Army Football Game Notes: The Rutgers Game

Rich Ellerson and the Black Knights face regional rival Rutgers Saturday afternoon.

Rich Ellerson and the Black Knights face regional rival Rutgers Saturday afternoon.

Nov. 5, 2012

Army vs. Rutgers Notes Get Acrobat Reader

The Last Meeting
Army12
Rutgers27
November 12, 2011
Bronx, N.Y. (Yankee Stadium)
Army Loses At Yankee Stadium, 27-12
Chas Dodd threw for 196 yards and two touchdowns, and Rutgers scored twice late in the fourth quarter as the Scarlet Knights defeated Army, 27-12, Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

Date: Nov. 10, 2012
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Piscataway, N.J.
Venue: High Point Solutions Stadium
Capacity: 52,454
TV: ESPNU
Series: Rutgers leads, 20-18
Last Meeting: Nov. 12, 2011
 Rutgers 27, Army 12 (Yankee Stadium)

TELEVISION    
ESPNU
Play-by-Play: Joe Beninati
Color Analyst: Pete Najarian
Sideline Reporter: George Smith

ARMY RADIO    
Army Sports Network
Flagship: WABC (770-AM, New York, N.Y.)
Affiliates: WALL (1340-AM, Middletown, N.Y.);    WEOK (1390-AM, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.); WPLJ-HD3 (95.5-3 (HD)-FM, New York, N.Y.); WKXP* (94.3-FM,  Kingston, N.Y.);  WKDM^ (1430-AM, New York, N.Y.); WAZZ (1390-AM, Fayetteville, N.C. — Fort Bragg); WZZN (97.7-FM,  Huntsville, Ala. — Redstone Arsenal); KXCA (1380-AM, Lawton, Okla. — Fort Sill).

*will carry partial schedule, including Army-Navy game
^Spanish broadcasts

Play-by-Play: Rich DeMarco
Color Analyst: Dean Darling
Sideline: Tony Morino
Program Hosts: Joe Beckerle, John Minko

► The 90-minute “Army Football Tailgate Show,” begins at 10 a.m.

SATELLITE RADIO    
SiriusXM Satellite Radio
The Rutgers radio broadcast can be heard on Sirius (channel 134) and XM Satellite Radio (channel 195).

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

► The “This Week in Army Football,” show will be streamed live from the West Point First Class Club on Thursday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. The event is available only to Knight Vision subscribers.

COACHING MATCH UP
ARMY HEAD COACH Rich Ellerson
  Alma Mater: Hawai’i, 1977
  4th Season at Army (17-29, .370)
  13th Season Overall (77-70, .524)
  Record vs. Rutgers: 0-3

RUTGERS HEAD COACH KYLE FLOOD
  Alma Mater: Iona, 1993
  1st Season at Rutgers (7-1, .875)
  1st Season at Rutgers (7-1, .875)
  Record vs. Army: 0-0

SATURDAY’S HEADLINES
► Fresh off their first service academy win since 2005, the Black Knights will try to maintain their momentum when they travel to Rutgers on Saturday. Army is going for back-to-back wins for the first time since defeating North Texas (Sept. 18) and Duke (Sept. 25) during the 2010 season.
► The Army defense posted its best performance of the season in its 41-21 victory against Air Force last week. The Black Knights allowed a season-low 21 points and registered four defensive takeaways, including their first defensive touchdown of the season. Army limited the nation’s No. 2 ranked rushing offense to just 103 yards, more than 260 below its average entering the game.
► Sophomore LB Geoffery Bacon led the Black Knights with 13 tackles. It was his sixth double-digit tackle game of the season. Bacon ranks seventh in the nation with 11.11 tackles per game. He also recorded his first interception of the season.
► The Army pass defense had three interceptions, its most since a three-interception game at Kent State on Nov. 13, 2010. Freshman safety Brandon Fusilier-Jeffires and senior LB Nate Combs each recorded their first career interceptions.
► Combs made two tackles for loss to run his season total to a team-leading 11.0. Combs, who missed the previous two games with a shoulder injury, scored his second career touchdown when he fell on an errant shotgun snap in the end zone. He has scored Army’s last two defensive touchdowns (52-yard fumble return against Fordham).
► The Army offense ran for 314 yards and posted 414 yards of total offense against Air Force. It was the seventh time in nine games, and fifth straight outing, the Black Knights cracked the 300-yard mark on the ground. The Black Knights enter Saturday’s game as the nation’s No. 1 ranked rushing offense at 375.44 yards per game. Army’s rushing average not only leads the country, but also currently stands as the best per-game average in Academy history.
► Senior QB Trent Steelman posted his third straight 100-yard game with 101 yards and two touchdowns against Air Force. A 100-yard effort against the Scarlet Knights would tie the Academy record. Six players have rushed for 100 yards in four straight games a total of 10 times in Academy history.
► Steelman leads the Black Knights with 911 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. He is 89 yards shy of posting the 16th 1,000-yard season in Army history. Tory Crawford holds the Army record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,078 yards in 1986. Junior RB Raymond Maples is next on the list with 907 rushing yards. If both he and Steelman can reach the 1,000-yard mark it would be only the second time in Academy history two players reached the milestone in the same season (1984 — Doug Black, Nate Sassaman).

