Boo Corrigan on scheduling, UMass series announced

Athletic director Boo Corrigan said Army is looking to play a marquee game against top Football Bowl Subdivision team each year.

Earlier this month, Army added a road game against Penn State on Oct. 3, 2015. The Black Knights will play Notre Dame on Nov. 12, 2016 at the AlamoDome in San Antonio.

Corrigan confirmed games against Oklahoma, away in 2018 and home in 2020, are still on.

“You can certainly make the assumption that we are looking for one game in 2017 and 2019,” Corrigan said. “We have Army-Navy. What’s wrong with playing a second game in front of 90,000 fans?”

The game would likely be one-time deals on the road or at a neutral site. The opponent would likely pay Army to play the game.

Corrigan said Penn State is a,”great game. It’s someone that we have played in the past. It’s a regional foe. It gives our guys a chance to play in the biggest stage and potentially in front of a national television audience. It’s something that makes sense.”

In more scheduling news, UMass announced Wednesday a four-game series with Army from 2019 through 2023.  Army will host UMass on Nov. 9, 2019 and Nov. 20, 2021.



orman, Okla. and 2020 at West Point is still on.

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The series: Army-Yale

Army and Yale will play for 46th time Saturday at the Yale Bowl.

Here’s a breakdown of the series:

All-time series: Yale leads 21-16-8
First game: Oct. 28, 1893, Yale 28, Army 0
Last game: Oct. 5, 1996, Army 39, Yale 13
Yale’s last win: Nov. 5, 1955, 14-12. Army entered the game ranked No. 19 in country. Yale was 5-1. Don Holleder’s 8-yard TD pass to Art Johnson late in the game wasn’t enough for Army as Yale held on.
Army’s last game at Yale: Oct. 8, 1988, Army won 33-18.
Army’s record at Yale Bowl:11-8-4
Consecutive seasons played: 15 (1923-35)

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




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Yale week: Coach Monken presser

Here are some excerpts from Army coach Jeff Monken’s press conference leading into Saturday’s game against Yale at the Yale Bowl:

Reviewing the Wake Forest game
“It always comes down to the things we talk about every week and not playing our assignment exactly as we need to every time, and that costs us in some plays that are probably hidden to the people who are just watching the ball game. To us, we see those and see the opportunities that we missed there, and not making the plays, fundamentals – dropping the ball on a pitch play, we had a guy wrapped up in our arms and it turned into a 15-yard touchdown run. We need to be able to make those plays. There were a lot of those. If you just change a play or two where we get it turned around and play our assignment how it’s supposed to be played or play with better fundamentals or execution, we may win the game. I think that’s how close we are. There is some encouragement in that, but there’s an awful lot of frustration as well.”

On this week’s opponent Yale
“Tucker Waugh, who has been on our staff for several years, recognizes a lot of guys on the Yale roster. Guys, who are starting for them, he said, ‘Those are guys that we were trying to recruit here.’ Guys that we’ll play against had opportunities maybe to come to West Point as well. It’s going to be a battle for us. I think a lot of people look at our schedule and they say other names of teams from other conferences. There’s a lot of people playing college football around the country, they play a really good brand of football and the Ivy League is one of those leagues that we have great respect for. I came from an FCS league and they play good football in that league too. So, it’s going to be a battle and a tough fight for us.”

On the Wake Forest game serving as a bad example how to finish games

“We’ve had bad example since we started this year. We have plenty of those. I’m looking for some good examples. We don’t have enough good examples. We had a few on Saturday, we did some good things. We did some things on Saturday that we did better than we’ve done all year, some things, and other things we didn’t. We just made some key mistakes.

On calling a timeout before running a play in the second half

We had a play called and the quarterback was trying to make a check and we didn’t feel like he was making the right check. We finally got the play called and we got the play checked and I think it got to two seconds and he didn’t feel like he had enough time to snap the ball so he flashed a timeout. It happens.”

