ARMY POSTGAME NOTES VS. AKRON (9-1-07)
Army opened its 118th season of intercollegiate competition on Saturday, squaring off against Akron in the inaugural FirstMerit Patriot Bowl at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. It marked the earliest season opener for the Black Knights in school history. Army opened its 2006 campaign at Arkansas State on Sept. 2, which marked the Black Knights’ earliest opener at the time.
Saturday marked only the seventh time in school history that the Black Knights have opened a season on the road. Army remained winless in such contests (0-7).
Army battled Akron for the fourth time on Saturday and the first time since 2005. Akron registered its first victory in the series after falling in each of the first three series matchups. The Black Knights had won two of the previous three meetings by shutout.
The Black Knights’ losing streak in season openers stretched to 11 games with Saturday’s loss to Akron. Army has not captured a season opener since defeating Ohio 37-20 in the 1996 lidlifter.
Akron marked the first of three Mid-American Conference opponents to square off against Army this season. The Black Knights are slated to battle Temple (Sept. 29) and Central Michigan (Oct. 13) later in the year.
Head coach Stan Brock made his collegiate head coaching debut against Akron on Saturday. Brock served as offensive line coach at West Point the previous three years.
Five Army players made their first career starts against Akron on Saturday, two on offense (WR Elliott Emerich, OG Seth Fabin) and three on defense (LB Brian Chmura, LB Frank Scappaticci, DE Victor Ugenyi)
Army played its first-ever game in the city of Cleveland.
Stan Brock became the third straight Army head coach to suffer a loss in his debut at the Black Knights’ helm. Bob Sutton was the last Army field boss to prevail in his first game at the Black Knights’ helm (1991).
Senior QB David Pevoto started Army’s opener for the second consecutive season. Pevoto started Army’s 2006 opener against Arkansas State, then came off the bench for each of Army’s final three games. He started eight games last season in all.
Pevoto set a career highs with 23 completions, 43 attempts and 184 yards.
Army scored its first points of the season on a three-yard touchdown run by junior RB Wesley McMahand 40 seconds into the second quarter. The scoring drive immediately followed a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown by Akron DB Reggie Corner. QB David Pevoto went 4-for-4 through the air for 41 yards on the drive.
Junior TE Mike Evans established a career high with three receptions and 36 yards.
Senior TE Justin Larson set career highs with six catches for 36 yards.
Senior WR Jeremy Trimble tied his career high with seven catches.
Army’s defense twice limited Akron to field goals in the first half after the Zips had moved the ball inside the Black Knights’ 11-yard line.
Senior S Jordan Murray tied his career high with 12 tackles, all of which were solo stops.
Senior CB Kevin Opoku registered a career-high seven tackles, including one for a loss.
Senior LB Frank Scappaticci had a career-best eight tackles, including his first career sack.
Senior LB Brian Chmura notched a career-best eight tackles.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES:
Akron returned the opening kickoff 70 yards, setting up a 23-yard field goal by Igor Iveljic just 2:30 into the contest.
Junior K Adam DeMarco saw his first collegiate action, hitting an extra point in the second quarter on his first career kick.
Army allowed a 59-yard punt return in the third quarter to Akron PR Andre Jones, but the Black Knights defense held and the Zips missed a 39-yard field goal attempt.
The Black Knights scored their first special teams touchdown of the season when junior LB John Plumstead blocked a punt with 0:38 left in the game and junior LB Peter Anderson recovered the ball in the end zone. It was Army’s first blocked punt for a touchdown since Curt Daniels returned one three yards against Cincinnati in 2003.