The Houston Massacre: Armed Forces Bowl Superlatives
What a game! That’s the exclamation point we want at the end of a great season. It quickly became apparent that Houston was outmatched, outplayed and out hustled. They were ready to call it quits at halftime. But, even with the second-string guys in, Army pushed ahead with its record breaking bowl performance. Everyone wanted a piece of the action! This is the blowout the Army fans have been craving all year long. We were absolutely spoiled with excellent Army Defensive play highlighted by Firstie LB James ‘Hammersticks’ Nachtigal’s last performance in the Black and Gold. The Army Offense put on a clinic demonstrating that reports of the Triple Option’s death were largely exaggerated. Player-flipping cut blocks, thundering fullback dives and electric runs off the edge make my day! I hope you tuned in yesterday because it was the beatdown of a lifetime.
Some say that Army is still scoring on Houston to this very day.
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) December 23, 2018
Army’s stats during this game are eye-popping! They set Army records, Armed Forces Bowl Records AND all-time Bowl records! You can check out more specifics in Danno’s Recap. A lot of people will discount Army’s performance by pointing out Houston’s missing personnel and their apparent apathy but that does not account for a 56-point margin for victory. Very few people saw this coming… not us at AFF though (check the tape). Why? Because Army was underrated and disrespected by the CFP Committee. Should Army have been in a better Bowl? Yes. Should Army finish the year in the Top 20? Yes. Should Army be ranked going into next season? We think so. We hope the CFP Committee feels pangs of guilt and failure every time Army Football comes to mind, so much so that next season they show more respect to this scrappy independent triple-option team that goes toe to toe with anyone!
— As For Football (@asforfootball) December 23, 2018
On to the Awards!
Kelvin Hopkins Jr. – 2020 December Grad
This might sound like a punishment but it isn’t. We are rewarding you for your outstanding play this season. Army fans love watching you so much that we want to get an extra season out of you! Your dual threat capability makes you a hot commodity at the Academy and we’re not willing to give it up. You can run. You can pitch. AND you can pass! Rest up this offseason and give that left shoulder a break. You’ve earned it, MVP!
With the 170 yards on the ground and 70 yards passing today.
— Army Football (@ArmyWP_Football) December 22, 2018
James ‘Hammersticks’ Nachtigal – Boxing Class AI
With 16 Tackles, 3.5 Sacks and 3 forced fumbles, you played like a man possessed on Saturday! You were laying hits harder than a lockbox in a pillow case. Seriously, it was fun to watch you lead the Army D in absolutely demoralizing Houston’s Offense. More impressive was your ability to force turnovers. Your precision punches found pigskin faster than a plebe finds the bathroom after eating Dong Fong’s! We’ve deemed your fists valuable enough to initiate plebes in boxing class. On the first day, have them line up and in West Point fashion, teach them how to take a stiff punch to the face. Don’t worry parents. No Cadets are (permanently) harmed during this process. With all sincerity, it has been a pleasure watching you play and we wish you the best in your Army career.
Another 👊🏻 🏈 Forced Fumble for @JamesNachtigal…This is one of the single greatest Linebacker performances I have ever seen! Also Plebe 🥊 Boxing Accuracy helped here!!#ArmyFootball #DPE pic.twitter.com/SUEem6s83j
— Robert Wright (@RobertCharlesW) December 22, 2018
Ed Oliver and Company – Blue Falcon Award
For you and all the others that sat this game out, we have to give you the Blue Falcon Award (ask an Army friend to explain). We completely understand injury prevention and million dollar paychecks are on the line but your team just got embarrassed on national television. That feeling in the pit of your stomach means you screwed them over. It was reminiscent of that Company-mate that takes your weekend CQ shift (and the money you offered) then no-shows because your name is on the Duty Roster. You didn’t forget, Billy! I’ve got the email traffic to prove it… Anyways, enjoy this award while you are getting that bread in the League.
Artice Hobbs IV – Kneebone Soup Corporal
You know what gets my chili hot?! Seeing defenders’ ankles above their heads. Army’s first drive featured your outstanding cut block in the red zone. It was beautiful! This block sums up a 4-quarter campaign to provide kneebone soup to the 45,000 Armed Forces Bowl attendees (and Houston seemed all too willing to provide the kneebones). Next semester, you are the Honorary Soup Corporal in charge of ladling out Corn Chowder, Tomato Basil and you guessed it, Kneebone soup. Admittedly, we haven’t seen as many open field cut blocks due to the rule change implemented this season but it’s good to know putting defenders on their heads isn’t completely ruled out.
Nice block from #32 on Army.
— #NobodyDied (@ftbeard_17) December 22, 2018
Army O-Line – Buckner Small Unit Tactics Instructors
So, the #MOB deserves some serious praise for leading an Offensive attack that racked up 592 yards of Total Offense with 507 coming on the ground. I call that serious ground and pound! Houston quickly conceded the line of scrimmage by backing up a yard off the ball. Y’all put those Texas boys on roller skates all day. What stood out in everyone’s mind was the downfield blocking on Kelvin’s 76-yard race to the endzone. It looked like a tactical V-formation straight out of the Ranger Handbook. The MOB is going to Buckner. Enjoy teaching rising Yucks all about wedge formations, battle drill 1A and how to set up patrol bases in the dark. It’s much nicer sporting NVG’s. Just be careful where you look (#BucknerLovin).
— As For Football (@asforfootball) December 22, 2018
Major Applewhite – Demotion to LT
The Army has deemed your rank inappropriate for your performance. Saturday’s showing reflected very poorly on your OER. There were times when you seemed unsure of which team you were coaching. Also, punting from the Army 30 just displayed how lost you really were. Essentially, the Army is hitting the reset button on your Army career. Welcome to the Army, LT Applewhite! You no longer have to worry about getting lost. Why you may ask? Because LT’s are always lost (#ClicheLTJoke). You’ll figure it out, buddy! We all went through it and some just take longer than others…
Coach Monken – Lusk renamed Monken Reservoir
What can you do for the Coach that is writing Army history before our very eyes? Build another statue? Carve his face in the ODIA Hill cliffside? Give him the SUPT’s house? All in due time. But, for now we want to rename Lusk Reservoir in your honor. Not only does this body of water represent your stoic, deep nature but it also provides drinking water for the Corps. I’m not claiming football is everything at the Academy but a winning team does provide refreshing spirit to the gray Cadet experience. Also, in honor of your 70-point victory over Houston, Monken Reservoir will be drained to 70 million gallons. Plebes everywhere might ask: “What’s going to happen to the other 8 million gallons?” Well, it is being given to every Houston fan to help them recover from Saturday’s hangover. Stay hydrated, my friends.
Army Team – New Cadet Handbook Entry
Last but not least, this Army team deserves to be remembered for years to come. How is history passed down the Long Gray Line? Through the rope memorization of incoming New Cadets! That’s right. The exploits of the 2018 Army team will ring through the halls of West Point from now on. “Sir, the 2018 Army Team finished 11-2 for the first time in history! They beat the hell out of Air Force and Navy to win the Command-in-Chief Trophy! They beat the Texas out of Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl! Their victories are as follows…” There is no greater honor than having countless furrowed, sweaty brows study facts about your season in the grueling New York Summer heat. Bask in all that fake motivation!
Bowlmania continues with the upcoming CFP and NY6. Also, be on the lookout for 2018 Army Season in review. Podcast will be dropping this week. If you missed last week you can check it out here (and in lots of places including iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Overcast, Facebook, and Youtube). Please subscribe like, comment, share, and rate!
Beat Everyone! Rest.