Head coach Jeff Monken and the Army Black Knights are now 2-0 here in 2020 after a solid victory over the University of Louisiana Monroe Warhawks.
Despite a momentary lapse in the second quarter, Army recovered composure quickly and thoroughly outperformed ULM in virtually every facet of the game. The Black Knights had just one turnover, controlled nearly 37 minutes of the clock and out-gained their opponents on the ground, 436 yards to 37 yards.
I know myself and other Army fans were a bit nervous about this match-up with ULM.
Prior to kickoff, the Black Knights were 23-point favorites. That sort of thing can freak you out. The last thing we want is for the team to get complacent, and for a moment in the second quarter, it looked like that might be a problem. After failing to convert on fourth down, Army gave ULM the ball and the Warhawks marched down the field to cut the score 14-7. Army stalled out and had to punt again.
Luckily, the Black Knights were able to come back with a field goal just before half, taking a 17-7 lead into the third quarter. However, the Warhawks came out to play to open the second half, forcing another Army punt. The Army defense quickly returned the favor, giving the offense another chance.
The Black Knights’ attack responded with an eight-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a six-yard touchdown run by Christian Anderson, his second of the day.
As the game progressed, ULM still showed fight; however, every time they got things going, they gave momentum right back to Army. The Warhawks fumbled and threw an interception late in the game, allowing the Black Knights to walk away with a 37-7 win.
On offense, the Black Knights amassed 465 yards (aided by a well-executed fake punt play) with Anderson and Jakobi Buchanan notching two touchdowns each, and Sandon McCoy punching in his FBS-leading 4th rushing touchdown of the season. Buchanan, a sophomore, totaled 106 rushing yards while Anderson had 95.
But once again, the real highlight of the game was on defense. The Black Knights held ULM to just 200 yards of total offense and had two takeaways. As it stands, the Army defense has allowed less than 200 yards per-game, has forced multiple turnovers each game, and has scored a touchdown. Nate Woody’s unit looks pretty impressive through two contests. Jon Rhattigan stood out again, notching 2.5 tackles for loss.
As of this writing, the Sept. 19 matchup between BYU and Army has been postponed, so it appears that the Black Knights’ next contest will be at Cincinnati on 9/26 with a kickoff time still to be determined.