More on the mistakes against Wake Forest

“It’s very fragile that line between winning and losing. You just don’t get an opportunity to make a bunch of mistakes and still win very often.”

On preaching the fundamentals

“I am not going to lower my standards for the players. We have already set the expectations for this season and if we have low standards for them in terms of what they can remember, how much information we give them and their ability to apply the fundamentals the way we are teaching them, then we aren’t going to meet our expectations. We are going to continue to push them and I think that is what our guys want.”

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Inside the numbers: Baggett, Maples carries

Army senior running back Terry Baggett’s touches are way down to start the season.

Baggett has carried the ball just 16 times in the first three games. He’s projected to have 64 carries this season. Last season, Baggett rushed the ball 141 times for 1,113 yards.

Senior running back Raymond Maples has 15 carries this season.

Are there more opportunities for Baggett and Maples on the pitch? How is quarterback Angel Santiago grading out on reading the option?

“He’s missing some reads and those guys out there on the perimeter aren’t helping themselves either blocking the wrong guy out there sometimes,” Army coach Jeff Monken said. “So, there’s a lot of things happening. Teams that plays us a little bit can dictate who carries the ball. Then, we have plays that counter that, that we can dictate who carries the ball. The guy that is going to carry it the most for us is going to be the B-back (fullback). That’s just always the way we have been. ”

Fullback Larry Dixon leads Army with 55 carries. Santiago is second with41. Baggett ranks third.

“You look at Paul Johnson’s teams and everybody that comes out of his coaching tree, it’s the same,” Monken said. “The B-back or the fullback is the guy that carries the ball the most and then the quarterback and then the slots. We have plenty of plays to try and get those guys (Baggett and Maples) the ball but you have to be good up the middle in this offense. It’s always been the philosophy. People are fans and they want to see us win. When you don’t they are frustrated because they are emotionally invested. They say, “Why can’t you pass more? or (why) can’t you get this guy the ball?’ I understand. We are doing everything we can to put our guys in a position to win the game and get the right guys the ball. This offense has stood the test of time. It’s been run for a long time. Coach Johnson has been doing it every year the same way since 1985 and it hadn’t changed and it’s still successful.”

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



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Wake Forest review: The flop

Army linebacker Steve Ricciardi and LeBron James were mentioned in the sentence.

A video of Ricciardi’s flop, trying to draw a 15-yard penalty late in Army’s 24-21 loss to Wake Forest, made it rounds on social media. Ricciardi took a dive after Wake Forest center Cory Helms barely touched him with his right arm.

ESPN released the video on its SportsCenter Twitter account. The tweet read, “This Army LB has a flop SO BAD it would even make LeBron James proud.” The dive was nominated for a SportsCenter Not-so Top 10 play.

Army’s football program was getting national press for the wrong reason.

Army coach Jeff Monken said he spoke to Ricciardi about the play.

“He apologized to me about it,” Monken said. “He’s trying to make a play at the end. There’s42 seconds to go.  And he’s trying to make something happen – a penalty, stop the clock, get them 15 yards, give us a better chance. He’s trying to win the game. It wasn’t malicious in intent. But, it’s not the way we are going to play the game here. I talked to him about that. That’s not being a good sportsman.”

Ricciardi politely declined comment about practice Monday.

“He’s trying everything he can think of and he doesn’t need to do that,” Monken said. “That’s not his job. His job is just do his job and that’s the case with everybody. Just play the fundamentals and technique you are taught, play your assignments and win the game. We didn’t do that and credit goes to Wake Forest. They did a good job and got it done.”

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Quick Sept. 22 practice blog

Usual Monday practice – no pads, fundamentals and conditioning.

The following players were in red (no-contact) jerseys: DE Mike Ugenyi (starter); RB Tony Giovannelli (starter); LB Addison Holstein; DE Andrew McLean; T Brett Toth; RB Lawrence Scott.

