We knew Army was going to score a lot of points, we just didn’t know how much.
In our preview, we pointed out Army’s 1800+ rushing yards on the season, and how this alone would more than likely be enough to shut down a struggling Rice team on Saturday.
The Black Knights rolled up another 418 against Rice, not only doubling Rice’s rushing total, but outrunning their entire offense, 418-346. Army’s passing game, as always, was non-existent, but does it matter when you barrel down the field like that? Kelvin Hopkins Jr. finished 1/1 with nine yards passing, Ahmad Bradshaw was 0/2 with an INT.
This by itself would’ve been the ballgame, and the entire game summary really, but then there were the six Rice turnovers that just took things from bad to worse, effectively ending Rice’s bowl hopes, and more than likely Dave Bailiff’s time at the school. It’s nearly impossible to imagine the Owls turning the season around at this point.
For Rice, the high points were few: Jackson Tyner finished 7/16 with 135 yards and a TD. Jordan Myers was solid, taking the ball 15 times for 76 yards rushing, not outstanding numbers, but at least someone on this Owls team was consistent. The passing game was more accidental big plays than anything that could be relied upon, with top receiver Aaron Cephus finishing with 87 yards and a TD on only three catches.
For the most part, though, this was all Army, all day.
Head coach Jeff Monken has built a winner, which for Army is something that must take some getting used to. No less than twelve players finished with positive rushing yardage, two going over 100— Kell Walker (10 carries for 127 yards) and Bradshaw (13 carries for 115). Rice’s defense had no answer, just like we have no answer as to why Rice won’t finish in 6th place in C-USA West, ahead of UTEP thanks to the head-to-head victory.
Ugliness aside, Army returns to arguably more competitive matters next week, hosting the 2-3 Eastern Michigan Eagles at home.
The Owls, now 1-5 (1-1 in conference) have a bye week next week to think about what they’ve done, before playing UTSA on Oct. 21.