Sept. 3, 2012
Army vs. San Diego State Notes
Date: Sept. 8, 2012
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: San Diego, Calif.
Venue: Qualcomm Stadium
TV: NBC Sports Network
Series: SDSU leads, 1-0
Last Meeting: Sept. 10, 2011
SDSU 23, Army 20
NBC Sports Network
Play-by-Play: Paul Burmeister
Color Analyst: Rod Woodson
Sideline Reporter: Anthony Herron
Army Sports Network
Flagship: WABC (770-AM, New York, N.Y.)
Affiliates: WALL (1340-AM, Middletown, N.Y.); WEOK (1390-AM, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.); WPLJ-HD3 (95.5-3 (HD)-FM, New York, N.Y.); WKXP* (94.3-FM, Kingston, N.Y.); WKDM^ (1430-AM, New York, N.Y.); WAZZ (1490-AM, Fayetteville, N.C. -- Fort Bragg); WZZN (97.7-FM, Huntsville, Ala. -- Redstone Arsenal); KXCA (1380-AM, Lawton, Okla. -- Fort Sill).
*will carry partial schedule, including Army-Navy game
Play-by-Play: Rich DeMarco
Color Analyst: Dean Darling
Sideline: Tony Morino
Program Host: Joe Beckerle
► The 90-minute "Army Football Tailgate Show," begins at 5:30 p.m. ET
Sirius Satellite Radio
Sirius Channel 135
► The entire Army Sports Network broadcast, including the "Army Football Tailgate Show," will be streamed live (audio) via Knight Vision on www.goARMYsports.com each week. Subscription fees apply.
► The "This Week in Army Football," show will be streamed live from the West Point First Class Club on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. The event is available only to Knight Vision subscribers.
► The Black Knights kick off their 123rd season of competition on Saturday evening at San Diego State. It is the fourth straight season that Army has started its campaign away from West Point. It is the first time since 2006 the Black Knights have made their season debut opposite a team from outside the Mid-American Conference.
► Head coach Rich Ellerson begins his fourth season on the West Point sideline. Ellerson is 15-22 in his three seasons at Army, including a victory in the 2010 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. Ellerson and College Football Hall of Famer Jim Young (1984 Cherry Bowl/1985 Peach Bowl) are the only two coaches in Army history to win a bowl game.
► The Black Knights are making their first trip to the West Coast since playing at Washington on Sept. 23, 1995. It is Army's first trip to California since the Army-Navy Game was played in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. on Nov. 25, 1983. Army head coach Rich Ellerson is no stranger to the Golden State. Ellerson spent eight seasons as the head coach at Cal Poly before coming to the banks of the Hudson.
► Army returns its top seven runners from last season's team that led the country in rushing with 346.5 yards per game. Those seven players accounted for 3,560 of the Black Knights' Academy-record 4,158 rushing yards in 2011 (85.6 percent). Army also returns 31 of its 35 rushing touchdowns from a year ago.
► Junior RB Raymond Maples begins his quest to become the first Army player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons since Carlton Jones accomplished the feat in 2004 and 2005. Maples ran for 1,066 yards in 2011 and ranked 26th in the nation in rushing with 96.9 yards per game.
► Maples and senior RB Jared Hassin are already a history-making duo at West Point. This season marks the first time that two players who have each posted 1,000-yard rushing seasons return to the Army roster. Hassin ran for 1,013 yards in 2010 as the Black Knights' primary fullback.
► Senior QB Trent Steelman is back for his fourth year as the Black Knights' starting signal caller. Steelman started an Academy record 32 consecutive games to start his career before suffering an injury last season. Steelman is the only player in Academy history to rush for 2,000 yards and pass for 2,000 yards during their career.
► The Army defense returns 14 of its top 18 tacklers from last season. All but one of the eight players who recorded an interception last season are back in 2012, and a group that combined for 13.0 of Army's 18.0 quarterback sacks last season returns to the lineup.
A WIN VS. SAN DIEGO STATE WOULD ...
► Be Army's first versus the Aztecs (0-1).
► Snap Army's four-game overall losing streak dating back to last season.
