HS, Richmond, Va.
TE Brion Anduze, 6-4, 225, Central Kitsap HS, Silverdale, Wash.: (COMMITTED to Arizona)
CB Aaquil Annoor, 5-11, 170, Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy: (COMMITTED to Furman)
WR Chad Artist, 6-3, 180, Logan (Utah) HS: Artist’s Hudl profile says he runs a 4.39-second, 40-yard dash. (COMMITTED to Utah State)
RB Jordan Asberry, 5-9, 165, Colerain HS, Cincinnati, Ohio: Navy and Air Force have also offered Asberry.
LB Colton Beebe, 6-3, 253, Piper HS, Kansas City, Kansas: Beebe has been offered by Air Force, Minnesota and Kansas. Made 159 tackles his junior season. 
DT Luc Bequette, 6-2, 290, Little Rock (Ark.) Catholic: Played junior season at Centennial High in Champaign, Ill. Also a center. (COMMITTED to California)
S Rashaad Bolton, 5-11, 205, Veterans HS, Kathleen, Ga.
OL-DL Grant Branch, 6-3, 272, Montini HS, Lombard, Ill.
RB Dominick Bragalone, 5-11, 205, South Williamsport (Pa.) HS
S Jaxon Brown, 6-1, 181, Regis HS, Eau Claire, Wisc.: Brown has verbally committed to North Dakota State but Army still offered the safety.
RB Jaylen Burgess, 6-foot, 210, Maryville (Tenn.) HS
T Christian Castleberry, 6-4, 270, Mesquite (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED to Arkansas State)
T-DE Nick Carmen, 6-4, 255, Mountain Pointe HS, Phoenix, Ariz.: (COMMITTED to Utah)
T-DT Nick Carnesale, 6-2, 260, Hammonton (N.J.) HS
T Tyler Carr, 6-6, 322, Southside (Ala.) HS: Carr is ranked the fourth-best offensive tackle nationally and the 30th-best player overall by Rivals. Has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Texas, Georgia and Nebraska among others. (COMMITTED to Auburn).
K-P Luke Carter, 6-1, 225, Wilson HS, Florence, S.C.
LB Dyson Chmura, 6-3, 212, Waukesha West (Wisc.) HS: The son of former Packers tight end Mark Chmura has potential to play on the offensive side of the ball.
OL Steven Clark, 6-2, 300, Brindlee Mountain HS, Guntersville, Ala.: (COMMITTED to South Alabama).
WR Glen Coates, 5-11, 172, Davidson (N.C.) Day HS: Also offered by Navy.
QB Austin Conway, 5-11, 165, Overland HS, Aurora, Colo.: Conway, a three-star football recruit by Rivals, has offers from Nebraska and Colorado among others. He’s also a highly-recruited basketball player. Indiana has offered Conway for hoops. COMMITTED to Wyoming (basketball).
K Jon Coppens, 6-foot, 185, Nolan Catholic HS, Fort Worth, Texas
DE Shawn Curtis, 6-3, 247, Ronald Reagan-Doral (Fla.) HS: Curtis also had offers from Illinois and Mississippi State among others.
DE Nick Czar, 6-3, 269, Highland (Ill.) HS: Former Army commit. (COMMITTED to Navy)
LB Trevor Darby 6-3, 210 Davidson (N.C.) Day HS: Navy has also offered Darby.
DL Jack Darnell, 6-3, 260, Champlin Park HS, Champlin, Minn.: (COMMITTED to North Dakota State)
RB Andrew Davidson, 6-2, 210, Emmaus (Pa.) HS
RB Charlie Davidson, 5-10, 200, Blackman HS, Munfreesboro, Tenn.
S Chuck Davis, 5-8, 160, Broad Run HS, Ashburn, Va.: Davis has received a scholarship offer from Wisconsin among others.
RB Taye Davis, 6-2, 225, Lebanon (Tenn.) HS
C-DT Tyler Davis, 6-2, 295, Waccamaw HS, Pawleys Island, S.C.
OG Pat DiCarlo, 6-3, 280, Foothill HS, Santa Ana, Calif.
CB Daivon Ellison, 5-9, 180, Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, N.J.: Second-team, all-state cornerback is the No. 27 prospect in New Jersey, according to Ellison top four schools are Boston College, Penn State, Rutgers and Syracuse. (COMMITTED to Syracuse)
C Josh Fannin, 6-3, 290, Mill Creek HS, Hoschton, Ga.: Fannin is ranked the nation’s 10th best center and Georgia’s 70th-best player by Rivals. (COMMITTED to Middle Tennessee State)
FB-LB Pena Fitisemanu, 6-foot,255, Kahuku (Hawaii) HS: Navy offered Fitisemanu before Army.
S Kyle Floyd, 6-3, 205, Humble (Texas) HS
