Army Football Game Notes: The North Texas Game




WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army football plays its second straight home game on Saturday, hosting North Texas on Sept. 18. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. on CBS College Sports Network.

TELEVISION
CBS College Sports Network

  Play-by-Play: Dave Ryan
  Color Analyst: Jason Sehorn
  Cadet Sideline Reporter: Katie Murphy
  Channel Lineup: Time Warner Cable (Newburgh, N.Y.) -- 457; DirecTV -- 613; Dish Network -- 152

ARMY RADIO
Army Sports Networ
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  Flagship: WABC (770-AM, New York, N.Y.)
  Affiliates: WALL (1340-AM, Middletown, N.Y.);  
  WEOK (1390-AM, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)
Play-by-Play: Rich DeMarco
Color Analyst: Dean Darling
Sideline: Tony Marino
Program Hosts: Bob Outer & John Minko

The 90-minute “Army Football Tailgate Show,” begins at 10 a.m. Pre-game coverage starts at 11:30 a.m.

SATELLITE RADIO
The Army Sports Network game broadcast will be carried via Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 152)  and beginning at 12 p.m.

INTERNET STREAMING
The entire Army Sports Network broadcast, including the “Army Football Tailgate Show,” will be streamed live via ITT Knight Vision on www.goARMYsports.com each week. Subscription fees apply.

On Tuesdays of game weeks, Rich Ellerson’s weekly press conference will be video streamed live on ITT Knight Vision. Thursday’s “This Week in Army Football,” show will also be video streamed live. Both events are available only to ITT Knight Vision subscribers.

COACHING MATCH UP
ARMY HEAD COACH RICH ELLERSO
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  Alma Mater: Hawai’i, 1977
  2nd Season at Army (6-8, .429)
  11th Season Overall (66-49, .574)
  Record vs. North Texas: 1-0

NORTH TEXAS COACH TODD DODGE
  Alma Mater: Texas, 1987
  4th Season at North Texas (5-33, .132)
  4th Season Overall (5-33, .132)
  Record vs. Army: 0-2

ARMY QUICK HITTERS
Army is trying to bounce back from a 31-28 loss to Hawai’i in its home opener last Saturday. The Warriors jumped out to a 21-0 lead with 11 minutes to go in the second quarter, but the Black Knights scored 28 unanswered points. Hawai’i came back with 10 straight points, including the game-winning field goal with only seven seconds left.

The loss to the Warriors was Army’s third by three points or less in the last three seasons. The Black Knights responded on each of the two previous occasions with victories at home the next week. In 2008, Army came back from a 27-24 overtime loss at Buffalo to beat Louisiana Tech, 14-7. Last season, the Black Knights dropped a 17-16 decsion to Tulane before defeating Vanderbilt, 16-13 in overtime, the following week.

Army has eight rushing touchdowns through the first two games of 2010. The Black Knights ran for 13 scores all of last season. Sophomore FB Jared Hassin has scored four of those eight touchdowns and is only one shy of matching QB Trent Steelman’s team-leading total from a year ago. Versus Hawai’i, sophomore SB Malcolm Brown scored the first two touchdowns of his career, while junior QB Max Jenkins scored his first career touchdown on his first play in relief of Steelman.

The Black Knights have scored at least 28 points in each of their fist two games marking the first time they have reached that mark in consecutive games since a three-game run in 2004.

The Black Knights allowed 343 passing yards and 353 overall yards to Hawai’i, but most of those yardage totals came in the first 18 minutes, 29 seconds of the game. After the Warriors scored their third touchdown to go up 21-0 with 11:31 left in the second quarter, Army gave up a total of 138 yards, including 119 passing yards, over the final 41 minutes, 31 seconds of the game.

Senior DE Josh McNary recorded three sacks, just one off his own Academy record, against Hawai’i to extend his Black Knights’ career record to 21.0. McNary’s career 40.0 tackles for loss are just two shy of matching the Army all-time record (George Mayes, 42, 1976-79).

A WIN VS. NORTH TEXAS WOULD ...
• Mark the second straight season Army has opened 2-1.
• Extend Army’s winning streak versus North Texas to four (3-0 all-time).
• Be the third straight time Army has won a game the week after losing by three or less.
• Be head coach Rich Ellerson’s seventh win his first 15 games. Army won a total of seven games in its previous 32 outings before Ellerson’s arrival.
• Improve Army’s September record to 4-3 in the last two years. The Black Knights won a total of four games in September from 2000-08 (4-30).
• Be the 644th win in the 121 seasons of Army football (643-457-51; .581).

SCOUTING THE MEAN GREEN
North Texas is making its first trip to West Point since Nov. 15, 1997 when the Black Knights scored a 25-14 victory. It is the Mean Green’s second road trip (at Clemson) during a stretch of three games away from Fouts Field in their first four games of the season.

Head coach Todd Dodge is in his fourth season at North Texas after a standout career at Southlake Carroll High School. Dodge is 5-33 during his tenure with the Mean Green. Prior to his arrival in Denton, he led Southlake Carroll to four Texas 5A state championships in five seasons between 2001-06, posting a 79-1 record in that span. He was 98-11 overall at Carroll. Dodge entered coaching after starting at quarterback at Texas where he threw for 2,791 yards and 18 touchdowns during his career.

Just like Army, the Mean Green are coming off a close loss. North Texas led after three quarters, but Rice scored a touchdown with six minutes left in the fourth to take a 32-31 win in Denton last Saturday. The Mean Green outgained the Owls, 420-351. Lance Dunbar had his second straight 100-yard rushing game with 105 yards on 17 carries. Dunbar scored twice in the game, once via the rush and once on a shovel pass reception. Starting quarterback Nathan Tune completed 20 of his 37 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns before going down with a dislocated hip in the fourth quarter. Backup Derek Thompson was 2 for 4 for 11 yards in relief.

