Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Primer for Army

I couldn't find an Army sports blogger, so I decided to do a quick little overview on the Black Knights. (I'll have my regular game preview Thursday.) These are things you might not know about the USMA's football team.

Army does not run a gimmick offense anymore
They are still a run focused team and do have a few misdirection plays in their attack, but they are mostly a balanced, modern offense. Ultimately I think they will need to mirror Navy and Air Force if they want to win. The move to a pro-style came under Bobby Ross and hasn't been altered by his successor Stan Brock.

BC has a long history with Army
I know fans gripe out the softening of our nonconference schedule with the service academies. I have no problem with Army as an annual opponent. They are a convenient road trip for our New York-area fans, they do things the right way, and the game always seems to get picked up by TV. We have to have some cupcakes, so it might as well be Army instead of a random MAC team. (Now, I will concede that we should never play Army and a MAC team in the same season.) I also prefer Army as a regular opponent because we have some history with them. BC has played the USMA 35 times. We've only played Villanova, Holy Cross and Syracuse more. Nova and HC are not coming back on the schedule any time soon, so let's keep Army on there for tradition sake.

Army can be a giant killer
I am glad Jags spoke of keeping BC focused, because Army has given BCS teams plenty of scares. In 2004 they beat Cinci, USF and almost upset TCU. In 2005 they scared Iowa State. Last year they nearly upset Texas A&M in Texas and did upset Baylor a week later. And I am sure many BC fans remember the pounding Army gave us in 1995.


Brian said...

Thx for info on the Army series. I was surprised to not see Navy up there on all time most scheduled teams, but it looks like we have only played them 29 times.

"BC leads the all-time series 18-11 and has won nine of the last 11 meetings [against Navy]."

I, too, like the Army scheduling but agree never Army + MAC. We should schedule either Syracuse or Army every year as its good for our NY area alumni, tradition and for recruiting in NY area. Navy doesn't make as much sense to schedule anymore given that we play in the Maryland market every year.

Big Jack Krack said...

Thanks for this information - we appreciate it. I thought I sent my comments properly in a previous message, but I don't see them posted.

Here goes again - Back when I was a student at the Heights (many years ago now) from 1964-1968, Army was a huge game for us. We never beat them during my years, losing 19 - 13 in 64 at West Point. I'm convinced to this day that if the coaches inserted Eddie Foley (Glenn's dad) in as quarterback earlier, we would have won that game. You younger fans may not believe this, but listening to that game on the radio was very exciting.

The previous week we shocked defending national champ Syracuse on a last second Hail Mary" caught in spectacular fashion by the late Bill Cronin (Tight End) - my very first game as a student. The following week after Army we travelled to Knoxville and dominated Tennessee in just about everything but the final score, losing 16 - 14. What a way to start your college football fan career.

Lost 10-0 at West Point in 65 (did not play in 66) and lost at Chestnut Hill 21 - 10 in 67. Those were the days when we students dressed up for the games, took our dates to dinner afterwards (Chinese food was my favorite) and then went to the Victory Dance at one of the downtown hotels.

1967 was my senior year - it was crazy with the Red Sox winning the pennant on the last day of the regular season, and of course, the Vietnam War debates and protests heating up. I remember the Army Cadet contingent coming up Route 9 in something like 59 Greyhound buses - going through every red light, etc. Their march into the stadium gave me goosebumps, despite the anti-war protests that might have been going on elsewhere.

We never beat Army during my student days, and didn't actually win one until 1970 when I was on Active Duty as a 1st Lieutenant, Infantry. (Talk about luck - I was sent to the 7th Infantry Division in the Republic of Korea instead of the Republic of Vietnam). I knew that if I was home during the time of that game, I would have proudly worn my uniform - with a big BC hat.

Army was big time then, right up there with Syracuse, Navy, Miami, Tennessee and Penn State - and we had some terrific games with Holy Cross during those years.

I truly miss having a close rivalry game.

I hope that both the players and fans show the cadets all the respect - it's these young guys and their classmates who will be fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan as early as next summer. While I respect Air Force and Navy, of course, it's the Army and Marines who take the brunt of wars like the ones we're in now. As when I was a student, the war was very unpopular (the difference being we were all facing the Draft)

Let's win the game handily, and show class at the same time - and be proud of the Army Cadets. I know you are proud of this BC Team and Coaching Staff - Coach Jags has the right approach.

Jack '68 B.S. Finance
now living in Columbia, SC

P.S. we were at Bobby Dodd Stadium last Saturday - fantastic. My wife is both a BC fan and a Georgia Tech fan - her son was Buzz while he was a student at GT. My wife dressed accordingly - half and half.

One final note

one BC wag was heard to say (sing?) to a GT fan during the game that “this is a great tune-up for our game against Army next week”. I’m still laughing about that - all in good fun.

Brian said...

Jack - great post. Hopefully BC can win one this weekend with dignity and class! Go Eagles!

Eagle in Brighton said...

Couldn't agree more, great comment Jack.

BC isn't Rutgers: I expect a respectful reception from our student body.

Bosco2BC said...

jack - i honestly got goosebumps reading your post. thanks for sharing and giving us a trip down your BC memory lane.

I’m sure that we’ll give army to respect they deserve. It’s worth noting that when I took part in BC’s parents weekend 8 years ago as a freshman, there was a Boston Pops concert held at Conte Forum the night before our football game against Army. Towards the end of the orchestra's rendition of "For Boston," balloons fell from above and two banners rolled open from the rafters. One banner read, “Go BC” and the other read, “Go Army.” BC = class.

Anonymous said...

Heads up,Bill.Matt Ryan will be having a chat tomorrow at noon time est on


Ed said...

Sorry to go all Language Nazi on you, but don't you mean "successor," not "predecessor," when discussing the coach who came after Bobby Ross at Army?

ATL_eagle said...

thanks, ed. Fixed. My bad.

Eagle93 said...

It was Larry Marzetti that through that hail mary pass to beat Syracuse. Huge win for BC. I'd have to disagree with the comment that he should have been replaced in the next game.