I’ll keep it short this week because I don’t think anybody wants to relive that one. Tulane came into Michie Stadium and, to borrow a phrase from my swimming days, they cleaned Army’s clock. I mean, the Black Knights had their chances, but they needed everything to go their way against a clearly superior team, and that’s not the way this one went down.
Sure, we can talk about the bad fourth down spot that gave Tulane a bonus chance late in the third quarter, and we can throw in the missed pass interference call against Kell Walker a few plays later. But those individual moments were not the reasons that Army lost. The truth is that Army flat didn’t have enough team speed to be competitive against one of the better teams in the American Athletic Conference.
The good news is that I don’t think Army let team mistakes beat them this week. The bad news is that the Black Knights lost because they just didn’t have enough talent.
We saw it on both sides of the ball, but it was more obvious when Army was on defense. They had no answer for Tulane’s outside running game. Army’s defenders simply weren’t fast enough to tackle Tulane’s running backs in space. That wasn’t complicated, nor was it a matter of a few missed tackles or misplayed assignments. We know this because when Army made the adjustment to stop those outside zone runs, Tulane hammered them inside. And all of that happened before we consider Tulane’s passing game.
Folks, this wasn’t a failure of scheme; it was a failure of basic athleticism.
The same was true on offense but not to quite the same degree. When Army threatened the edges with Quarterback Power runs, they opened up the middle and had some success with the Fullback Dive, too. But they couldn’t sustain that success off-tackle, and then the center runs closed down as well. Granted, Army’s offense performed better than their defense, and for awhile that evened the score. Plus, they didn’t fumble. But when the defense flat couldn’t tackle that Green Wave speed, it left no margin for error whatsoever for the offense, and the result was that the Black Knights got run out of their own building.
It happens. Athletes don’t like to talk about it, but the truth is that sometimes you go up against a better man. If they’re on their game, there’s nothing you can do. I’ve been there more times than I can count. The Black Knights got some breaks in this game, and it still wasn’t close because the good guys were just not athletic or talented enough to do any better.
I don’t want to belabor the point. Really, I’d rather just burn the game film and move on. I’m out at Round Pond Campground sitting by a roaring fire as I write this, and I’ve got my wife with me along with a few beers.
I refuse to dwell on this any more.
Go Army! Beat Western Kentucky!!!
Completely agree with this analysis. Annoyed with social media blowing up with comments like we weren’t “motivated” or “determined” enough.
Nope. It was clear to anyone with eyes to see. Tulane has superior athletes across the board and as the old adage goes, “Speed kills.”
This was a physical mismatch where we had to play a perfect game on both sides of the ball.
On to Western Kentucky!
I thought they played well. They were just overmatched on the field against a really well-coached and talented team.
Great analysis of the Tulane game written fireside. Army offense played better than in any previous game this year, coaching was solid, the BK NEVER GAVE UP!, the AAC is a strong conference, and Tulane is a force to be reckoned with this year. You can’t beat their size and speed. Let’s see how Navy handles Tulane…
Looking forward to your podcast.
PS Bravo for the new video board at Michie—our seats at Michie on a beautiful Saturday surrounded us with people who disrupted our viewing every 5-7 min (and in the middle of plays!). Phew
Michie has kind of a tough day. Lotta folks, the stadium itself struggled to handle the load. Security & concessions were a nightmare.
As I was able to rewind plays, and watch things that went poorly multiple times, I disagree that we don’t have the talent to beat a team like Tulane.
1) we weren’t prepared for their up tempo on Offense – our defense was in react mode for the entire first half. The second half adjustments kept the contest a little closer.
2) Playing with two #2s at both Safety positions affected our own team speed, again, those guys are learning against a superior talented team.
3) We lost our identity in the first quarter – 9 YARDS RUSHING – in the first quarter. You want to control the tempo, you have to establish the fullback dive.
I hate to say this, but we were up against someone that personally knew our coaches tendencies…like, has watched film with him…knows how he thinks…knows how to beat that system – thus the uptempo attack.
We beat Houston, a faster team, by wearing them down in the first and second quarters.
One last note, as they said in the broadcast, this is the first time that the Fresh/Soph/Juniors have ever lost at home…that is a learning experience they may have needed for this team, because all that glitters is not Army Black and Gold.
It certainly didn’t help that McClinton was out. Missing those two safeties made a HUGE difference. In a game where athleticism was at a premium, it hurt missing one of the team’s best athletes.
Tulane definitely outplayed Army and was very well prepared to play Army. Coach Monken should not throw the film of the game away because every defeat carries with it a seed of victory. Yes Army was beaten by a solid football team but there is much to learn from a loss like this one. Improvements have to be made on both sides of the ball.
Another spot on article Tulane was too athletic for Army.
One closing thought; Navy beat AF and will start a tough stretch of games. Does anyone really believe that QB Perry will make it to the end of the year without a major injury? Look what had happened to Army’s QBS in a short period of a couple games.
I agree that Navy & AFA will be tough. Right now, though, I just want to beat WKU.