Recruiting: Texas fullback Cade Barnard commits

Seminole (Texas) fullback Cade Barnard didn’t just announce his pledge to Army with a few words on social media Sunday

Barnard took his commitment to another level, making a unique creative video.

Targets for Barnard’s top eight schools were set up. Barnard counted 10 meters away from the targets and started knocking them down. Army was the last target standing. Barnard chose Army over service-academy rivals Navy and Air Force, Colorado State, North Texas, Bowling Green, Nevada and UMass. He visited Texas Tech Saturday.

Barnard was one of 100 players listed on the watch for Mr. Texas player of the year. He made 193 tackles as a junior in his first season at Seminole after transferring from New Mexico.

Seniors from 21 different states have committed to Army: Texas (17); Pennsylvania (5); Florida (4); Georgia (4); Virginia (4); Alabama (3); North Carolina (3); Ohio (3); Tennessee (3); Illinois (2); Indiana (2); Louisiana (2); Michigan (2); Missouri (2); California (1); Connecticut (1); Maryland (1); New Jersey (1); Oklahoma (1); South Carolina (1); Wisconsin (1).

2018 commits (63)

RB Jonathan Andrews, 6-foot, 185, Dutchtown HS, Hampton, Ga.: Other offers – Navy. (COMMITTED, August 7)
LB Jomier Augustine, 6-foot, 217, Collins Hill HS, Suwanee, Ga.
OL Sam Backenstoe, 6-3, 263, Davidson HS, Hillard, Ohio: First offer – Army.
FB Cade Barnard, 6-2, 225, Seminole (Texas) HS: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Colorado State, North Texas, Bowling Green, Nevada, UMass. (COMMITTED, Sept. 17)
WR-CB Adam Bazan, 5-10, 180, Ridge Point HS, Missouri City, Texas: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, August 3)
LB Hayden Bollinger, 6-1, 209, Lafayette HS, Wildwood, Mo.: Other offers – Syracuse. (COMMITTED, July 21)
DE Hunter Brabham, 6-3, 235, Hughes Springs (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED, July 16)
DT Ryan Bryce, 6-5, 285, St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia, Pa.: Other offers – Rutgers, Virginia, Temple, Central Florida, Buffalo, UMass. (COMMITTED, May 30)
WR Cole Caterbone, 6-foot, 170, St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Other offers – Iowa, Rutgers, Cincinnati, East Carolina (COMMITTED, July 25)
DE-TE Nolan Cockrill, 6-3, 230, Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, June 4)
QB Garrett Cody, 5-10, 180, Rockwall-Heath HS, Rockwall, Texas: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, August 1)
K Matteo Cordray, 5-10, 155, Highland Park HS, Dallas, Texas.: (COMMITTED, July 23)
TE-LB Trevor Cosenke, 6-3, 212, John Champe HS, Aldie, Va.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 28)
S Zion Davis-Thompson, 6-2, 175, North Stafford HS, Stafford, Va.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 31)
LB Morgan Ernst, 6-foot, 195, Webb HS, Knoxville, Tenn.: (COMMITTED, May 14)
DE Damir Faison, 6-foot-2, 240, Vance HS, Charlotte, N.C.: Other offers – Maryland, Rutgers, Temple, East Carolina, Georgia Southern, Appalachian State, Georgia State. Former Appalachian State commit. (COMMITTED, July 7)
OL Alex Faulkner, 6-4, 270, Mishawaka (Ind.) HS: First offer – Air Force. Second offer – Army. (COMMITTED, August 12)
CB Khalil Fleming, 5-11, 163, Northshore HS, Slidell, La.: Other offers – Air Force, May 22. (COMMITTED, April 19)
DE Chris Frey, 6-5, 225, Temescal Canyon HS, Lake Elsinore, Calif.: First offer – Army (COMMITTED, July 21)
LS Cale Garrison, 5-10, 215, The Woodlands (Texas) HS: Offered after attending Army prospect camp on June 4. (COMMITTED, June 5)
WR-CB Will Hankins, 6-2, 175, Munford (Tenn.) HS: (COMMITTED, June 26)
OL Blake Harris, 6-1, 299, Ben Lippon School, Columbia, S.C.: (COMMITTED, August 3).
QB-RB Tionne Harris, 5-9, 178, Vianney HS, St. Louis, Mo.: Led Vianney to its first state title, passing for 2,549 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushing for 1,502 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2016. (COMMITTED, July 4)
QB Walter Harris, 6-1, 190, Northshore HS, Slidell, La.: Other offers – Navy, May 8. (COMMITTED, April 22)
