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Army Football Game Notes: The Kent State Game

WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army football team will try for its sixth win of the season (5-4) this Saturday when it travels to Kent State (4-5) on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Dix Stadium.

 A sixth victory would mark the Black Knights’ highest win total since the 1996 team finished 10-2 and make Army bowl eligible for the first time since the 1996 team played in the Independence Bowl.

TELEVISION
There is not TV coverage for the Kent State game.

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.)
Play-by-Play: Rich DeMarco
Color Analyst: Dean Darling
Sideline: Tony Morino
Program Host: Bob Outer

The 90-minute “Army Football Tailgate Show,” begins at 12 p.m. Pre-game coverage starts at 1:30 p.m.

SATELLITE RADIO
The Army Sports Network game broadcast will be carried via Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 157)  and beginning at 12 p.m.

INTERNET STREAMING
The entire Army Sports Network broadcast, including the “Army Football Tailgate Show,” will be streamed live (audio) 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 ELLERSON

  Alma Mater: Hawai’i, 1977
  2nd Season at Army (10-11, .476)
  11th Season Overall (70-52, .574)
  Record vs. Kent State: 0-1

KENT STATE HEAD COACH DOUG MARTIN
  Alma Mater: Kentucky, 1985
  7th Season at Kent State (28-51, .354)
  7th Season Overall (28-51, .354)
  Record vs. Army: 0-1

A WIN VS. KENT STATE WOULD ...
• Give the Black Knights six wins for the first time since the 1996 squad went 10-2
• Make the Black Knights bowl eligible for the first time since 1996
• Avoid back-to-back losses for the first time this season — Army has had at least one two-game losing streak each season since 1996
• Give Army a 2-1 record versus Mid-American Conference teams this season and be its fifth win in the last eight games against MAC foes
• Be the Black Knights’ fifth straight win in an opponents’ home stadium, including four straight wins this season (loss at Rutgers came at New Meadowlands Stadium)
• Give the Black Knights a 2-0 all-time series lead versus the Golden Flashes
• Improve Army’s record to 3-2 in November under head coach Rich Ellerson (lost eight straight games during November prior to Ellerson’s arrival)
• Be the 648th win in the 121 seasons of Army football (647-459-51; .581).

ARMY QUICK HITTERS
The Black Knights are coming off a 42-22 loss to service-academy rival Air Force. Army has not lost back-to-back games this season, and is trying to complete its first season since 1996 without at least one losing streak.

Big plays were the Black Knights’ downfall against the Falcons. One-hundred thirty-seven (137) of Air Force’s 401 offensive yards (34.2 percent) came on three plays — a 53-yard touchdown pass, a 63-yard touchdown pass and a 21-yard run that converted a 3rd-and-21 on its first touchdown drive. Army also threw an interception just before halftime that led to a touchdown and the Falcons returned a fumble 52 yards for a touchdown.

It will be the irresistible force versus the immovable object when the Black Knights have the ball on Saturday. Army boasts the country’s eight-most potent rushing attack at 277.22 yards per game and has run for at least 200 yards in all nine games this season. The Golden Flashes are the nation’s top-ranked rushing defense, allowing only 69.33 yards per game. Penn State (162) and Toledo (167) are the only two teams that have cracked the 100-yard mark against Kent State this season.

Sophomore FB Jared Hassin ran for 114 yards versus Air Force, tying the Academy record with his fourth straight game above the 100-yard mark. Hassin is the sixth player to run for at least 100 yards in four straight games. It is the 10th time the feat has been accomplished, and the first since Michael Wallace in 2000. During his recent run, Hassin is averaging 7.4 yards per carry. He has rushed for 534 yards and four touchdowns in the last four games. Hassin now ranks 39th in the nation at 87.00 yards per game.

Army and Kent State have one common opponent this season. The Golden Flashes are coming off a 28-10 loss to Temple, a team that defeated the Black Knights earlier this season at Michie Stadium, 42-35.

The Army defense allowed 277 rushing yards versus Air Force, but that total was 36 yards below its average entering the game. The Black Knights are 38th nationally in rushing defense (135.44) and 24th in the country in total defense (320.00).