DE Marques Ford, 6-4, 217, East Bay HS, Gibsonton, Fla.: Ranked the 14th-best defensive end and 48th-best player in Florida by Ford has offers from Clemson, Wisconsin, Miami (Fla.), Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Duke, N.C. State and among others. (COMMITTED to Tennessee)
RB Jonathan Forrest 5-11, 202, New Rochelle (N.Y.) HS: Forrest is ranked the second-best overall player in New York and the 50th-best running back in the country by Rivals.
RB Coleman Fox, 5-11, 190, Salem (Va.) HS: COMMITTED to Virginia Tech.
S Clay French, 6-2, 200, Northview HS, Duluth, Ga.: French has an unofficial visit to West Point planned for July 21.
LB Eric Gallon, 6-2, 220, Jenkins HS, Lakeland, Fla.: Buffalo, Bowling Green and Eastern Michigan are among the schools that have offered Gallon.
CB George Gbesee, 5-9, 170, Oakland HS, Murfreesboro, Tenn,
TE Jeff Gemmell, 6-3, 215, Heritage HS, Wake Forest, N.C.: (COMMITTED to UNC Charlotte)
C Michael Gomez, 6-foot, 270, Cary-Grove HS, Cary, Ill.
RB Evan Gray, 5-10, 228, Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.: Voted best running back at Army’s second prospect camp in June.
P Cory Griffith, 6,-2, 210, St. Ignatius HS, Cleveland, Ohio
T-DE Devin Hannan, 6-4, 270, Belle Vernon (Pa.) HS: (COMMITTED to Towson)
WR KiAnte Hardin, 5-10, 160, Webb City (Mo.) HS: (COMMITTED to Minnesota)
WR Jaylen Harris, 5-7, 150, Steele HS, Cibolo, Texas
G R.J. Harris, 6-3, 260, North Florida Christian HS, Tallahassee, Fla.
CB Montre Hartage, 6-foot, 180, Crisp County HS, Cordele, Ga.
LB Hayden Haupt, 6-2, 210, Clovis North HS, Fresno, Calif.
RB Robert Heyward, 6-foot, 195, Calvary Day School, Savannah, Ga.
WR Tabari Hines, 5-10, 165, South Florence HS, Florence, S.C.: (COMMITTED to Wake Forest)
LB Kendrick Jackson, 6-1, 235, Haynesville (La.) HS: (COMMITTED to Arizona)
QB Issac James, 5-11, 183 Carmel (Ind.) HS
QB William James, 6-2, 206, Morgan Park HS, Chicago, Ill.
OL Radson Jang, 6-2, 250, Kamehameha HS, Honolulu, Hawaii
WR-CB Brenndan Johnson, 5-11, 170, Midway HS, Waco, Texas: (COMMITTED to Navy)
RB Jalen Johnson, 5-9, 167, Westview HS, Avondale, Ariz.
C Andrew Jones, 6-foot, 280 Unionville HS, Kennett Square, Pa.
LB Cole Jones, 6-foot, 210, St Xavier HS, Cincinnati
DE Milord Juste, 6-1, 242, Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) HS: (COMMITTED to Florida International)
TE Christian Kelley, 6-2, 230, Mount Carmel (Pa.) HS: Kelley went on an unofficial visit to Army on June 17.
CB Lyrics Klugh, 5-11, 180, Byrnes HS, Duncan, S.C.
T Griffin Landrum, 6-3, 285, South Forsyth HS, Cumming, Ga.
DL Simeon Lane, 6-1, 300, St. Xavier’s HS, Cincinnati: (COMMITTED to Princeton)
LB-RB Noah Lazaro, 6-2, 215, Southwest HS, Lincoln, Neb.
DB Trey Lee, 5-10, 185, Thomas Stone HS, Waldorf, Md.
LB Gus Little 6-3, 224, Massaponax HS, Fredricksburg, Va.: (COMMITTED to Maryland)
DE Kirk Livingstone, 6-4, 235, Stranahan HS, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.: (COMMITTED to Alabama-Birmingham)
DE Dante Lonardo, 6-2, 248, Bethlehem Catholic (Pa.) HS: (COMMITTED to Lafayette)
K-P Davis Luster, 6-2, 180, Montgomery Bell HS, Nashville, Tenn.
RB DeAngelo Malone, 5-11, 185, Cathedral HS, Erie, Pa.
DT Thad Mangum, 6-1, 270, Christ Church Episcopal HS, Greenville, S.C.
RB Marcus Marshall, 5-10, 200, Millbrook HS, Raleigh, N.C.
S Andrew Martel, 6-1, 195, Foster HS, Richmond, Texas: (COMMITTED to Texas-San Antonio)
OL Mitch Mathes, 6-3, 280, Troup County HS, LaGrange, Ga.: (COMMITTED to Mercer)
C-NG Jamarion McBride, 6-2, 290, Hillcrest HS, Simpsonville, S.C.
WR Maxwell McCormick, 6-3, 193, St. John’s Jesuit HS, Toledo, Ohio
G Kyle-Malik Mitchell, 6-2, 295, Alcoa (Tenn.) HS
G Trenton Mooney, 6-5, 255, Lamar (Mo.) HS
