POSTGAME NOTES ARMY VS. EASTERN MICHIGAN (OCT. 11, 2008)
After opening its 2008 campaign with four straight setbacks, Army notched its second straight victory after defeating Eastern Michigan 17-13 Saturday afternoon. It marked the Black Knights’ second consecutive Homecoming day win after Army defeated Tulane 20-17 in overtime last October. It also marked Army’s first win at Michie Stadium since that contest, snapping a five-game home losing streak.
Army is now 2-0 all-time versus Eastern Michigan, having defeated the Eagles 57-17 in the teams’ only previous meeting on Oct. 31, 1992.
Army’s victory on Saturday marked the first time that Army has won a game without registering a single passing yard since a 35-27 win over Colgate on Oct. 25, 1997, 125 games prior.
Following last week’s 44-13 defeat of Tulane, the Black Knights have now won consecutive games for the first time since they beat Temple and Tulane in succession on Sept. 29, 2007, and Oct. 6, 2007, respectively.
Army registered just three wins in games it trailed at the half from 2002 through 2006. The Black Knights have now posted three such victories in their last 17 games (dating back to Rhode Island game last fall). Saturday’s victory marked the first time that Army has won a game in which it trailed at halftime since last year’s 20-17 overtime defeat of Tulane (Oct. 6, 2007).
Army did not register a takeaway on defense against Eastern Michigan, marking the first time the Black Knights have won a game in which it did not benefit from an opponent’s turnover since a 2006 overtime defeat of Baylor (Sept. 23, 2006).
Army finished with 341 total yards on Saturday, all of which came on the ground. The Black Knights’ season-high 341-yard rushing total marked their largest ground output since rolling up 388 rushing yards against New Mexico State on Oct. 23, 1999, and ranks tied for 105th on Army’s all-time single game chart. It marked the 146th 300-yard rushing game in school history and the first since 2005 (versus Arkansas State on Nov. 19).
The Black Knights have now rushed for at least 280 yards in three straight contests. Army last accomplished that feat during the last two games in 1998 (versus Louisville <364> and Navy <401>) and the first game in 1999 (versus Wake Forest <282>). Army rushed for at least 280 yards five times consecutively during 1998, the last time the Black Knights have accomplished the feat in the same season.
One week after posting a career-best 187 yards rushing and four touchdowns versus Tulane, senior FB Collin Mooney registered 229 ground yards on a career-high 29 carries opposite Eastern Michigan. It stands as the fourth best single game rushing total in Army history and the third highest rushing total by a fullback in school history. It also marks the first time in school history that a player has rushed for at least 187 yards in back-to-back contests.
Collin Mooney boosted his seasonal rushing total to 645 yards, the highest single season ground total by an Army player since Wesley McMahand posted 654 rushing yards in 2006.
Senior Wesley McMahand and freshman George Fletcher both recorded their first starts of the season at halfback against Eastern Michigan.
Army’s defense shut out Eastern Michigan in the second half, limiting the Eagles to 100 total yards of offense over the final 30 minutes of game time. The Black Knights’ stop unit yielded EMU RB Dwayne Priest just eight rushing yards on three carries in the second half after the Eagle running back piled up 110 rushing yards on 14 carries in the first half. The Black Knights permitted Tulane just six points after halftime last week. Army has outscored its last three opponents by a 41-13 margin in the second half.
Army has allowed 13 points in each of the last two games. It marks the first time since 1996 that the Black Knights have allowed less than 14 points in consecutive games.
The Black Knights’ defense has allowed 97 points (discounting opponent special teams and defensive scores) through six contests (16.2 ppg.). Overall, Army ranked 58th nationally in scoring defense (23.8) entering the game.
Senior LB Frank Scappaticci topped the Black Knights with nine tackles on Saturday. He currently leads the club with 48 stops.
The Black Knights posted five tackles for loss against Eastern Michigan with seven different players having a hand in the stops.
Sophomore K Matt Campbell drilled his only field goal attempt (18 yards) and two extra points versus Eastern Michigan. Campbell has yet to miss a kick this season, nailing all five of his field goal tries and five of his extra point attempts.
Junior DE Victor Ugenyi blocked a field goal attempt for the second consecutive week. His block of a 22-yard field goal attempt in the third quarter prevented Eastern Michigan from stretching a 13-10 lead to six points. For the second consecutive week, the Black Knights responded by marching 80 yards for a touchdown.