A WIN VS. RUTGERS WOULD …
► Mark the first time Army has won back-to-back games since 2010.
► End the Black Knights’ eight-game losing streak against Rutgers.
► Be Army’s first win in Piscataway since 1972 (0-3).
► Stop the Black Knights’ 11-game losing streak in games played away from West Point.
► End Army’s 14-game losing streak against teams from the Big East Conference.
► Be Army’s first win over a ranked team since 1972 (Air Force).
► Be Army’s second straight win over a team that defeated them in 2011.
► Be Head Coach Rich Ellerson’s 18th win at West Point (17-29).

SCOUTING THE SCARLET KNIGHTS
► Head coach Kyle Flood is in his first season as the Rutgers field boss. Flood had been an assistant with the Scarlet Knights since the 2005 season, working with the offensive line. He was tagged as the running game coordinator in 2007 and was promoted to assistant head coach in 2008. He also held the title of co-offensive coordintaor for the 2009-10 seasons. Flood’s other collegiate stops include stints as the assistant head coach and offensive line coach at Delaware (2002-05), the offensive line coach at Hofstra (1997-2001) and the offensive line coach at C.W. Post (1995-96). Flood was a four-year letterwinner and team captain during his playing career at Iona.
► The Scarlet Knights have not played since suffering a 35-23 home loss to Kent State on Oct. 27, their only loss of the season. Rutgers’ quarterback Gary Nova threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns, but was intercepted six times. Jawan Jamison led the team with 84 rushing yards and a touchdown to go along with eight receptions for 88 yards. Ryan Logan led the defense with 13 tackles. Scott Vallone had 2.5 tackles for loss versus the Golden Flashes.
► The Rutgers offense is averaging 26.0 points and 359.5 yards per game. The Scarlet Knights have done most of their damage through the air. Nova has completed 59.9 percent of his throws (148-247) for 1,816 yards and 17 touchdowns. Outside of his six-INT game against Kent State, Nova has thrown just three picks in Rutgers’ other seven outings.
► The Scarlet Knights have four players who have at least 20 receptions. Brandon Coleman leads the team with 31 catches for 450  yards and six touchdowns. Mark Harrison owns 28 catches for 282 yards and four scores, while Tim Wright has 27 receptions for 337 yards and two touchdowns. Jamison rounds out Rutgers’ top pass catchers with 23 catches for 299 yards and two scores.
► Jamison has been the Scarlet Knights’ biggest weapon in the rushing game. Jamison has 863  yards and four touchdowns. His 107.9 yards per game ranks 21st in the country. Jamison has accounted for 81.4 percent of Rutgers’ rushing offense this season (863/1060), and has four of its five rushing touchdowns.
► The Rutgers defense has been among the best in the nation in nearly every phase. The Scarlet Knights rank fourth nationally against the run, allowing a paltry 88.5 yards per game. Rutgers is sixth in the nation in scoring defense, giving up just 14.25 points per game, and is 14th in total defense at 306.0 yards allowed per game.
► Khaseem Greene leads the team with 74 total tackles, and ranks 37th in the country with 9.25 tackles per contest. He also has amassed 5.5 tackles for loss, including a team-high 3.5 sacks, two interceptions, four pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and five forced fumbles. Jamal Merrell is next on the tackles ledger with 54 stops. He owns a team-high 7.5 tackles for loss. Logan Ryan Brandon Jones pace the Scarlet Knights with three interceptions each. The Rutgers defense has produced four touchdowns this season, two fumble returns and two interception returns.
► The Rutgers’ kickoff return unit leads the special teams. The Scarlet Knights are second in the nation, averaging 30.6 yards per return. Jeremy Deering leads the team with 199 yards on six returns (33.2). Mason Robinson has handled most of the punt return duties, averaging 3.5 yards on 19 returns. Nick Borgese is 2-for-2 on field goal tries, including one against Kent State. Kyle Federico is 6-for-11 with a long of 52 yards, but has had two field goal tries blocked.