CB Sammy Morrison, 5-11, 160 Gonzaga HS, Washington, D.C. (COMMITTED to Arizona)
NG Army Motuapuaka, 5-11, 285, Salem HS, Virginia Beach, Va.: Army is Motuapuaka’s first FBS offer. Father is first sergeant in Army. Brother is linebacker for Virginia Tech. Made unofficial visit to West Point on July 16.
DT Kevin Murphy, 6-3, 275, West Chester (Pa.) East HS (COMMITTED to UConn)
LB-FB Robert Muschamp, Darlington School, Rome, Ga.: A three-star recruit by Rivals, Muschamp is ranked as the 38th-best outside linebacker in the nation and the 41st-best player in Georgia.
DE Jalen Nash, 6-3, 235, SouthLake Christian HS, Huntersville, N.C.
WR Devin Nixon, 6-foot, 181, Viera (Fla.) HS
OL-DL Michael Owens, 6-4, 270, Nazareth Academy, LaGrange Park, Ill.
RB Devine Ozigbo, 5-11, 230, Sachse (Texas) HS: Rivals ranks Ozigbo the 42nd-best running back in the class of 2015. Texas back has 23 FBS offers (COMMITTED to Iowa State)
G Ethan Palelei, 6-foot, 290 Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas: Brother, Evan, was a senior defensive end at Navy last season. Father, Lonnie, played for Steelers, Eagles, Giants and Jets.
LB Charlie Patrick, 6-1, 208, Mays HS, Atlanta: Patrick has named his top three schools. In no particular order, Western Kentucky, Appalachian State and Georgia State. (COMMITTED to Georgia State).
DE Michael Peoples, 6-3, 265, Agua Fria HS, Avondale, Ariz.
K Matt Philichi, 5-9, 175, Bellarmine Prep, Tacoma, Wash.
WR Christian Philpott, 6-4, 203, North Florida Christian HS, Tallahassee, Fla.: Georgia state 1A 200 and 400-meter champion also has offers from Wisconsin, Miami (Fla.), Iowa State, Maryland, Central Florida and Louisville among others. (COMMITTED to Georgia Tech)
QB Elijah Robinson, 6-1, 174, Montclair HS, N.J. (COMMITTED to Boston College)
QB Rashad Robinson, 6-foot, 180, Hermitage HS, Richmond, Va.
WR Donovan Rooks, 6-2, 185, Yuma (Ariz.) Catholic HS,
LB-S Mykhael Sanford, 5-11, 190, Daphne (Ala.) HS
OL Nelson Santiago, 6-4, 266, Oakleaf HS, Orange Park, Fla.: Also has offers from Cincinnati, Western Kentucky and Florida International. (COMMITTED to South Alabama)
LB Ben Schrider, 6-4, 225, St. Mary’s College HS, Albany, Calif.
LB Gabriel Sewell, 6-foot, 215, Desert Hills HS, St. George, Utah
DT Lausii “Boogie” Sewell, 6-foot, 305, Desert Hills HS, St. George, Utah: (COMMITTED to Colorado)
QB Jeff Smith, 6-1, 170, Clearwater (Fla.) Central Catholic HS: (COMMITTED to Boston College)
LB-S Aron Spann, 6-2, 195, Dorman HS, Roebuck, S.C.
LB Jacquese Steen, 6-foot, 230, Skyline HS, Oakland, Calif.
WR Brad Stewart, 6-1, 190, Benedictine Military School, Savannah, Ga.
DL Roderick Stoddard, 6-foot, 250, Hillcrest HS, Simpsonville, S.C.
WR Bryce Sutherland, 6-1, 186, De La Salle HS, Chicago, Ill.
OL Nathan Thacker, 6-2, 250, Lord Botetourt HS, Daleville, Va.
DL Josh Uluocha, 6-3, 267, Stafford (Texas) HS: Uluocha received his first offer from Army. Texas State followed up with an offer on same day. (COMMITTED to Texas State)
RB Quaide Weimerskirch, 6-foot, 200 pounds, Pace HS, Milton, Fla. (COMMITTED to Louisiana-Lafayette)
QB McKinley Whitfield, 6-4, 195, Spiro (Okla.) HS: Army is recruiting Whitfield, who was named the top basketball player in his area, as an quarterback and an athlete. Rivals ranks Whitfield as the 13th-best player in the state of Oklahoma.
WR Kielan Whitner, 6-1, 178, Mountain View HS, Lawrenceville, Ga.: (COMMITTED to Appalachian State)
QB Greg Williams, 5-10, 193, Steele HS, Cibolo, Texas: (COMMITTED to Texas State)
QB Arion Worthman, 6-foot, 200 University HS, Normal, Ill.
C Kendel Wright, 6-3, 280, Mountain View HS, Lawrenceville, Ga.
DE Will Yancey, 6-4, 240, Landmark Christian HS, Fairburn, Ga.
LB Christian Young, 6-2, 215. Hough HS, Cornelius, N.C.

