Army looks to break two-game los­ing skid

Com­ing off back-to-back losses on the road, Army re­turns to Michie Sta­dium this af­ter­noon to op­pose (1-5) Lafayette

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE -

Army’s three-game road swing is over, and the Black Knights hope a re­turn home to­day will get them out of their funk.

Af­ter start­ing the sea­son with three straight wins, Army has dropped an over­time game at Buf­falo and last week lost 13-6 at Duke in steady rain, the ef­fects of Hur­ri­cane Matthew.

Michie Sta­dium on a sunny day against FCS op­po­nent Lafayette (1-5) seems like the per­fect an­ti­dote.

“We have had a cou­ple tough weeks away,” Army coach Jeff Monken said. “We had a chance to win the (Duke) game, and it is dis­ap­point­ing when you come close and see all the lit­tle things you could have done to make the dif­fer­ence.”

Against Duke, the Black Knights’ re­lent­less triple-op­tion at­tack was held un­der 200 yards rush­ing for the first time this sea­son. The storm pro­duced stiff wind and driv­ing rain, mak­ing ev­ery punt, pass and kick dif­fi­cult. The teams com­bined for 93 pass­ing yards and av­er­aged 3.4 yards per play, There were as many punts (17) as first downs.

Still, Army had its chances with 15 pos­ses­sions and failed time af­ter time to cap­i­tal­ize.

“We saw a chance to win, but we couldn’t sus­tain any­thing on of­fense,” Monken said. “We had sev­eral drives that were three plays and a punt, or fourth and short. It was frus­trat­ing to all of us.”

The poor ground game dropped Army to No. 2 na­tion­ally in rush­ing, but the av­er­age of 332.8 yards per game is more than enough to grab the at­ten­tion of the Leop­ards.

“I think we’re def­i­nitely go­ing to be pre­pared for it, even though none

of us are re­ally fa­mil­iar with it (triple op­tion),” Lafayette de­fen­sive line­man Dante Lonardo said.

Army will be the first FBS team for Lafayette since 1997, so there will be a sense of ur­gency for the Leop­ards.

“Ev­ery pos­ses­sion that we’re get­ting the ball, we’re go­ing to have to score,” Leop­ards wide­out Matt Mrazek said. “They can’t just end in points. We need them to end in touch­downs.”

The Leop­ards are com­ing

off a 58-34 loss at Ford­ham, and the Lafayette de­fense took a big hit in that one. Ford­ham put up 516 yards rush­ing, not a good omen for to­day.

Other things to know when Lafayette vis­its Army:

NO TRAP GAME

Monken has a quick an­swer for any­body who thinks Lafayette rep­re­sents one of those so­called trap games.

“There are no trap games at Army,” the thirdyear coach said. “If we know who we are, we’ll re­al­ize that there’s not a sin­gle team in this coun­try that we can take lightly.”

KAITLIN MCKE­OWN VIA AP

Duke line­backer Ben Humphreys tack­les Army quar­ter­back Chris Carter dur­ing the first half of Black Knights’ loss last week.

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