LB Cameron Hoelscher, 6-2, 219, Springfield (Ohio) HS. Other offers: Air Force, Kentucky, Western Michigan, Bowling Green, Buffalo and Toledo. (COMMITTED, August 5)
LB Chris Hunter, 6-2, 225, Austin-East HS, Knoxville, Tenn. DE Henry Janeway, 6-5, 215, Utica Eisenhower HS, Shelby Township, Mich.: First offer – Army. Other offers – Navy, Eastern Michigan, Ball State. Army visit – July 24 (COMMITTED, July 30)
LB Tim Johns, 6-3, 230, Greenwood (Ind.) HS: First FBS offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 12)
QB Jemel Jones, 5-10, 190, The Colony (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED, August 21)
DL Tim Kater, 6-3, 265, Steelton-Highspire HS, Steelton, Pa.: First commit of 2018 class. Brother of former Army tight end Kelvin White. Other offers – Delaware, Delaware State, Howard, Morgan State. (COMMITTED, April 12)
S Ja’ren Kenyatta, 6-1, 190, Urbana HS, Ijamsville, Md.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 26)
OL Drew Kraatz, 6-6, 240, Standish-Sterling HS, Standish, Mich.: (COMMITTED, April 27)
LS Brendan Knoespel, 6-foot, 210, Antonian Prep HS, San Antonio, Texas: Other offer – Air Force. (COMMITTED, May 25)
OL Nick Kotok, 6-4, 285, Moon Area HS, Moon, Pa.: (COMMITTED, June 28)
K Miller Kronk, 6-2, 195, London (Ohio) HS: First offer – Army. Army unofficial visit: May 24. (COMMITTED, June 1)
DL Kenese Leomiti, 6-4, 275, Calallen HS, Corpus Christi, Texas: (COMMITTED, August 2)
DE Ryan Matz, 6-3, 235, East Lincoln HS, Denver, N.C.: (COMMITTED, June 22)
LB Brandon Mays, 6-foot, 210, Viera (Fla.) HS: Other offers – Buffalo. (COMMITTED, July 21)
LB Tim McClendon, 6-foot, 205, Carroll HS, Ozark, Ala.: Other offers – Southern Mississippi. (COMMITTED, August 7)
FB Elliott McElwain, 6-foot, 215, Hewitt-Trussville HS, Trussville, Ala. (COMMITTED, July 4)
QB Steven Migut, 6-foot. 180, Unity HS, Tolono, Ill.: First offer – Army. Offensive MVP at Army July camp. (COMMITTED, August 12)
CB Isaiah Morris, 5-11, 170, Bolles School, Jacksonville, Fla.: (COMMITTED, August 25)
DB Braheam Murphy, 5-10, 160, Harding University HS, Charlotte, N.C.: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 4)
LB Troy Nachtigal, 6-foot, 205, Fort Atkinson (Wis.) HS: Brother, James, is Army junior linebacker. First offer – Army.
RB Keyshawn Palmer, 5-11, 200, Marbury (Ala.) HS: (COMMITTED, July 26)
QB-WR A.J. Payne, 6-1, 193, Americus-Sumter HS, Americus, Ga. (COMMITTED, July 4)
OL Kyle Perry, 6-2, 305, Centennial HS, Burleson, Texas: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 23)
S T.J. Rakowsky, 5-11, 205, Palisades HS, Kintersville, Pa.
DL Hunter Richard, 6-3, 270, Edmond (Okla.) North HS: Other offers – Princeton, Abilene Christian. (COMMITTED, June 21)
CB Torey Richardson, 6-foot, 180, Tomball Memorial (Texas) HS: First offer – Army (COMMITTED, July 21)
OL Harmon Saint Germain, 6-foot-5, 280, Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.: (COMMITTED, July 6)
DE L.J. Salazar, 6-2, 220, Veterans Memorial HS, Corpus Christi, Texas: (COMMITTED, August 15).
FB Landry Songer, 6-1, 205, Midlothian (Texas) HS: Army visit: late July (COMMITTED, August 31)
K Cole Talley, 6-foot, 175, Rockwall (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED, August 27)
OL Jose Taveras, 6-4, 265, Union City (N.J.) HS
OL Jack Topping, 6-3, 261, Allen (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED, August 27)
LB Duncan Van Kouteren, 6-3, 205, Ponte Vedra (Fla.) HS
LB Jesse Walsh, 6-3, 230, Avon Old Farms, Avon, Conn.: (COMMITTED, July 22)
RB Brandon Walters, 6-foot, 170, Bolingbrook (Ill.) HS: First offer. Verbal after attending Buffalo game on Sept. 9
RB-WR Travis West, 6-foot, 180, Woodrow Wilson HS, Dallas, Texas: (COMMITTED, July 22)
RB Tyrese White, 5-10, 200, Hamshire-Fannett HS, Hamshire, Texas: First offer – Army. (COMMITTED, July 29)
RB David Woodward, 5-11, 180, Mout Pisgah Christian School, Alpharetta, Ga.: (COMMITTED, July 30)
DE Noah Yates, 6-foot-5, 215, Carbondale Area HS, Carbondale, Pa.: (COMMITTED, July 6)