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato

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Postgame Rice: Coach Monken, Dixon, Santiago

Army coach Jeff Monken, fullback Larry Dixon and quarterback Angel Santiago comment after 41-21 loss to Rice at Michie Stadium.

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KnightCap: Rice

Will Montgomery and I break down Army’s 41-21 loss to Rice.

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Pregame blog: Rice

Senior running back Raymond Maples is out with an injury today.

Army is dressing two quarterbacks – senior Angel Santiago and junior A.J. Schurr – today.

Santiago took first-team snaps with center Matt Hugenberg during warmups.

Junior tight end Kelvin White will be the third string/emergency quarterback.

Senior guard Steve Shumaker is listed among the starters. Shumaker came off the bench and played 67 of 74 snaps against Ball State last week. Shumaker had started 28 straight games.

Senior safety Geoff Bacon will miss his second straight game with a leg injury.

Victor Ugenyi, a 2009 Army captain, is attending the game to watch his brother, Mike, a senior defensive end. Mike McElrath, Army’s all-time leading tackler, and Joel Davis, a Army 1995 captain, are also in attendance.

Grace Cashman, the daughter of Yankees general manager, and senior cadet Danny Trainor, the son of West Point dean Tom Trainor, will sing the National Anthem today.

For game updates, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato

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Pregame leftovers: Rice

Here are some notes and quotes haven’t made it to print or digital this week prior to Army’s home game against Rice Saturday.

Jeff Monken put in a call to his cousin Todd Monken, Southern Mississippi’s head coach, for a scouting report on Rice.

Southern Mississippi played Rice on Sept. 27. Rice won 41-23.

“He said they have a good football team and they play really hard,” Jeff Monken said. “He’s got a lot of respect for Rice and so do we. They have a great season last year, won 10 games and are well-coached. He’s (David Bailiff) done a great job of turning that program around, turning them into a conference champion and a well-respected football team.”

Monken said Rice’s 2-3 record, “is not indicative of the type of football team they are.”

Rice opened the season 0-3. The Owls lost 48-17 loss at then-No. 17 Notre Dame. Rice was defeated by then-No. 7 Texas A&M 48-10 in College Station and fell to Old Dominion 45-42.

“They lost to Old Dominion by three and those guys light up the scoreboard,” Monken said. “They score a lot of points. We played Old Dominion in the playoffs twice at Georgia Southern in 2011 and 2012. That quarterback (Taylor Heinicke) is a dynamite player.”

Sophomore fullback Aaron Kemper has emerged as an out of Army’s backfield the past two games. Kemper had a 74-yard run at Yale and scored his second career touchdown on a 9-yard burst against Ball State last week.

“He’s (Kemper) doing a good job,” Monken said. “He’s got really good feet. He’s not a burner speed-wise. He just has really good vision. He’s done some good things out in practice and he’s earned the opportunity to get out there. We’ve given him a chance to do that he’s done a nice job.”

Army offensive coordinator Brent Davis said on coach Monken’ s weekly radio show that said the team is running more designed handoffs plays to slotbacks Terry Baggett and Raymond Maples than he has in the past.

“We are trying to make sure the right guys have the ball and that’s something that we have to continue to work on every week,” Davis said. “We made add a wrinkle here and there to try and get those guys the ball because they both have had 1,000-yard seasons. They have both done great things here so we have to find a way to involve them.”

VIDEO: Junior center Matt Hugenberg on Army’s offensive line play.

For game updates, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato

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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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