For the second straight week, the Black Knights will face a high-flying aerial attack. The Mean Green enters Saturday’s game with the 23rd-ranked passing offense in the nation, averaging 282.50 yards per contest. Before his injury, Tune boasted a 59.1 completion percentage (39 for 66), 525 yards and four touchdowns to go along with three interceptions. Thompson is 5 for 7 for 40 yards in two appearances this season. Last  year’s starter, Riley Dodge, the son of the head coach, was moved to receiver, but has appeared at quarterback when North Texas  utilizes a “wildcat” formation.

Jamaal Jackson leads the receiving corps with seven catches for 134 yards and a touchdown. Darius Casey and Dunbar each have six receptions and a touchdown. Four different players have each caught a scoring pass for the Mean Green this season.

Dunbar has accounted for 221 of the Mean Green’s 317 rushing yards (69.7 percent). He ran for 116 yards in the opener at Clemson and has eight 100-yard rushing games in his nine career starts. Last season against Army, Dunbar posted  132 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown run. James Hamilton is second on the team with 58 yards on seven carries.

The North Texas defense is ranked 86th in the nation after two weeks, giving up 386.50 yards per game. Craig Robertson leads the unit with 19 tackles. He also owns one of the Mean Green’s two interceptions and has recovered a fumble.

Jeremy Phillips is second on the team with 14 total tackles and leads the Mean Green with two stops behind the line of scrimmage. He has one of the team’s three quarterback sacks. John Shorter leads the team with two pass deflections.

Will Atterberry handles the punting duties and is averaging 42.8 yards on 14 kicks. He has four punts of more than 50 yards and has had four of his kicks downed inside the 20-yard line. Trent Deans is 2 for 2 on field goal tries, hitting from 25 and 24 yards.

THE ARMY-NORTH TEXAS SERIES
Army and North Texas have met three times on the gridiron with the Black Knights scoring victories in each contest. The Black Knights are 2-0 on the Mean Green’s home field and scored a 25-14 win at Michie Stadium on Nov. 15, 1997.

ARMY VS. THE SUN BELT CONFERENCE
North Texas is the only team from the Sun Belt Conference on the Black Knights’ schedule in 2010.

The Black Knights have played only five games against teams currently competing in the Sun Belt. Army is 1-1 versus Arkansas State and 3-0 versus North Texas.

THE LAST MEETING: ARMY 17, NORTH TEXAS 13 (NOV. 21, 2009)
DENTON, Texas  —
Trent Steelman’s two-yard touchdown run with 1:13 left in the game capped a wild final eight minutes and gave the Black Knights a 17-13 win over North Texas at Fouts Field.

Army led 10-7 in the fourth quarter, but Lance Dunbar went 68 yards untouched to give the Mean Green a 13-10 lead with 7:11 to go in the game. The PAT was no good to keep the lead at only a field goal. Army turned the ball over on downs on its next possession, but the defense stiffened to force a 33-yard field goal attempt. Marcus Hilton blocked the kick and Steve Erzinger returned it to the Army 38-yard line. On the Black Knights’ first play of the drive, Steelman broke a tackle and went 55 yards down the left sideline to the North Texas’ 2-yard line. Two plays later, he punched it into the end zone and Carlton’s PAT provided the winning margin.

North Texas had one more shot with the ball at its own 30-yard line and one time out. Riley Dodge completed his 31st pass of the day that gave the Mean Green a first down near midfield, but his next pass was intercepted by Ty Shrader.

Shrader’s interception was one of five Army takeaways on the day, including three interceptions. The Mean Green outgained the Black Knights 447-287.

Steelman finished with 132 yards rushing on 23 carries. It was his second 100-yard game of the season. He completed 7-of-15 passes for 87 yards. Alejandro Villanueva caught five passes for 77 yards.
  
Dodge was 31-for-41 passing for 225 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. He also rushed for 90 yards on 17 carries. Dunbar finished the day with 132 yards on only 13 rushing attempts. Darius Carey led the receiving corps with nine catches for 67 yards.

OUT OF THE GATE
Following last week’s loss, Army is 3-3 in six September games during the Rich Ellerson Era. The Black Knights were 2-2 during September in 2009 and are 1-1 thus far in 2010.

September success has been hard to find in recent years for Army. From 2000-08, Army posted a total of four wins in 34 September games. The Black Knights lost 22 straight games starting in 2000. The streak ended with a 17-14 overtime win against Kent State on Sept. 9, 2006.

The last time the Black Knights entered October with a winning record was in 1996 when Army started the year with a nine-game winning streak, including three wins in September.

THIRD QUARTER TURNAROUND
Army scored three touchdowns in the third quarter of its loss to Hawai’i. The Black Knights scored three third-quarter touchdowns during the entire 2009 season. The 21 points versus the Warriors represented Army’s highest-scoring quarter since a 21-point outburst in the fourth quarter of a 44-13 win at Tulane on Oct. 4, 2008.

The Black Knights have received the second half kickoff in both of its first two games, scoring touchdown on both possessions.

The Black Knights have a 31-13 scoring advantage in the third quarter this season. It is the only quarter in which Army has outscored its opponents. Last season, the Black Knights were outscored in the third quarter 61-33 and were shut out in the third quarter seven times in 12 games.

The third-quarter success has come at the expense of last season’s first-half advantage. In 2009, Army held a 92-85 edge in the first half. Through two games this season, Army is on the wrong end of a 35-21 first-half scoring margin.

UP NEXT ...
Army hits the road to take on the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday, Sept. 25. Kickoff at Wallace Wade Stadium is set for 3 p.m. The game will be streamed live on the internet via ESPN3 (www.espn3.com).

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