TEAM Army and Eastern Michigan squared off for the fourth time Saturday night at Rynearson Stadium. It marked the Black Knights’ second ever visit to Ypsilanti. Army has prevailed in all four meetings between the clubs.
It marked the second straight year that Army has opened its season at Eastern Michigan.
The game was delayed by 10 minutes in the second quarter due to a power failure. The main scoreboard and a bank of lights on the west side (home) of the stadium were affected by the outage. The teams agreed to continue playing without the scoreboard and limited lighting.
Prior to last year, Army had dropped 12 consecutive season openers. It has now won two straight season openers for the first tiem since 1995 and 1996.
Army is now 5-0 under head coach Rich Ellerson when winning the turnover margin.
Rich Ellerson is the first Army coach to win six of his first 13 games at West Point since Tom Cahill went 10-3 in 1966 and 1967.
Army is now 3-1 in its last four games against Mid-American Conference teams.
Eight Black Knights drew their first collegiate starts on Saturday, four on offense and four on defense.
OFFENSE Army Trent Steelman drew his 13th consecutive start under center for the Black Knights. Steelman became the first quarterback in Army history to start 12 games last fall.
Steelman is the first Army quarterback to win six games as a starter since Zac Dahman (2002-05).
Sophomore FB Jared Hassin ranked as one of four Army players to register their first collegiate starts on offense Saturday against Eastern Michigan. He was joined by first-time starters Frank Allen (LG) Davyd Broosk (WR) and George Jordan (WR).
Sophomore FB Jared Hassin scored Army’s first touchdown of the season with 2:47 remaining in the first quarter, plunging in from the 3-yard line. He finished the game with three scores, including one with 38 seconds left in the fourth quarter. He is the first Army player to run for three touchdowns since Collin Mooney had four scores at Tulane on Oct. 4, 2008.
Army ran for 309 yards, its highest total since going for 461 yards versus Rice on Nov. 8, 2008. The Black Knights are now 22-7 when running for at least 300 yards since 1996.
Army’s 374 yards of total offense was its highest since going for 385 yards against Duke on Sept. 12, 2009.
Sophomore SB Brian Cobbs rushed for 60 yards on three carries, including a 39-yard run which was Army’s longest play of the game, in his debut in the backfield. Cobbs played cornerback last season. DEFENSE Army’s defense registered two takeaways in the first half, both led to Black Knight touchdowns.
Four Army players recorded their first collegiate starts on defense against Eastern Michigan. Sophomores Josh Jackson (CB), Jarrett Mackey (whip bandit) and Nate Combs (whip), along with senior Richard King (CB) made their collegiate starting debuts for Army on the defensive side of the ball.
Sophomore LB Jarrett Mackey was credited with his first career forced fumble in the first quarter. Sophomore CB Josh Jackson recovered the fumble at the EMU 15-yard line, which led to Army’s first touchdown of the season.
Senior FS Donovan Travis registered his seventh career interception in the second quarter, thwarting an Eagle scoring drive. It marked the second straight year in which Travis notched a pickoff against EMU. Travis now stands tied for 16th on Army’s career interceptions list.
SPECIAL TEAMS Junior K Alex Carlton misfired on a 41-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter, then hit a 42-yarder in the third quarter. Both attempts were struck into the wind. Carlton tied Army’s single season field goals record last fall when he hit on 18 of 24 triples.
After Army scored a touchdown on its opening possession of the second half, the Black Knights recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. Junior LB Bill Prosko was credited with forcing the fumble and recovering it. The turnover led to Alex Carlton’s 42-yard field goal with 8:28 left in the third quarter.