September 12, 2011

Army vs. San Diego State - Ten Game Shaping Plays

We predicted before the game, that Saturday's contest between Army and Temple had the potential of an old fashion slug fest. And that's exactly what the 33,065 saw as these two Northeast schools went head-to-head at Michie Stadium. GBK selected 10 plays that we believe help shape the outcome of the game.

We predicted in our weekly Army vs. SDSU: Analysts Square Off feature that "This is a game that will surprise most analysts. The easy pick is San Diego State, because all signs point to that fact. However, Army's game against NIU was a wake up call for not only the players, but the coaching staff as well. For the Black Knights, they will be playing at a placed called West Point, in an arena called Michie Stadium, with the support of a group of folks called "The Corp of Cadets". The chitters are gone and the fear of making mistakes is a lesson learned." The following was the GBK prediction.

Army 30
San Diego State 28

Although the outcome was close, it didn't hit the predicted mark. However, Saturday's contest between Army and San Diego State on the eve of September 11th turned into an old fashion slug fest. The East coast vs. West coast schools went head-to-head at Michie Stadium for an exciting contest. GBK selected 10 plays that we believe help shape the outcome of the game.

1.]
When it happened: :33 into the first quarter of the game
What happened: 1st & 10 at their own 32 yard line, the Aztecs' QB, Ryan Lindley hit receiver Colin Lockett in stride for a beautiful 68 yard bomb. Freshman corner, L.J. Harris was badly beaten on the play
Why it mattered: It appeared that the Army defense was picking up where they left off against NIU ... which meant that it could be a long afternoon.

2.]
When it happened: 11:29 in the 1st quarter.
What happened: On Army's first possession of the game, with the ball on their own 48 yard line. On 2nd & 3, fullback Jared Hassin grinds out 5 yards, but fumbles after being hit by MLB, Jake Fely. QB, Trent Steelman makes the recovery.
Why it mattered: - the Black Knights are on the move trying to answer SDSU's initial 7 points. This was just the beginning of Army's bad case of fumblitis. Actually, 3 plays later from the SDSU 44 yard line, frosh fullback Larry Dixon and it's recovered by the Aztecs.

3.]
When it happened: 6:55 remaining in the 1st Quarter
What happened: On Army's 2nd possession of the game and trailing 7-0, the Black Knights appear to be marching and with a 2nd & 8 from their own 36 yard line the fumble bug hits again. Trent Steelman coughs the ball up.
Why it mattered: Three plays later, SDSU's swift RB, Ronnie Hillman breaks right -cuts left and scores from 27 yards out which gives SDSU a 14-0 lead.

4.]
When it happened: 3:17 remaining in the 1st Quarter.
What happened: On 2nd & 6 at their own 44 yard line, Steelman made a great fake and keep up the middle fore 28 yards to the SDSU 28 yard line.
Why it mattered: Facing a 14-0 deficit, Steelman put Army on a much needed drive that went 71 yards in 11 plays and utilized 4:41 off the clock and also kept the Aztecs' offense off the field.

5.]
When it happened: 6:53 remaining in the 2nd Quarter
What happened: 3rd & goal at the 11 yard line. Steelman runs a QB draw between the guard and tackle and breaks off to the right side as he outruns the Aztecs' pursuit for 6 points.
Why it mattered: The run was part of a 15 play, 82 yard drive that saw the Black Knights use 7:23 of the clock, "Mo" is now on Army's side and score was now tied, 14-14.

6.]
When it happened: 4:44 left in the 2nd Quarter
What happened: With the score tied 14-14, SDSU is faced with a 3rd & 2 from their own 49 yard line. Lindley tosses a pass in the flats to Hillman, but safety Hayden Pierce drops him in the open field for a 4 yard loss.
Why it mattered: SDSU is forced to punt and the Army "D" shows that they can make a difference and take a stance.

7.]
When it happened: 1st play of the 4th quarter (15:00)
What happened: 4th & 1 at their own 39 yard line and with SDSU leading 20-14, Army decides to go for it. The handoff around right end sees slotback Malcolm Brown follow the great lead block by fellow SB, Raymond Maples. Brown hurdles Maples and the defender, as makes little into a 31 yard scamper.
Why it mattered: This was part of a 7 play - 70 yard drive that took 4:09 off the clock and added six points to the scoreboard for the Black Knights. Unfortunately, Alex Carlton missed the PAT.

Army 20 - SDSU 20

8.]
When it happened: 9:42 left in the 4th Quarter and 3rd & 8 at the Aztecs' 25 yard line.
What happened: With SDSU marching down the field in their attempt to take the lead, Lindley felt the pocket collapsing and threw a pass into the end zone, where there was triple coverage on the receiver. Right at the doorsteps of the goal line, the ball hits cornerback L.J. Harris' right in his hands, but the frosh dropped the potential INT.
Why it mattered: On the ensuing play, the Aztecs settle for a 42 yard field goal and take a 23-20 lead with 9:30 remaining in the game.

9.]
When it happened: 4th & 3 with 4:50 remaining in the game.
What happened: At the SDSU 43 yard line and Max Jenkins in for the injured Steelman, the senior QB makes a last second pitch to Maples, who is hit at the line of scrimmage, but a great second effort by the sophomore slotback nets 5 yards.
Why it mattered: Maples play gives Army a first down and keeps the potential game winning drive alive.

10.]
When it happened: 2:30 remaining in the game.
What happened: The Black Knights have a 1st & 10 at the Aztecs' 25 yard line, when everything that could go wrong, did.

  • On 1st & 10, Malcolm Brown fumbles but it is recovered by Army.

  • On the same 1st down play, Steelman is knocked out of the game, once again.

  • On 2nd & 14, Jenkins throws an incompletion

  • On 3rd & 14, Maples false starts.

  • On 3rd & 19, Jenkins is sacked for a 6 yard loss

  • On 4th & 25 at the Aztecs' 40 yard line, Jenkins' pass to Jared McFarlin is falls incomplete.
Why it mattered: Because despite the great effort, the final comedy of mistakes are so difficult to overcome, especially against a quality squad as in SDSU.

FINAL SCORE: SDSU 23 - Army 20

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