Postgame Notes - Army vs. Ball State (Sept. 19, 2009)




TEAM
Army and Ball State squared off for the second time on Saturday, with the Black Knights notching their second win over the Cardinals. The teams' first meeting dated back to 1999 and resulted in a 41-21 Army victory.

With two wins in their first three games, the Black Knights stand 2-1 for the first time since 1996. It marks only the second time in 13 years that Army's record stands above .500. Both of those instances have occurred this season.

Army stands just one victory shy of its season win total from each of the past three years.

The Army Athletic Association officially retired the uniform number (61) of former Outland Trophy winner Joe Steffy on Saturday. Steffy's number is the third that has been officially retired at West Point, joining Glenn Davis' number 41 and Pete Dawkins' number 24. Felix "Doc" Blanchard's legendary number 35 will join those ranks when his jersey is officially retired at West Point on Oct. 10, when Army hosts Vanderbilt. Steffy was on hand and honored at halftime.

OFFENSE
For the third straight game, Army scored a touchdown on its first possession Saturday against Ball State. The Black Knights engineered a 13-play drive for the touchdown, their longest scoring drive in terms of play count this season. Army scored touchdowns on its opening drive three times all of last season.

Freshman QB Trent Steelman established a season high with 58 yards passing against Ball State. He completed 3 of 7 passes and teamed with senior WR Alejandro Villanueva for his first collegiate scoring toss. Steelman hit Villanueva with a 24-yard touchdown pass with 1:21 remaining before halftime, providing Army with a 17-10 lead at the break.

Junior FB Kingsley Ehie led Army with 67 yards rushing on 15 carries Saturday.

Junior SB Jameson Carter registered a career-high 57 ground yards on 14 carries. Carter, who was shifted from wide receiver this spring, registered 52 yards on five carries during Army's season opener against Eastern Michigan for his previous career best.

DEFENSE
Junior FS Donovan Travis registered two interceptions against Ball State on Saturday, increasing his season total to three. Travis, who notched two pickoffs last season, moved into a tie for 34th place on Army's career aerial theft list. He is the first Army player to register two interceptions in a game since Frank Scappaticci accomplished the feat versus Tulane last season (10-4-08).

Donovan Travis provided Army with the game-winning points when he returned an interception 18 yards for a touchdown with 6:41 remaining in the game on Saturday. Travis returned his first interception this season 55 yards against Eastern Michigan. It marked Travis's first interception return for a touchdown and the first by an Army player since Frank Scappaticci returned a pickoff 35 yards for a score against Tulane last season (10-4-08).

Junior LB Stephen Anderson piled up a career-high 15 tackles during Saturday's defeat of Ball State. Anderson added 1.5 tackles for loss and was credited with one-half quarterback sack. He was credited with 11 primary hits on Saturday, another career best.

Army's defense recorded seven tackles for loss, two quarterback sacks and four interceptions on Saturday. It marked the first time the Black Knights garnered four interceptions in a game since doing so in a 49-7 defeat at Boston College on Oct. 24, 1995, 159 games prior.

In addition to Donovan Travis, senior CB Mario Hill and sophomore whip linebacker Andrew Rodriguez also notched interceptions on Saturday. It marked the first career pickoffs for both Hill and Rodriguez.

Army registered just seven interceptions all of last season. The Black Knights have notched six pickoffs through three games this season.

Army's defense has not allowed more than 21 points in any game this season. Duke scored on a pair of interception returns last week accounting for its 35-point aggregate.

SPECIAL TEAMS
Sophomore K Alex Carlton drilled a career-long 45-yard field goal early in the second quarter, providing the Black Knights with a 10-7 lead. Since assuming starting duties last week, Carlton is 3-for-4 in field goal attempts, hitting both of his tries from beyond 40 yards. Carlton has also 4-for-4 in extra point attempts.

Junior P Jonathan Bulls averaged 43.3 yards on seven punts Saturday. Bulls dropped three kicks inside the Ball State 20-yard line, including a season-long 65-yarder that pinned the Cardinals at their own 4-yard line midway through the third quarter. Bulls has dropped six kicks inside the opponent's 20-yard line through three contests

 

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