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and Sound Cloud @salinterdonato. For Army coverage on Facebook, here’s the link.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pregame blog (Ohio State): Aukerman returns to Shoe

Saturday will not be Army senior linebacker Alex Aukerman’s first time to Ohio Stadium or “The Horseshoe.”

Aukerman attended Ohio State’s game against Miami (Fla.) in 2010 his freshman year of high school. He wasn’t an Ohio State fan, growing up in Greenwood, Indiana about three hours from Columbus. Just a fan of college football.

“It’s an unbelievable atmosphere,” Aukerman said. “They fill out the whole stadium in red. That’s going to be pretty crazy to see being on the field and being able to look all around and see the sea of red.”

Army coach Jeff Monken said games like Ohio State are, “one of the reasons why some guys come to school here to be on a national stage this.” Aukerman isn’t letting the opponent become a distraction.

“They have phenomenal athletes, highly recruited, future NFL players,” Aukerman said. “We are going to go out and just do our jobs and treat it as any other game.”

What are going to be the keys for Army’s defense in slowing down quarterback J.T. Barrett and the Buckeyes?

“We jut have to make sure everyone plays with leverage and not letting them get to the sidelines and use that speed that they have,” Aukerman said. “That’s one of the big things that we are focusing on. They have a really big starting five offensive line. We definitely have to play with unbelievable pad level and just violence up there to knock them back and control the line of scrimmage.”

Army and Ohio State are meeting for the first time in their programs’ 127-year histories. Asked Army athletic director Boo Corrigan if this is a one-shot deal or will he look into future matchups with Ohio State. Corrgian said, “Gene Smith (Ohio State’s athletic director) knows a lot about what scheduling is and coach (Urban Meyer) has done a great job. We are going to play this game and we will figure out everything else afterward.”

Army has scheduled one marquee Power Five school per season for the next five years (Oklahoma, 2018 and 2020; Michigan, 2019; Wisconsion, 2021, Tennessee, 2022) and Corrigan said he’d like to keep it that way.

“We are going to play five of them in one year,” Corrigan said. “By one year out and year in basis, I think it makes sense for us as a program, for the young people in the program, for our alums, for us to move around a little bit and play in some different places.”

 

If there is another game with Ohio State, it may not be played until 2023 or beyond.