► Snap Army's seven-game losing streak in games played away from West Point.
► Mark the third time in four years Army won its opener. The Black Knights lost 13 straight from 1996-2008.
► Be Army's first win in California since defeating Stanford, 17-13, in Palo Alto on Sept. 22, 1979.
► Be just the third time Army has won a game in a stadium that also hosts a professional team in its last 20 tries (Lincoln Financial Field, 0-9; Louisiana Superdome, 2-2; Yankee Stadium, 0-2; Giants Stadium, 0-1; Cleveland Browns Stadium, 0-1; M&T Bank Stadium, 0-1; New Meadowland Stadium, 0-1).
► Be Head Coach Rich Ellerson's 16th win at West Point (15-22).
SCOUTING THE AZTECS
► Head coach Rocky Long begins his second season on the Aztecs' sideline. Before taking the head coaching job, Long spent the previous two seasons as the SDSU defensive coordinator. A 1974 graduate of New Mexico, Long spent 11 seasons as the head coach of his alma mater (1998-2008). Long has coached in eight bowl games, including five as the head man with the Lobos, and the 2011 New Orleans Bowl with the Aztecs.
► San Diego State opened the season last week with a 21-12 loss at Washington. The Aztecs ran for 199 yards and a touchdown, while quarterback Ryan Katz completed 10 of his 19 throws for 128 yards and a touchdown with one interception. Walter Kazee was the teams' top rusher with 86 yards, while Katz ran for 77 yards.
► Defensively, the Aztecs gave up just 328 yards of total offense and limited the Huskies to just 3.4 yards per rushing attempt (31 att., 106 yds.) Nat Berhe led the Aztecs' defense at Washington with eight tackles, a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery. San Diego State made 10 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including three quarterback sacks.
► Katz, a transfer from Oregon State, takes over for Ryan Lindley who is currently playing for the Arizona Cardinals. Katz started 14 games during his sophomore and junior seasons with the Beavers. He threw for 2,401 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2010.
► San Diego State must also replace an NFL-caliber player at running back. Ronnie Hillman was a third-round draft pick by the Denver Broncos after rushing for 3,010 yards and 32 touchdowns in his two collegiate seasons.
ARMY IN SEASON OPENERS
► Army owns a sterling 93-26-3 record in its previous 122 season-opening games (.775).
► The Black Knights' loss at Northern Illinois last season snapped a modest two-game winning streak in season openers. Army started 0-1 in 12 straight seasons from 1997-2008.
► While Saturday's game marks just the 12th time Army has opened a season away from Michie Stadium, it has become the norm in recent years. It is the seventh time in eight seasons the Black Knights have made their debut away from Michie Stadium. The Black Knights are 2-9 in their previous season openers away from West Point. The only wins came at Eastern Michigan in 2009 and 2010.
► Army head coach Rich Ellerson is 6-6 in season openers in his previous 12 years as a head coach.
HOME SWEET HOME
► After Saturday's sesson opener, Army will have already played a quarter of its road schedule for 2012. The Black Knights will play seven games at Michie Stadium for the first time since 1994. Army will have only four true road games plus its neutral site contest with Navy.
► The lack of road games could go a long way to boosting Army's win total. Last season, the Black Knights went 0-8 away from West Point.
► The Black Knights finished their home schedule with a 3-1 record, outscoring their opponents 141-43. Army allowed just 886 total yards in those four games (221.5/game).
► Army's 2011 road woes came as a surprise. In 2010, the Black Knights won all five games on their opponents' home fields.
► Army is 7-9 in games played on opponents' home fields since 2009. The loss in the season opener at Northern Illinois snapped a six-game road winning streak, the program's longest since the 1966 and 1967 seasons. The Black Knights were 4-15 on opponents' home fields from 2005-08.
UP NEXT ...
► The Black Knights make their home debut on Sept. 15 versus Northern Illinois.
► Northern Illinois scored a 49-26 win in DeKalb to open the 2011 season.
► It is the first of seven home games at Michie Stadium in 2012.
► Army has won its last three games played at West Point.
► Northern Illinois' last visit to Michie Stadium came in 1992 (Army, 21-14).