Army-Stanford Presented By USAA Set For Saturday

Larry Dixon has run for 100 yards in each of the first two games.

Larry Dixon has run for 100 yards in each of the first two games.

Sept. 12, 2013

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army starts a two-game homestand Saturday afternoon when it hosts No. 5/4 Stanford at Michie Stadium. Kickoff is slated for noon and will be broadcast live by CBS Sports Network.

The Cardinal are making their first trip to the banks of the Hudson since 1976. Saturday's game is the first meeting since the Black Knights trekked west on Sept. 22, 1979. Army and Stanford have met 10 times with each team taking five victories. The Black Knights have won the last two aforementioned contests.

Army is coming off a 40-14 loss at Ball State. The Black Knights (1-1) opened the season with a 28-12 home victory over Morgan State. Stanford opened its season last weekend with a 34-13 victory over San Jose State. The Cardinal are ranked fifth in this week's Associated Press poll and fourth in the latest  USA Today Top 25. Stanford is the first top-five team to visit West Point since Army defeated No. 3 Penn State, 9-6, on Oct. 13, 1962. Stanford is the first ranked team to play at Michie Stadium since 22nd ranked Iowa State during the 2005 campaign.

"They (Stanford) play within themselves, and they've got good football players that are both big and skilled," head coach Rich Ellerson said. "They're a veteran outfit. Their guys know their way around the offense and the defense. They're a physically imposing outfit that knows what they're about. They don't make mistakes. They take care of the football on offense. They do a nice job in the kicking game, and it's hard to find a play against them on defense."
The last time Army played a team from the Pacific-12 Conference, the Black Knights almost pulled off an upset. The Black Knights were driving for the game-tying score against No. 22 Washington on Sept. 23, 1995, when time ran out in a 21-13 loss in Seattle, Wash. The last time Army hosted a team from the Pacific-12 was in 1980 when Army defeated California 26-19 on Sept. 20, under Ed Cavanaugh.

The Black Knights rushing offense is back near the national lead through the first two weeks. Army is 11th in the country, averaging 329.0 yards per game. That includes a 363-yard effort last time out against the Cardinals. Junior fullback Larry Dixon has recorded at least 100 yards in each of the first two games.  Dixon led all players with 113 yards at Ball State and accounted for both of Army's touchdowns. Dixon broke off a 71-yard scoring run on the third play from scrimmage.

Quarterback Angel Santiago is next on the list with 157 yards in two games. Santiago leads the Black Knights with 31 rushing attempts. Running back Raymond Maples, who is two games into his quest to become only the second Army player to reach 1,000 yards three times, is averaging 6.0 yards per carry and 51.0 yards per game. Santiago has completed seven of his 19 pass attempts  (.368) for 150 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Backup A.J. Schurr saw his first action at Ball State last week and went 4-for-8 for 27 yards. He also ran five times for a career-high 41 yards.

Junior WR Chevaughn Lawrence caught one pass last week against Ball State to extend his streak of games with at least one catch to 12 outings. It is the longest such run by an Army player since all-time leading receiver Jeremy Trimble caught a pass in 22 straight games during the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Freshman Xavier Moss has made at least one catch in each of the first two games of his career. Moss leads the team with four catches for 85 yards, averaging better than 21 yards per catch. Lawrence has three catches for 44 yards and a touchdown, while Anthony Stephens made all three of his catches to date against Ball State.

Army has used the same starting offensive line in each of the first two games. Anchored at left tackle by co-captain Michael Kime, the group includes left guard Stephen Shumaker, center Ryan Powis, right guard Zach Reichert and right tackle Justin Gilbert. Matt Hugenberg (guard) and Nick Bennett (tackle) have also seen plenty of playing time.
 
The Stanford defense features All-America candidate Trent Murphy at outside linebacker. A second-team preseason All-America selection by several outlets, Murphy made a team-best 18.0 tackles for loss and 10. sacks in 2012. He picked up where he left off in the team's opener against San Jose State, taking down the Spartans' quarterback twice. Stanford held San Jose State to just 35 yards rushing. Ed Reynolds made 12 tackles and Shayne Skov nine.