Six Ohio natives are on Army’s travel squad. Junior tackle Rick Kurz (Cincinnati) will make his 20th start. Junior slotback Jordan Asberry (Cincinnati) is part of a three-man slotback rotation with John Trainor and Kell Walker. Freshman Kyle O’Connor (North Canton) is Army’s  snapper for extra points and field goals. He won the job after Army’s season opener. Senior linebacker Bayle Wolf (Wilmington) is an important special teams player. Senior Matt Sannella (Maineville) is a reserve defensive lineman and freshman linebacker Kieren Douglas (Reynoldsburg, a suburb of Columbus) earned his spot as the defensive scout team player of the week.

VIDEO: Junior cornerback Mike Reynolds’ return to the team has bolstered Army secondary

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Prediction time: Ohio State

Two of college football’s most storied programs meet for the first time Saturday at The Horseshoe in Columbus.

Army is a 31-point underdog to No. 8 Ohio State.

The bad mood theory: The Buckeyes are coming off a 31-16 home loss to Oklahoma. Ohio State has not lost back-to-back games since the 2013 Big Ten Championship game and the Orange Bowl. You have to go back to September 1990 to find the last time Ohio State dropped consecutive home games to USC and Illinois, both ranked teams.

Army (2-0) is riding a five-game winning streak and seeking its first win over an Associated Press Top 25 team since 1972 when it defeated Air Force 17-14.

The last time Army played a Big Ten Conference team on the road, the Black Knights were a 26.5-point underdog at Penn State. Penn State held off Army 20-14 and the Black Knights fumbled seven times and played without starting quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw.

“We think we have a much better team now than we did back then,” said senior linebacker Alex Aukerman, one of seven Army players who started in the Penn State game. “We’ve already equaled the win total from that year.”

Sal Interdonato (Times Herald-Record Army football beat writer): Ohio State 27, Army 14. The Black Knights will need to play near perfect –  long touchdown-scoring drives, no turnovers, no dumb penalties, no special teams blunders, sure tackling and no Ohio State big plays. Going to stick with my predictions on Q&As and radio spots.
Josh Conklin (Times Herald-Record Army football photographer): Army 28, Ohio State 24. J.T. Barrett and Ohio State haven’t looked so good to start the year and the Army defense hasn’t given up a point in the second half this season.

Predictions from around the college football universe
Pete Fiutak (College Football News):
Ohio State 44, Army 14.
Chip Minnich (Athlon Sports): Ohio State 56, Army 7
Dave Jablonski (Dayton Daily News): Ohio State 40, Army 10
Eleven Warriors (Ohio State): Ohio State 45, Army 13

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Quick thoughts: Contract extension for Monken

Athletic director Boo Corrigan announced a contract extension for coach Jeff Monken Thursday afternoon.

The extension is overdue after Monken led Army to its first victory over Navy since 2001 and won eight games (including the Heart of Dallas Bowl), the program’s most since 1996.

What took Army so long?

Corrigan said the athletic department’s transition to the Army West Point Athletic Association, a 501C3 non-profit organization, within the last few months. Navy and Air Force have similar models.

Monken signed a six-year contract when he was hired in December 2013. No words on new deal’s length. When asked if the extention was similar to Monken’s original contract as far as length, Corrigan said it’s, “additional years on the contract.”

“I thought from the minute that we hired him that he was the right guy,” Corrigan said. “I’ve been wanting him to stay. Obviously, there’s more external conversations going on about us being able to do this. I’ve believed from the very beginning as has our superintendent (Robert Caslen) that he’s the right guy. We want to make sure that he feels good about our commitment to him.”

The extension was announced after 3 p.m. Thursday and well after Monken’s radio spot on WFAN’s Joe & Evan at 12:45 p.m.

An online search for Monken’s first contract turns up a Newsday page stating the original agreement was amended on Sept. 1, 2016 and set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020.

If the extension is, let’s say three or four years, Monken’s tenure would pass Jim Young’s (1983-90) and equal or surpassed Bob Sutton’s time (1991-1999).

