State of the Union-Army Football Edition

This is long overdue. But here we are. Army football is in the midst of a three-game losing streak and things look bleak for the Black Knights.
This isn’t going to be me saying: “Remember when we won two games a year? This isn’t that bad”. Although I do think it’s important to remember those painful years, we need to look at the team as it is now and look where they’re heading in the future.
It’s time to sit down and ask the question: what happened to Army football?
I think the most obvious reason for the decline is injuries. Connor Slomka, Jaylon McClinton, Kelvin Hopkins, Cam Jones and more have all missed time this season.
Another reason is the offensive line. They miss Holland and Schuffert more than anyone. Last season Army ran for 321.5 rushing yards per game, this season they are averaging 254.6 rushing yards per game. Without a solid offensive line, they are unable to run up the middle with the fullback dive efficiently.
This ties into play-calling. Jeff Monken and Brent Davis have been intent on getting the fullback dive/QB run up the middle to work. It feels like they don’t trust their slotbacks to get good yardage outside. At some point, you have to switch things up and trust the guys you have on your team. Kell Walker and Artice Hobbs are more than capable of getting significant yardage with their speed.
What is not a problem is them throwing the ball. Through his first five games last season, Kelvin Hopkins threw the ball 51 times, through his first five games this season he’s thrown it 58 times. Just seven more times. That’s not that significant of a change.
Now, you could argue that the timing of the pass plays is a problem, and I’d agree for the most part. There was no need to call that pass in the red zone against Michigan or the pass play that seeled a loss against Georgia State last week.
Another reason for the drop-off is that Army’s schedule is harder than expected, Tulane, Western Kentucky, Georiga State have all exceeded expectations. Tulane has only lost to Auburn and Memphis. Western Kentucky keeps winning after dropping their opener to an FCS school, they are undefeated in C-USA play, including a win over last year’s champion, UAB. Georgia State beat Tennessee and have started 2-1 in conference play.
SJSU, Air Force, and Navy have also exceeded expectations, these won’t be the easy wins some people expected at the start of the year.
Army will look to get it together this week against the Spartans of SJSU, and they need to get rolling. If they have a big win this week it’ll give Army fans confidence going into Air Force.
All Army fans can do is stand by the team and hope they get right. Monken has earned the trust of Army fans. As I’ve seen many times on Twitter as long as they beat Navy, they don’t care about this losing streak.
Stand with them and cheer your heart out for them. They’ll turn this thing around.

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