The feel-good moment of practice was when CB Chris Carnegie and LB Seth Combs were encouraging and running with Joe Tustin to finish the freshman’s conditioning run.

Senior running backs Terry Baggett and Raymond Maples stayed after practice for extra conditioning.

The offense did 35 up-downs for its efforts (mistakes) in a 24-21 loss at Wake Forest Saturday.

Punter Alex Tardieu was the only player wearing a Ranger jersey at practice. Ranger jerseys are given out for play in the previous game. Tardieu averaged 45.3 yards on four punts. Three of the punts were inside Wake Forest’s 20.

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Fun facts: Joe Walker TD pass

Sophomore running back Joe Walker threw Army’s first touchdown pass of the season, a 4-yard toss to Xavier Moss in the second quarter against Wake Forest.

Walker is the first Army running back to throw a touchdown since Marcellus Chapman hit Aris Comeaux with a 15-yard score against East Carolina on Oct. 5, 2002. Comeaux, a major in the Army, teaches calculus at West Point.

Walker’s pass was the first completed by an Army running backs since Carlton Jones connected with wide receiver Jeremy Trimble for 55 yards against UAB on Nov. 20, 2004. Trimble, Army’s all-time leading receiver, is in his first year as the admission liaison to the football team.

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

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Quick thoughts: Wake Forest

I’ll get to the penalties, fumbles and onside kick.

But, first, a stone-cold fact. Army has not scored a point in the second half the past two games.

Army’s second half against Wake Forest started with the Black Knights using a timeout before they ran a play. Army fans have seen that before. That timeout could have come in handy at the end of the game when Army got the ball back with two seconds left and 69 yards to go.

No matter who is coaching and who lines up for Army, the Black Knights haven’t been a good road team. This is my eighth year covering the team. Army has won nine games away from Michie Stadium in those eight years. Four of those wins came in 2010, the Black Knights’ bowl year. Teams with bowl aspirations figure out a way the win game like Saturday’s at Wake Forest.

At the beginning of season, fans probably would have signed up for a 2-2 September. Army plays at Yale this Saturday. A game, it should win even if Yale scored 54 points against Lehigh in its opener Saturday. But, Army should be playing to equal its 2013 win total against Yale. The Wake Forest loss could be a game that costs Army a bid to the Armed Forces Bowl. The Black Knights need to win at least four of its next six games to stay on pace for bowl eligibility (six wins).

Now for the big penalty, center Matt Hugenberg and guard Stefan Moreau appeared to double team Wake Forest nose tackle Tylor Harris. The block was away from the play and is a 50-50 call that some crew will call immediately and others let go. The 15-yard penalty erased a scramble to the right by quarterback Angel Santiago on 3rd-and-5 and backed the ball to Army’s 41, where Santiago fumbled on the next snap. Wake Forest took over with 21-17 lead and 2:47 left.

Santiago was trying to make something happen on the 3rd-and-20 but he’s got to protect the football. Army had two timeouts left and punter Alex Tardieu had done a good job of pinning Wake Forest inside its 20-yard line.

Army’s first lost fumble looked like a good pitch from Santiago to running back Joe Walker. Don’t know if Walker took his eyes off the ball or not. But the ball just didn’t seem to find Walker’s hands on the pitch or the recovery. If Walker falls on the ball, at the least, Army sets up for about a 42-yard field goal by Dan Grochowski.

Speaking of field goals, Army attempted its first of the season at the end of the first half. A low snap seemed threw off Grochowski’s rhythm and the 40-yard kick went wide left. Another lost opportunity for points.

Some Army fans were probably puzzled by the Black Knights’ onside kick following their first touchdown. Coach Jeff Monken is always looking for an edge in the kicking game and he had scouted Wake Forest for that play. At the postseason press conference, Monken expressed disappointment in Army’s failure to recover the kick. From my view, Joey Giovannelli sled and tried his best to bring the ball in.