Corrigan said extending Monken shows current commits and future players that its coach will be at West Point for the foreseeable future.

“I think that’s a very important of what we do is to make sure that we are committed out with our coaches so when you go out on the road recruiting they feel good about our commitment,” Corrigan said. “It’s no different than the commitment that we’ve made to the budget, no different than the commitment to upgrading the stadium. It’s just another point that coach Monken can say, ‘This is the level of commitment that we have at West Point.’”

Some of Army’s 2018 commits may not be joining the team until the 2019 season if they spend a year at Army Prep school. Steelton-Highspire (Pa.) defensive lineman Tim Kater was Army’s first commit of the 2018 class.

“As a future player, it’s means a lot to you,” said Kater of Monken’s extension. “Especially when building a bond with Coach Monken, on and off the field.”

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and Sound Cloud @salinterdonato. For Army coverage on Facebook, here’s the link.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Defense breakdown: Buffalo

Junior linebacker Kenneth Brinson, sophomore linebacker Cole Christiansen, sophomore safety Jaylon McClinton and senior safety Rhyan England played all 39 defensive snaps in a 21-17 win over Buffalo Saturday.

Army started the game in the nickel with junior James Gibson starting and stayed in the package for 36 plays.

The Black Knights used six reserves for a combined 20 snaps.

Senior linebacker Alex Aukerman recorded a sack for the fifth straight game.

Army shut out its opponent in the second half for the second straight game.

The Black Knights held Buffalo to 2 rushing yards on 11 carries in the second half.

Turnovers created: 2. Jaylon McClinton, forced fumble, third quarter; Alex Aukerman, fumble recovery, second quarter; Andrew McLean, fumble recovery, third quarter.

Third-down defense: Buffalo converted 3-of-8 opportunities and were 0-for-2 in the second half.

Defensive penalties: 1. James Gibson, offside.

Buffalo plays of 20 yards or more: 4. Receiving 3 (Anthony Johnson, 52 yards, 23 yards; Antonio Nunn, 48 yards, touchdown); Rushing 1 (Tyree Jackson, 75 yards, touchdown)

Here’s a breakdown: (39 defensive snaps as charted off DVR):

*LB Kenneth Brinson (39 snaps): 4 tackles, 1 pass breakup, 21th career start
*S Rhyan England (39 snaps): 2 tackles, 31st career start
*S Jaylon McClinton (39 snaps): 3 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 forced fumble, 7th career start
*LB Cole Christiansen (39 plays): 4 tackles, 2nd career start
*LB James Gibson (38 snaps): 1 tackle, 6th career start
*LB Alex Aukerman (37 snaps): 5 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery, 22nd career start
*CB Jalen Sharp (37 snaps): 5 tackles, 2nd career start
*LB Scott Washle (37 snaps): 3 tackles, 3rd career start
*CB Mike Reynolds (36 snaps): 1 tackle, 1 pass breakup, 1st career start
*DE John Voit (35 snaps): 3 tackles, 0.5 tackle for loss, 27th career start
*NT Andrew McLean (34 snaps): 2 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 13th career start
CB Cam Jones (5 snaps): 1 tackle
DT Prince Oyetuga (5 snaps)
NT Ray Wright (3 snaps)
LB James Nachtigal (3 snaps): 1 quarterback hurry, 1 pass breakup
LB Chandler Ramirez (3 snaps)
S Max Regan (1 snap): 1 tackle
* – starter

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Offense breakdown: Buffalo

Quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw, lineman Josh Boylan, left tackle Rick Kurz and right tackle Brett Toth played all 73 offensive snaps in Army’s 21-17 win over Buffalo Saturday at Michie Stadium.

Of note, didn’t count punter Nick Schrage’s 15-yard run toward the offensive snaps.

Army had 21 players see action on offense, compared to 41 in its 58-point win over Fordham in the season opener.

The following players were on the field for Schrage’s 15-yard run: Alex Aukerman, Javhari Boudreau (freshman), Scott Flanick, Donavan Lynch, James Nachtigal, Max Regan, Justin Thomas (freshman), Scott Washle, Bayle Wolf, Ray Wright.