THE ARMY-RUTGERS SERIES
►  Rutgers leads the all-time series, 20-18. The series dates back to the 1891 season, Army’s second year of competition.
► Rutgers has won the last eight meetings with the Black Knights, including a 27-12 decision at Yankee Stadium last season. Army’s last victory against Rutgers was a 37-35 win at West Point in 1997.
► Saturday’s game will mark the first on-campus meeting since the game at Michie Stadium in 2009. The 2010 game was played at what is now MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

ARMY VS. THE BIG EAST CONFERENCE
► Rutgers is one of two Big East Conference members on the Black Knights’ 2012 docket (Temple).
► This season marks the 13th consecutive season that the Black Knights have played at least one team from the Big East. Army took on Connecticut from 2004-06, Rutgers in 2002-03 and 2007-12, Boston College in 2000-01 and will face Temple this season. Army is 0-12 in that span and has lost 14 straight to Big East opponents. The Black Knights’ last win against a team competing in the conference was a 37-35 decision versus Rutgers in 1997
► Army competed in Conference USA from 1998-2004 with current Big East members Cincinnati and Louisville. South Florida competed in C-USA with the Black Knights in 2003 and 2004.

ARMY VS. THE TOP 25
► Rutgers enters Saturday’s tilt ranked 24th in the Associated Press poll and 20th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll. The Scarlet Knights are the first ranked team the Black Knights have faced sine #14/12 Boston College in 2007.
► Army has not won a game against a ranked opponent since defeating Air Force, 17-14, at Michie Stadium in 1972.
► Since that victory against the Falcons, Army has had several near misses against top-25 teams. Army nearly pulled off the feat on two occasions during the 1995 campaign. The Black Knights led No. 22 Washington 10-0 in the third quarter before falling 21-13 at Husky Stadium. Time expired in that game with Army at the Husky 1-yard line. Army’s chances for an upset of 17th-ranked Notre Dame later that year dissolved when TE Ron Leshinski was stopped just shy of the goal line on a two-point conversion attempt with 39 seconds remaining. The 18th-ranked Fighting Irish needed a 48-yard field goal by Jim Sanson with 1:06 to play to turn back Army 20-17 in 1998. Army’s most recent brush with ending the three-decade drought against ranked opposition came in 2005 when the Black Knights marched to the Iowa State 22-yard line before stalling with under a minute to play and fell to the 22nd-ranked Cyclones 28-21.

DYNAMIC DUO
► Senior QB Trent Steelman and junior RB Raymond Maples are on pace to become only the second Army duo to reach the 1,000-yard mark in the same season. Steelman is 89 yards short, while Maples needs 93. Both players are averaging 100 yards per game. Steelman is 29th in the nation at 101.22 yards per game, while Maples is 31st at 100.78  yards per contest.
► Doug Black (1,148) and Nate Sassaman (1,002 yards) both reached the 1,000-yard plateau in 1984.
► In NCAA history, at least two players have reached the 1,000-yard mark in the same season 52 times. Nevada holds the record with three 1,000-yard rushers in 2009. Nevada, Auburn and Wisconsin were the last to accomplish the feat in 2010.

UP NEXT …
► The Black Knights play their final home game of the season next Saturday when they welcome the Temple Owls to Michie Stadium.
► Army and Temple have met each of the last five seasons. The Owls have won the last four meetings. Army’s last win in the series came on Sept. 29, 2007 (37-21).
► The game will mark the final home appearance for Army’s group of seniors. They will be honored in a pre-game ceremony.


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