SCOUTING THE GOLDEN FLASHES
Head coach Doug Martin is in his seventh season at the head of the Kent State program. Martin is 28-51 during his tenure at Kent State. Martin has had at least one of his players chosen in the NFL Draft in each of the past three years and the team’s win at Iowa State in 2007 was the program’s first win over a team from a BCS automatic-qualifying conference in 20 years.

Kent State is coming off a 28-10 home loss against Temple. The Golden Flashes took a 3-0 lead, but Temple ripped off 21 unanswered points to take control of the game. Two of Temple’s touchdowns came after Kent State fumbles. QB Spencer Keith completed 17-of-30 passes for 169 yards. Giorgio Morgan went 5 for 9 for 38 yards. Andre Flowers led the ground game with 26 yards on six carries. Leneric Muldrow and Tyshon Goode each caught four passes. Luke Batton led the defense with 13 tackles.

Offensively, the Golden Flashes are averaging 21.89 points and 299.00 yards per game.  Keith has been the main cog in Kent State’s one-back set. He has started all nine games under center, completing 172 of his 295 pass attempts (58.3 percent) for 1,773 yards, eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. Sam Kirkland leads the receiving corps with 43 catches for 493 yards. Goode is next on the list with 42 receptions for 451 yards and a team-leading four touchdowns. That duo is one of seven players with at least 10 receptions on the season. Jacquise Terry paces the Golden Flashes’ running game with 498 yards (55.3/game) and six rushing touchdowns.

Kent State boasts one of the top stop units in the nation according to this week’s NCAA statistical report. The Golden Flashes lead the nation in rushing defense, allowing only 69.33 yards per game. Kent State is ninth the nation in total defense at 298.78 yards per game and 33rd in the country, allowing only 20.67 points per game. The Golden Flashes make themselves at home in their opponents’ backfields as well. They are No. 1 in the nation with 9.33 tackles for loss per game and 11th in the country with 2.89 sacks per contest.

LB Dorian Wood leads the team with 68 total tackles. He has made 11.0 stops behind the line of scrimmage. Cobrani Mixon is next on the list with 67 stops, including 10.0 tackles for loss. Despite not starting a game, DL Roosevelt Nix leads the team with 17.0 tackles for loss. His 1.89 per-game average is third-best in the nation. He has 8.5 sacks and is 11th in the country at 0.94 per game. Kent State has intercepted 13 passes, including five by Norman Wolfe, who is tied for fifth in the nation at 0.56 picks per game.

PK Freddy Cortez leads the team in scoring with 53 points. He is 10 for 15 on his field goal tries with a long of 45 yards and has made all 23 of his PAT attempts. Matt Rinehart handles the punting duties, averaging 43.4 yards per kick with 12 boots of at least 50 yards. He has placed 22 of his 53 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.

THE ARMY-KENT STATE SERIES
Army and Kent State have met just once before with the Black Knights scoring a 17-14 overtime win at Michie Stadium on Sept. 9, 2006. Saturday will be Army’s first trip to Dix Stadium.

ARMY VS. THE MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE
Kent State is the last of three Mid-American Conference teams on Army’s docket this season. The Black Knights have already defeated Eastern Michigan and lost to Temple.

Army played three games against the MAC in 2009, going 2-1. The Black Knights scored wins over Eastern Michigan and Ball State, but lost to Temple.

2010 marks the fifth straight season Army has played at least one game versus a MAC opponent. It is the fourth straight year Black Knights have opened the season versus a Mid-American Conference foe (Akron, 2007; Temple, 2008; Eastern Michigan, 2009, 2010).
 
The Black Knights are 7-8 against the MAC since 2005. (2005: 1-1; 2006: 1-0; 2007: 1-2; 2008: 1-3; 2009: 2-1; 2010: 1-1).

Army is 20-13 all-time against teams currently competing in the MAC (Akron, 3-1; Ball State, 2-0; Buffalo, 1-2; Central Michigan, 0-2; Eastern Michigan, 4-0; Kent State, 1-0; Miami, 2-2; Northern Illinois, 1-0; Ohio, 1-0; Temple, 4-4; Western Michigan, 1-1).

