Army started off the first 3 quarters of their game against Buffalo like they were shot out of a cannon. Their offense played a very selfless blocking game that opened up lanes for the rushing attack to gain 341 yards. QBs Angel Santiago more than solidified his position as the starter. After fumbling the ball on the first drive, he went 6/6 for 96 yards and ran the ball for another 29 yards with a touchdown. Larry Dixon lead the Black Knights on the ground with 174 yards on 20 carries with 2 touchdowns. A total of 6 different Black Knights scored on the ground and ripped off multiple big runs.
The defense played lights out for the first 3 quarters as well. Josh Jenkins picked off Buffalo's QB Joe Licata twice and Chris Carnegie also recorded an interception. Jenkins and MLB Andrew King seemed to be living in the Buffalo huddle as the Bulls were not able to move the ball on the ground or in the air. It seemed like the Black Knights were going to run away with this game as they held a 30 point lead a third of the way into the 4th quarter.
And then Buffalo woke up.
Capitalizing on the soft prevent defense and a pass rush that yielded no sacks and very little pressure, Licata led the bulls down the field on a 75 yard drive. After a successful onside kick, the Bulls scored again on a 47 yard drive. Army recovered the next onside kick, only to have Santiago fumble the ball on the Buffalo 33, which led to another Buffalo touchdown and a successful 2 point conversion to bring the Bulls within 8 points. Army would take over and run the clock down under a minute. After holding the Bulls short on a 4th and 3 run, Army would take over in victory formation to secure their first win of the 2014 season.
Before the comeback attempt by Buffalo, Army looked to be clicking on all cylinders. The offense was able to run and throw at ease. The defense, despite no sacks, held Buffalo in check. Special teams were able to pin Buffalo deep and rush a field goal. The one thing that tended to stall Army drives and prolong Buffalo drives were penalties. A school that is usually well-disciplined was flagged 12 times for 105 yards. Coach Monken will stress playing mentally sound football as Army prepares for their trip to the Farm where they face Stanford on September 13th.
All-in-all, Army looked like a team that can dominate at the point of attack, bust out big plays, and cause turnovers by playing smart football. A promising start to a season that could very well see the Black Knights go bowling come December.
Offensive Player of the Game: Larry Dixon 20 carries, 174 yards, 2 TD
Defensive Player of the Game: Josh Jenkins 7 Tackles, 2 Interceptions