After producing seven plays of 20 or more yards in the opener against Fordham, Army’s offense managed just one play of 20 or more – a 52-yard run by Bradshaw on its first drive. All three of Army’s touchdowns were scored on 1-yard runs.

Army ran 25 more plays than Buffalo (41-16) in the second half. Bradshaw took nine snaps from the shotgun.

Wide receiver Cam Harrison made his second straight start and was the only freshman to play an offensive snap.

Coach Jeff Monken said Harrison and senior wide receiver Jermaine Adams received Ranger jerseys for their blocking. Bradshaw, Boylan and fullback Darnell Woolfolk also earned Ranger jerseys for their play and preparation.

Rushing yards by quarter: First quarter – 92 yards; Second quarter – 57; Third quarter – 90; Fourth quarter – 83.

Possessions - 8. Touchdowns – 3. Turnovers- 0. Punts – 3. Three-and-outs – 1. Drives of seven of more plays – 4. Longest drive – 16 plays, 79 yards, 8 minutes, 12 seconds, third/fourth quarters, touchdown (1-yard run, Darnell Woolfolk).

Third-down conversions: 7-for-16. Fourth-down conversions: 3-for-4.

Time of possession: Army 34 minutes, 15 seconds; Buffalo 25 minutes, 45 seconds.

Touchdowns
Rushing

Ahmad Bradshaw, 1 yard, first quarter (3rd of season, 16th career)
Darnell Woolfolk, 1 yard, fourth quarter (2nd of season, 11th career)
Darnell Woolfolk, 1 yard, fourth quarter (3rd of season, 12th career)

20+ yard plays: 1. Ahmad Bradshaw (52 yards, run).

Triple-option distribution:  Fullbacks (Darnell Woolfolk, Calen Holt, Andy Davidson) 26 carries, 99 yards, 2 TD; Quarterback (Ahmad Bradshaw) 25 carries, 147 yards, 1 TD;  Slotbacks (Kell Walker, John Trainor) 11 carries, 65 yards.

Penalties: 3. G Josh Boylan (false start); C Bryce Holland (personal foul); T Rick Kurz (personal foul).

Here’s a breakdown of the snaps (73 plays as charted off DVR, check above for those players who were in the game for Nick Schrage’s fake punt):

*QB Ahmad Bradshaw (73 snaps): 25 carries, 147 yards, TD, 2-for-8 passing, 17 yards, 7th career 100-yard rushing game, 3rd straight 100-yard rushing game, 21th career start
*LG-C Josh Boylan (73 snaps): Played two snaps at center in the first quarter, 4th career start
*LT Rick Kurz (73 snaps): fumble recovery, 19th career start
*C Bryce Holland (73 snaps): 17th career start
*RT Brett Toth (73 snaps): 17th career start
*SB Kell Walker (61 snaps): 8 carries, 61 yards, 5th career start
*SB John Trainor (55 snaps): 3 carries 4 yards, 13th career start
*FB Darnell Woolfolk (51 snaps): 21 carries, 91 yards, 2 touchdowns, 5th career start
RG Mike Houghton (39 snaps)
*WR Jermaine Adams (38 snaps): 1 target, 5th career start
*#WR Cam Harrison (37 snaps): 2nd career start
*RG Jaxson Deaton (34 snaps): 4th career start
SB Jordan Asberry (30 snaps): 1 catch, 18 yards, 1 target
TE Zach Saum (22 snaps)
WR Kjetil Cline (18 snaps): 1 target
WR Glen Coates (18 snaps): 1 target
FB Calen Holt (13 snaps): 3 carries, 5 yards, 1 catch, -1 yard, 1 target
FB Andy Davidson (8 snaps): 2 carries, 3 yards
TE Quinten Parker (8 snaps): Injured ankle in third quarter.
TE Michel Toure (3 snaps)
LG Ethan Palelei (2 snaps)
T Austin Schuffert (1 snap)
FB Connor Slomka (1 snap)

* – starter
# – freshman

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Coach Monken presser: Ohio State

Jeff Monken was in a jovial mood for a coach tasked with preparing for No. 8 Ohio State.

