I’ll be the first to admit, I did a terrible job scheduling the AAE team for this weekend. I put myself down for this week’s CIC MVP even though I had Navy Reserve duty all weekend and watched a total of one half of service academy football all weekend.
But I got some help from the rest of the crew, went back and caught what I could after the fact, and feel pretty good about this week’s selection.
There were plenty of people who had solid outings for Army and Air Force over the weekend. Traveling to take on Boise State on the blue turf on a Friday night is never an easy task, but for the first half it was evident that Air Force had the players to beat the Broncos. The injury to Donald Hammond III certainly didn’t help the cause in the second half, but he still played pretty well in the game, going six for eleven for 83 yards and a TD with an INT and nabbing another TD on the ground to go along with 62 yards rushing.
Geraud Sanders had another big game, grabbing five receptions for 86 yards and a TD. Taven Birdow had some really solid runs from the fullback position. Jeremy Fejedelem continues to be a stalwart on defense, racking up nine more tackles. And Lakota Wills is still mauling opposing offenses, getting eight tackles to go along with a sack and three tackles for a loss.
I know Air Force fans felt like this one slipped right out of their grasp, but they have to be excited with the talent level of this team and what they bring to the table. They have the pieces for a really really good season, and hopefully this loss to Boise State doesn’t detract from that in any way.
Army secured their third victory of the season by defeating the Morgan State Bears 52-21. This was another game in which we didn’t quite see the dominant effort we were expecting from the Black Knights, but at the end of the day they continue to take care of business and press on, with a bye week upcoming before taking on a really good Tulane squad in two weeks.
Junior Christian Anderson filled in for Kelvin Hopkins and Jabari Laws at QB, and even though it wasn’t a dominant effort, the third string QB certainly held his own on the day. He found Artice Hobbs for an 80 yard TD strike, and Hobbs also turned in a rushing TD, showcasing his speed and a solid performance.
Cole Christiansen continues to anchor the Army defense, getting double digit tackles for the second time this season with 11. Elijah Riley continues to show out, picking up an INT and five tackles against the Bears.
However, this week’s CIC MVP is going to Connor Slomka, the bruising fullback from Army who eclipsed 100 yards rushing for the first time this season, getting 110 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown in the victory over Morgan State. Slomka, who missed the first game of the season against Rice, has continued to show improvement on the young season, and really carried the bulk of the workload for Army on Saturday, getting double the carries of the next closest player. He responded with a great performance, and hopefully, it won’t be the last time this season he eclipses 100 yards and secures his name on the CIC MVP list!