A nice home win for ISU heading into the conference season. I honestly thought this game would be closer, and I am very happy to have been wrong! A crowd of slightly over 50,000 came out to watch ISU pick up a big win, which is great!
ISU was in control of this game, and once we got into the 2nd quarter, there was little doubt in my mind about the outcome of the game.
Below are some quick thoughts I had regarding the game:
I think our running game is for real. Army had been allowing only 77 yards on the ground, yet we rushed for 201 yards. No we aren't playing the cream of the crop, but last year ISU had trouble moving the ball against the likes of Kent State. This early success is a good sign. Alexander Robinson is a smart back that can read the holes and knows where to go. I've talked amongst friends how if ISU's line can be average this can be a good team and with more consistenty from the passing game, ISU could get there. If we can move the ball effectively, that makes me a pretty excited fan, as we can control the clock, and wear the defense down.
Army really cannot pass. If you've got a 6'10 guy in Villanueva, just have him run curls. The QB overthrew him over and over, and lead him out of bounds. I just cannot get over how you cannot make some decent throws to a target so big.
- ISU's front seven played very well. Army averaged less than 4 yards/carry and thier longest run was 18 yards. Guys stuck to their men, and didn't go around chasing the ball. The tackling was very good as well. The defense did a good job keeping everything in front of them.
- Army's TD at the end of the half, was a head scratcher. On first and second down Army had thrown fades to Villanueva in the end zone which were broken up by Banks. On third down, Army ran the same play, and Villanueva caught it. If you give a guy enough chances, they'll eventually figure it out. I guess I don't understand why we didn't stick two guys on Villanueva. Army had made it 17-10 with some momentum heading into the locker room. Now ISU responded well in the 3rd quarter, and that is a sign of good coaching, but had that been a better team, it could've been a
Do not go to an Army-ISU game rocking some team gear of Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan, Navy, etc. I guess I just don't see what's so hard about dropping $8-$10 and wearing an ISU t-shirt. If someone can explain this to me, it'd be much appreciated! This happens for all the games, but I noticed a lot of it coming into Jack Trice tonight.
No matter how much they widen the concourses at Jack Trice, people will still find ways to make it a clusterfuck. Now that the concourses are twice as wide, you'd figure there'd be a good amount of room to get around. Wrong. People find ways to spread out, chill in random spots, etc. It really isn't that big of a problem at all, it's just interesting to see how the crowds operate.
Alexander Robinson: 21 carries for 127 yards (including a 68 yard TD), and 3 catches for 51 yards (including a 32 yard TD), 3 TDs total. A-Rob showed his versatility in this game, and his consistency is really keeping our offense going while the passing game is struggling.
Mike Bradtner: 5 punts for 239 yards, including a 69 yard punt. 4 of the 5 punts landed within the 20.
Jesse Smith: 13 tackles (11 solo). The guy was flying around the field and stopping runs, which is what he does best
- Christopher Lyle: 7 tackles (3 solo, 2 for loss), 1 sack. Easily our most productive guy on the D-Line right now.
Kennard Banks: 4 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 3 pass deflections. The guy hits hard. Part of me wonders if being a safety would suit his skills more? Nothing against our guys there at all, but it seems like Banks is less of a cover guy, and more of a tackling and hitting guy.
- Leonard Johnson: 5 tackles, 1 int, 2 pass deflections. The pick was in the end zone as Army's QB overthrew Villanueva, and it was a nice diving catch from LJ. One of those deflections was a dropped interception that would've gone for 6 easily had he hung on, as he came in on the flat and there would've been no one in front of him. He did a good job covering guys, forcing their QB to throw somewhere else. Had a very nice game, and could've been a monster game.
ISU Offensive Line: ISU had 200 yards rushing against one of the best rush defenses in the nation. Also protected Arnaud well.
- The entire Army team. Going to Westpoint is very demanding, as a non-athlete. I could not imagine the dedication these young men have to take demanding courses, prepare to be leaders in the military, and commit to football. I'd have to imagine these guys are up from 6am to Midnight every single day.
- ISU Fans. The fans were very classy in cheering for Army, and it was a good atmosphere at the Jack.
- Rashawn Parker had to leave the game in the 1st quarter after injuring his left knee. He had to be helped off the field, and did not return to the game. Paul Rhoads did not comment on it further after tonights game, so we will have to wait and see what is said early in the week.
Alexander Robinson either strained or pulled his groin after catching his 32 yard TD pass. After getting into the end zone and fell to the ground on the sidelines and the trainers looked at him. He did get up and was able to walk on his own, although he was hobbling around. Coach Rhoads did not comment further on the injury either.
After a nice win, ISU needs to look ahead to K-State because that's a huge spot playing at Arrowhead next week. At 3-1, I'm going to enjoy the winning record while we have it!
What were your thoughts on the game?