Monken was asked what the keys in matching up against quarterback J.T. Barrett, running back J.K. Dobbins and the Buckeyes’ offense Saturday in Columbus.

“I don’t think they will let us play with 12 (players),” Monken said.

Monken was frank about Ohio State’s talent, saying “We are going to way undersized and physically outmatched, their offense against our defense. That’s no knock on our guys. I love our guys. It is what it is. We have to a great job of having some things that may create some problems for them. I hope we can come up with enough.”

On the topic of Army being a 30.5-point underdog, Monken said, “I’m not walking in here and saying guys, ‘We are going to start practicing for Tulane (Army’s opponent next week) because we are going to get our butts whipped.’ That’s not the way we are wired and I don’t know a team or coach in the country that would prepare that way.”

How will Army deal with Ohio State nose tackles Dre’Mont Jones and Tracy Sprinkle in an effort to open up the middle for fullback Darnell Woolfolk?

“Try to come up with ways where we don’t have to block them,” Monken said. “There’s not too many plays where you don’t have to block guys. There’s a few in our offense. We don’t match up physically with anybody that they have. That’s the simple fact. Nobody on our team physically matches up with anybody on their team. We have to come up with ways within our scheme to be able to double team guys, read guys, misdirection and force them to be assignment sound so we can figure out where they are going to be.”

Monken praised Ohio State left tackle Jamarco Jones saying, “he looks like a corner (back). He’s out there blocking at the second level. Holy Smokes, that guy is a good player.”

When asked where he sees the passing game going in the future, after completing 2-of-10 throws the first two games, Monken said, “probably eliminating as many passes as we possibly can, to be quite frank about it. We have to run the ball to successful. We are not going to win a bunch of games trying to chuck it all over the place. We have to pick our spots. We tried to pick them (against) Buffalo on Saturday. We had a couple opportunities (incompletions to Jermaine Adams and Kjetil Cline for touchdowns) that we missed. Nobody feels worse about that Ahmad (Bradshaw, Army’s quarterback) does. We are going to get some of those too some times. We’ll keep taking our shots every once in a while.”

Bradshaw may get some help from senior wide receiver Jeff Ejekam Saturday. Monken said Ejekam, who missed the first two games for a violation of team rules, will start.

Monken said sophomore cornerback Elijah Riley will continue to be held out of game, “until this thing with academics is sorted out and it’s an institutional issue that we are working with.”

VIDEO: Jeff Monken’s press conference in its entirety

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and Sound Cloud @salinterdonato. For Army coverage on Facebook, here’s the link.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Quick thoughts: Buffalo

Ahmad Bradshaw and former Army quarterback Ronnie McAda are linked after Saturday.

Army’s 21-17 victory over Buffalo was Bradshaw’s five straight win as a starting quarterback equaling McAda’s streak, which ran from Nov. 18, 1995 to Sept. 28, 1996.

Bradshaw recorded his seventh career 100-yard rushing game and his third straight. The seven 100-yard games are tied for third with Nate Sassaman (1984) among Army quarterbacks. Trent Steelman (2009-12) had 12 career 100-yard game, second among all rushers in academy history. Troy Crawford (1985-87) notched 11 100-yard games.

Was talking a few people on the field during pregame who thought the game would be a lot closer than I predicted (Army 38-14) and they were right. Buffalo’s defensive front didn’t give Bradshaw much space to operate the triple option in the first half, getting a good push on Army’s offensive line.  Army changed things up in the second half, going to the shotgun a few times and effectively running Kell Walker.

Great redemption story for junior punter Nick Schrage, who erased the memory of his run on a 4th-and-44 against Lafayette, with a 15-yard game-sealing sneak on the same play, “rugby right” in the fourth quarter. Schrage’s quote, “If the Red Sea parts, I can go for it” is an all-time classic.

