It’s Senior Day at Michie Stadium tomorrow, and though Army still has quite a lot of football left to play, this is still a good time to stop and reflect on what this season has meant to each and every one of us. Speaking personally, the best thing about this season by far has been getting to reconnect with my friends and classmates in person at games. After a year of hiding out in our houses, this has been an actual Godsend.
Apart from everything else, I’ll always be grateful to West Point for introducing me to the greatest friends of my life and to Army Football for giving us chances to get together a few times a year and scream like maniacs. I’m actually hoping to give a toast to this effect Saturday after the game, but we’ll see. I don’t necessarily need to make a spectacle of myself any more than is absolutely necessary. Nevertheless, I do very much want to honor the occasion.
Anyway, I spent some time this week looking for background music for the would-be toast. If you want to get into the proper frame of mind for it, here’s my favorite version of Benny Havens. I like this one because it actually sounds like a 19th Century drinking song. You’ll want to play it while you read the rest of this article.
Keys to Victory
Army needs to accomplish a few things to ensure victory on Senior Day.
1. Stop RB Ellis Merriweather
UMass has exactly one really good player on offense, RB Ellis Merriweather. Merriweather has averaged nearly 5 yards/carry for one of the worst offenses in FBS college football. In fact, UMass has run the ball reasonably well several times this season, including against good teams like Liberty. That’s all been because of Merriweather.
It’s hard to imagine this one guy getting out to a hot start against Army’s starters, but he could easily do some damage in the second half, when the Black Knights presumably go to some of their backups. Let’s avoid chaos and make sure that this does not happen.
2. Avoid the Trap
Not only is this a home game, it’s also the firsties’ last chance to play at Michie Stadium. With that in mind, it’s a little hard to imaging the team coming out flat. However, this is a potential trap game in the sense that it’s a game in which the Black Knights are heavily favored with not one but two much more important games on the immediate horizon.
Army is going to win the game. However, they’ll need to stay focused and play good football in order to get the kind of overwhelming result that most people are expecting. They’ll need to play hard to get all their seniors on the field late in the game.
3. Run the Damn Ball
The AFF crew is expecting to see WR Isaiah Alston get at least one catch this week to continue his streak. Beyond that, though, the Black Knights need to pound the rock. The UMass defense has not been good against the run, and if Army can perform strongly enough on the ground, they may yet retake the rushing lead nationally from Air Force. The Zoomies have got a much stouter opponent this weekend in Nevada.
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Our Army Sports Network Call of the Game is Malkelm Morrison big hit to force a fumble in Army's 63-10 victory on Saturday at Michie Stadium to become Bowl eligible. #GoArmy | #LastoftheHard pic.twitter.com/zA5e9HvEWO— Army Football (@ArmyWP_Football) November 17, 2021
Go Army! Beat UMass!!!
*Cover image via USMA Flickr.