A total of nine games against MAC teams are slated for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The Black Knights will travel to Northern Illinois, Ball State, Miami (Ohio) and Temple next season, and will host Northern Illinois, Kent State, Ball State and Temple as well as a road game at Eastern Michigan in 2012.

THE LAST MEETING - ARMY 17, KENT STATE 14 (SEPT. 9, 2006)
WEST POINT, N.Y.  —
Austin Miller kicked a 36-yard field goal in overtime as Army beat Kent State 17-14 at Michie Stadium. Army gained possession after Kent State quarterback Julian Edelman fumbled at the 22-yard line on the Golden Flashes’ second play of overtime. Army took over at the 25 and ran three plays to set up Miller’s field goal from the right hash mark.
  
Kent State lost its 11th consecutive game. Trailing 14-7, the Golden Flashes tied it with 3:55 remaining in regulation when Edelman lofted a 15-yard pass into the left corner of the end zone to Najah Pruden.
  
Army erased a 7-0 deficit in the first half on two touchdown runs by freshman Tony Moore. Moore’s second TD was a 6-yard run on fourth-and-2 that went off left tackle with seven minutes remaining in the second quarter.
  
Wesley McMahand rushed 19 times for 90 yards to lead Army. Army’s David Pevoto began the game, going 11-for-12 with 89 yards, then went 3-for-16 for 15 yards and two interceptions.
  
Edelman led the Golden Flashes with 16 carries and 82 yards.
  
Kent State scored on a trick play on its first possession. The Golden Flashes lined up for a 34-yard field goal attempt 8:17 into the game, but holder Darren Rogers grabbed the long snap and ran left, untouched into the end zone for a 17-yard score.
  
The Golden Flashes twice threatened inside the red zone in the second half but could not score.
  
Cedrick Maxwell returned Pevoto’s second consecutive interception to the Army 11-yard line 4:22 into the third quarter. But the Black Knight’s defense held Kent State on a fourth-and-1 at the Army 2.
  
Later, Edelman and running back Tony Howard moved the Golden Flashes 80 yards in less than four minutes to start the fourth quarter, but Reid Macko’s 23-yard field goal attempt went wide right.

STARTING THINGS OFF RIGHT
Army has scored first in each of the past seven games, including six touchdowns and a field goal.

The Army defense has played a key role in getting the Black Knights off to a good start. Army has won the opening coin toss in seven of its nine games and has elected to defer each time, putting the stop unit on the field for the game’s first possession. They lost the toss against VMI, punted on their drive, but the defense held the Keydets on their first possession.

The Black Knights have also started the second half on a good note for most of the season. Army has scored touchdowns on the first drive of the third quarter in four of its nine games this season.

ROAD WARRIORS
Army scored its fourth consecutive win on an opponent’s home field at Tulane. The Black Knights have won four straight games played in their opponent’s home stadium for the first time since a six-game winning streak over the 1966 and 1967 seasons. During the current run, Army has lost to Navy and Rutgers away from West Point, but those games were played at Lincoln Financial Field and the New Meadowlands Stadium, respectively.

Under head coach Rich Ellerson, Army is 5-3 in true road games. The Black Knights were 4-15 on opponents’ home fields from 2005-08.

Army’s win Tulane marked the first time that the Black Knights won three true road games in a season since 1967. Army has one more game left in an opposition’s stadium this season (at Kent State).

Army has three games remaining away from West Point, but two of those are at neutral sites. The Black Knights play Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium and Navy at Lincoln Financial Field.

ON A RUN
Sophomore FB Jared Hassin has run for 100 yards in each of the last four games, tying the Academy record. He rushed for a career-high 154 yards in the win over VMI, Army’s best individual rushing performance since Collin Mooney went for 207 yards versus Rice on Nov. 8, 2008.

Hassin is the first Army player to rush for 100-yards in four consecutive games since Michael Wallace did it in 2000.

UP NEXT ...
Army takes on Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 20. It is the first college football game in the two-year old facility. Army played 38 games at the original Yankee Stadium, posting a 14-19-5 overall mark at the “House That Ruth Built.” Twenty-two of the 38 games were played against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish owned a 14-5-3 edge in games versus Army at the old Yankee Stadium.
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