The Black Knights caught a break in the second quarter when Buffalo decided to get a little too creative, attempting a flea flicker from Army’s 32, up 17-7 with 9:10 left until halftime. The flea flicker never materialized. Linebacker Cole Christiansen blitzed pushing Buffalo center James O’Hagan into running back Emmanuel Reed, who couldn’t handle a handoff from quarterback Tyree Jackson. Linebacker Alex Aukerman fell on the fumble. If Buffalo was a little more conservative, it might have had a field goal attempt at the least. The Bulls would not score again.

Army’s offensive line committed two personal fouls that the Black Knights cannot have this Saturday at No. 8 Ohio State. Center Bryce Holland was called for blocking after the whistle on a first-down play in the first quarter. Coach Jeff Monken pulled Holland for the rest of Army’s second drive as Army shifted senior Josh Boylan from left guard to center and inserted sophomore Ethan Palelei at left guard…A chop block by tackle Rick Kurz negated a 13-yard third-down conversion run by Bradshaw in the fourth quarter.

Andy Davidson, Army’s leading rusher in 2016, entered the game with seven minutes in the second quarter behind starting fullback Darnell Woolfolk, sophomore Connor Slomka and junior Calen Holt. Davidson, who scored 12 touchdowns last season had two carries for three yards. He had six carries for 23 yards and a touchdown on the season.

Army is now 9-8 at home in Jeff Monken’s four seasons. The Black Knights were 12-15 in the previous five seasons under Rich Ellerson.

Army’s alma mater started a few moments later than expected Saturday as Army coach Jeff Monken rushed into the east stands of Michie Stadium near the band director’s position to fire up the Corps of Cadets following the win.

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and Sound Cloud @salinterdonato. For Army coverage on Facebook, here’s the link.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Schrage gets SportsCenter moment

Asked Army coach Jeff Monken if there was any truth to the rumor that he wasn’t talking to punter Nick Schrage for an extended period of time after last year’s Lafayette game.

Army called, “rugby right” on 4th-and-44 from their own 30, up 28 points. Schrage chose to run the ball over punting and was dropped and fumbled, losing a total of 19 yards. The play made SportsCenter’s “Not Top 10.”

“Oh no,” Monken said tough and cheek after Army’s 21-17 win over Buffalo Saturday. “Nick and I have had a deal since his freshman year that he came to camp. He doesn’t get to talk to me. I don’t talk to him. He doesn’t talk to me. It works out great. If you talk to Nick for a while, you’ve heard enough. He does enough talking for a lifetime.”

Well, Schrage and Monken spoke before the punter took the field for a 4th-and-5 at Army’s 42 with 2:28 left and Army leading Buffalo 21-17. Army was calling “rugby right” again  this time, Monken told Schrage if the space was there to run.

And, that’s exactly what the junior did. Getting a crucial edge block from Scott Washle, Schrage picked up 15 yards and quickly ran out of bounds on the Army sideline. Schrage was mobbed by teammates in celebration. The punter has just sealed the Black Knights’ second win of the season.

After the singing of Army’s alma mater, Schrage and Monken crossed path. The coach said something along the lines of “good job.”

Schrage’s run earned him an interview with CBS Sports Network sideline reporter John Schriffen and a seat in the postgame press conference. The play and his television interview were featured on SportsCenter Saturday night.

“I saw a hole open up the size of the Red Sea,” Schrage told Schriffen. “When it parted, I just took off, got the first (down) and got out of bounds as fast as I could.”

Schrage took to social media Saturday and posted the play with one word, “Redemption” and a hash tag “BeatBuffalo.”

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and Sound Cloud @salinterdonato. For Army coverage on Facebook, here’s the link.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

KnightCap: Buffalo

Ahmad Bradshaw and Darnell Woolfolk’s big rushing day, Jaylon McClinton’s strip sack, Alex Aukerman’s sack and Army’s fifth straight win are topics on my quick video review of the Black Knights’ 21-17 victory over Buffalo at Michie Stadium.

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and Sound Cloud @salinterdonato. For Army coverage on Facebook, here’s the link.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
  • Blog Authors

    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
  • Categories

  • Archives