WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army football team wraps up its brief two-game road swing on Saturday when the Black Knights play Rutgers at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m.
The game will be video streamed live on ESPN3 with Bob Picozzi (play by play) and Curt Warner (color analyst) calling the action. The broadcast can be accessed by logging on to www.espn3.com.
The Army Sports Network will have the audio call of the game on its flagship station WABC (770-AM), as well as WALL (1340-AM) and WEOK (1390-AM), Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 126) and ITT Knight Vision. Rich DeMarco (play by play), Dean Darling (color analyst) and Tony Morino (sideline reporter) will cover the game on the Army Sports Network.
Army (4-2) is fresh off a 41-23 victory at Tulane last week. The Black Knights reeled off 24 unanswered points during the second and third quarters to seize a 31-7 lead midway through the third. Army's dynamic triple option offense racked up a season-high 312 rushing yards in the contest.
Rutgers (3-2) comes into Saturday's game after defeating Connecticut, 27-24, last Friday night. The Scarlet Knights scored 10 points over the final 3:53 to earn the victory. Senior placekicker San San Te converted a 34-yard field goal with 13 seconds remaining to supply the game-winning points.
Army head coach Rich Ellerson is in his second season leading the Black Knights. He has guided Army to a 4-2 mark through six games this season after posting a 5-7 record last year. He currently holds a 9-9 mark at West Point. Greg Schiano is in his 10th season as the Rutgers head coach. He has led the program to 58-57 record and five bowl games since taking over the reins of the program.
Army and Rutgers have met 36 times previously in a series that dates back to 1891. The series is deadlocked at 18 wins apiece, but Rutgers has won six straight meetings. The Scarlet Knights took last season's matchup, securing a 27-10 victory at West Point. Army's last win in the series was a 37-35 verdict during the 1997 season.
Army's offense has piled up the points this season and the Black Knights enter Saturday's matchup versus Rutgers averaging 32.3 points per game. The Black Knights' triple option attack, which is led by sophomore quarterback Trent Steelman, has been humming all season long. Through six games, the Army rushing game ranks ninth in the nation with 274.3 yards per contest.
Army has already scored 22 rushing touchdowns through six games after totaling just 13 ground scores in 2009. The Black Knights' 26 total TDs have already begun to dwarf last year's season total (19).
The Black Knights have four players averaging more than 46 rushing yards per game, led by sophomore fullback Jared Hassin (65.5 yards/game). Hassin eclipsed the 100-yard plateau last week at Tulane, becoming the first Black Knight to top the century mark this season. The second-year fullback scored twice against the Green Wave, increasing his TD total to six on the season.
Steelman, who is averaging 59.2 rushing yards per game, has scored a team-high seven rushing touchdowns on the year. Sophomore slotback Malcolm Brown (46.7) and senior slotback Patrick Mealy (46.0) have been productive on the ground as well.
Steelman has found his form throwing the ball this fall, as well. The Army signal caller is completing 55.8 percent of his passes for 388 yards and four touchdowns. His top target in the passing game of late has been junior wide receiver Austin Barr, who enters Saturday's game versus Rutgers leading the Black Knights in receptions (nine), receiving yards (137) and receiving touchdowns (two).
Junior wide receiver Davyd Brooks (five receptions, 69 yards) hauled in his first touchdown catch of the season last week at Tulane. Sophomore wide out George Jordan (five receptions, 54 yards) has proven himself to be a credible option in the passing game as well.
The Rutgers offense, which is scoring 20.7 points per game, is a balanced outfit that averages 133.4 rushing yards per game and 195.4 passing yards per contest. The Scarlet Knights' offensive attack is directed by freshman quarterback Chas Dodd, who authored a prolific performance against Connecticut last Friday night. The first-year QB completed 18-of-29 passes for 322 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Huskies, helping to lead RU to the come-from-behind victory.
For the season, Dodd leads Rutgers in passing yards (504) and passing touchdowns (three).
Mohamed Sanu is the Scarlet Knights' top offensive playmaker, as the sophomore wide receiver leads the team in both rushing and receiving. Sanu enters Saturday's game versus Army averaging 50.4 rushing yards per game with a team-high three rushing scores. He also leads the squad with 23 receptions, 245 receiving yards and two receiving TDs.
Senior running back Joe Martinek has been a threat out of the backfield as well, averaging more than 40 rushing yards per game with one ground score. Sophomore wide receiver Mark Harrison is Rutgers' second-leading receiver, having hauled in 10 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown through five games.
Army's defense, which stood tall against Tulane before yielding 16 fourth quarter points, has been an opportunistic unit. The Black Knights, who are yielding 24.0 points per game, have forced 16 turnovers as a team. Army is ranked first nationally in turnover margin (2.00) and fifth in the country in turnovers gained (16).
Senior linebacker Stephen Anderson leads the Black Knights' defense with 44 tackles, including four tackles for loss. Senior defensive end Josh McNary tops the team in tackles for loss (9.5) and quarterback sacks (7.0), while listing second in total tackles (31). McNary had a productive game against Tulane last Saturday, recording six tackles, two quarterback sacks and one forced fumble.
Junior defensive back Antuan Aaron, who led the team with seven tackles at Tulane last week, paces the Black Knights' secondary with 22 stops on the season.
The Rutgers defense, which is allowing just 14.4 points per game and 270.2 yards of total offense per contest, is spearheaded by senior linebacker Antonio Lowery (46 tackles, two fumble recoveries) and senior defensive back Joe Lefeged (33 tackles, five pass breakups).
Te has connected on 9-of-13 field goal attempts this season for Rutgers, including 7-of-8 inside 40 yards. Fifth-year senior Teddy Dellaganna is averaging 41.0 yards per punt with nine 50-yard kicks. Army junior placekicker Alex Carlton has made 4-of-10 field goal attempts on the year. Senior punter Jonathan Bulls is averaging 40.0 yards per punt with seven kicks dropped inside the opponents' 20-yard line.
Army has an open date next weekend, but the Black Knights return to action on Saturday, Oct. 30, when they host VMI at Michie Stadium. The contest, which will be televised live by CBS College Sports, is scheduled to kickoff at 12 p.m. It will be Military Appreciation Day at West Point, and all military personnel and their families will be afforded the opportunity to purchase discounted tickets to the game.
Mini-plan and single-game tickets for all Army home contests are currently on sale at the Army Ticket Office, by phone at 1-877-TIX-ARMY or online at www.goARMYsports.com.