"What we really need to do is make sure our fullback is on his track and is seeing the action key, and our quarterback is confident and precise in the mesh," Ellerson said. "Those are the things we need to do. We don't need to draw another play in the dirt. I'm making the argument that we need to dump about half of the things we're doing so that we're unconsciously competent with those things. We don't need another play. What we need to do is get the ball off the ground and try to do the right thing on the next snap, and if we can do that, we'll be competitive."
The Black Knights' defense has limited its first two opponents to just 3.5 yards per carry. Army has not allowed a run of more than 18 yards in either of its first two games.

Free safety Geoffery Bacon has adapted well to his new position. After leading the Black Knights with 136 tackles as a mike linebacker last season, Bacon is again averaging double-digit tackles through two games this season. He had a career-high 16 stops against Morgan State and four stops at Ball State.
   
Mike linebacker Alex Meier, who moved over from the rover position is next on the list with 18 stops. He also posted a career high with 11 tackles against Morgan State. Senior co-captain Thomas Holloway has 17 tackles, including a team-high nine at Ball State.
   
The defensive line has made its share of plays behind the line of scrimmage. Kyle Maxwell had both of his tackles for loss versus the Bears, while Robert Kough, last year's leader along the front, made 1.5 stops behind the line at Ball State. Joe Drummond, Richard Glover, Ryan Alexander and Mike Ugenyi have also been credited with at least an assisted tackle for loss.
   
Army registered its first takeaway of the season at Ball State when Jarrett Mackey forced a fumble that was recovered by cornerback Chris Carnegie. It was Carnegie's first career fumble recovery. Rookie cornerback Josh Jenkins leads the team with two pass breakups.
    
For the second straight week, Army will face a quarterback that was on the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award, which is given to the nation's most outstanding player. Stanford trigger man Kevin Hogan won all five of his starts last season and is now 6-0 as a starter after the San Jose State win. He was the MVP of the Pac-12 title game and guided the Cardinal to the 2013 Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin. He threw for 1,096 yards and nine touchdowns in 10 total games last season. Against the Spartans, he threw for 207 yards, and two scores. The Cardinal ground game was paced by Tyler Gaffney who ran for 104 yards and two scores versus San Jose State.

"What we have to try to do is win the next snap," head coach Rich Ellerson said. "We don't have to try to win the game. We need the win the next snap, the next situation, the next opportunity. Don't believe what the scoreboard says good, bad or indifferent. Just get yourself in the moment and try to get a stop on the next snap, get a first down on the next snap, make a play on the next snap, whether it be a sky punt or an extra point, or when you're defending the off-tackle play, or running the triple option. Whatever it is, let's execute that on the next play. Keep yourself in the moment, and that's where we start getting good. I told the guys, `Our mothers love us, but the only people in the room who think we've got a chance in this game are in the room.' Throw that out, forget about it and let's try to surprise mom on the next snap."

With a sellout crowd expected, fans should plan on arriving at West Point earlier than usual to help mitigate long lines at the Academy gates and parking lots. The game-day festivities begin at 9 a.m.

The Black Knights remain at home next Saturday when they welcome the Wake Forest Demon Deacons to Michie Stadium. Army and Wake Forest squared off last season in Winston-Salem, but it will the Deacons' first trip to West Point since 1999.

Important Note To Fans Attending Saturday's Game
With an anticipated sellout looming, please arrive as early as possible Parking lots open at 6 a.m. In addition to Black Knights Alley detailed above, there are a plethora of game day activities to take in hours prior to kickoff. Please visit www.ARMYgameday.com for more information leading up to Saturday.

Game Day Checklist

1. Purchase your tickets and parking passes in advance. Click here to purchase.

2. Visit ARMYgameday.com for all game day activities, maps, directions, parking and ticket information.

3. Decide which activities you will participate in on game day (Cadet Review, Tailgate, Black Knights Alley, etc). Click here for the game day itinerary.

4. Plan accordingly. Due to increased security measures and heavy game day traffic, please allow for extra time when traveling to West Point. All fans 16 and older will be asked to present a valid ID when entering West Point. Click here for West Point directions, parking and shuttle information.

5. Enjoy the game!



   

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