In Army’s first three games, I’m not sure I’ve seen the Black Knights boot the ball the same way on consecutive kickoffs. There’s been some shorter kicks and squibs. I expect coach Monken that pattern.

Joe Walker’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Moss off a sweep play surprised Wake Fores and was a wrinkle that I can see Army go back to in the future. When’s the last time an Army RB threw a touchdown pass? Click here.

Army’s defense had its good moments for the second straight game. But just fell a play or two short.

It looked like defensive coordinator Jay Bateman called the right blitzes in the second quarter to pressure Wake Forest freshman John Wilford. In the second half, the blitzer was less than a second off from hitting Wilford on a few occasions.

Sophomore linebacker Jeremy Timpf continued his strong play. He’s led Army in tackles in each of the first three games. Timpf was in the right place at the right time on his first career interception on a tipped ball.

Thought senior defensive end Mike Ugenyi could have been done for the game after being injured in second quarter. Ugenyi played hard in the second half. He tipped a third-down pass, which forced Wake Forest to punt on its opening drive of the second half. Ugenyi has three tackles in the second half. Wake Forest has 0 net yards on those plays.

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


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Looking ahead: How 2014 opponents fared in week 4

Army’s remaining opponents went 2-4 this week.

Kent State, Air Force and Western Kentucky had a bye.

The nine teams are a combined 11-18.

Yale (1-0, away, Sept. 27) W 54-43 Lehigh: Yale rolled up 683 yards of offense.

Ball State (1-3, home, Oct. 4) L 34-23 Toledo: Ball State has lost three games in a row. Ozzie Mann threw for 176 yards and two touchdowns and Jahwan Edwards rushed for 125 yards in loss to Toledo. The Cardinals have a bye this week before traveling to West Point on Oct. 4.

Rice (0-3, home, Oct. 11) L 45-42 Old Dominion: Rice almost rallied from a 28-14 halftime defecit. Darik Dillard rushed for three second-half touchdowns.

Kent State (0-3, away, Oct. 18) Idle: Play at Virginia Saturday.

Air Force (2-1, home, Nov. 1) Idle: Host Boise State Saturday.

UConn (1-3, at Yankee Stadium, Nov. 8) L 17-14 South Florida. Game was played in heavy rain. UConn’s Chandler Whitmer completed 6-of-9 passes for 88 yards in the loss. The Huskies netted just 132 total yards.

Western Kentucky (1-2, away, Nov. 15) Idle: Plays at Navy Saturday.

Fordham (3-1, home, Nov. 22) W 49-7 Columbia: Mike Nebrich threw for 435 yards and four touchdowns in the win. Tebucky Jones, Jr. had seven catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns. Fordham is averaging 51 points in its three victories.

Navy (2-2, M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Dec. 14) L 31-24 Rutgers: Quarterback Keenan Reynolds threw for 231 yards and a touchdown and added two rushing scores but it was not enough for the Midshipmen, who trailed 24-14 at halftime. Navy’s defense allowed 281 rushing yards. Navy has lost five fumbles in its first three games. It lost six total last season.

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Halftime stats: Wake Forest

Army has rushed for 232 yards on 32 carries.

Quarterback Angel Santiago has 12 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown. Santiago’s career high is 120 yards in the 2013 season opener against Morgan State.

Fullback Larry Dixon has 62 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown.

Senior Ray Maples has two carries for 37 yards. Terry Baggett three carries for 34 yards.

Army’s first touchdown pass of the season was thrown by a running back. Sophomore Joe Walker tossed a 4-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Xavier Moss. Moss has both of Army’s catches for 9 yards.

On defense, linebacker Jeremy Timpf has four tackles and an interception. Linebacker Steve Ricciardi has Army’s only sack.

Wake Forest freshman quarterback John Wolford is 13-fo-18 for 128 yards and a touchdown. He started the game completing eight of his first 10 passes.The Demon Deacons has rushed 10 times for 48 yards.


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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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