Army squared off against Air Force on Saturday, falling to the Falcons 16-7 at sold-out Michie Stadium. Air Force extended its lead in the all-time series to 29-13-1 with its 11th victory in the last 12 series matchups. The Falcons have captured 18 of the last 20 battles between the teams.
Army closed the home portion of its 2008 campaign on Saturday. The Black Knights finished 2-4 at Michie Stadium this season.
The Army Athletic Association celebrated the 20th anniversary of its 1988 Sun Bowl team with a special on-field halftime tribute. Among those returning for the event were former head coach Jim Young, standout FB Ben Barnett and star OLB Greg Gadson. In all, 55 former players and coaches returned to West Point for Saturday’s festivities.
By virtue of its victory over Air Force in Colorado Springs last month and Air Force’s win over Army on Saturday, Navy clinched at least a share of the Commander in Chief’s Trophy title. Should Army defeat Navy in December, all three service academies would earn a share of the title. In that scenario, Navy would retain possession of the Trophy as the previous year’s winner. Navy will claim the title outright with a win over the Black Knights next month.
Army topped Air Force in most major statistical categories on Saturday, but suffered its sixth loss of the season, nonetheless. The Black Knights held advantages in first downs (17-10), rushing yards (143-142), passing yards (107-32), total yards (250-174) and time of possession (31:50-28:10).
Air Force’s four scoring drives measured 24, 34, 32 and three yards in distance. The Falcons’ average starting field position was their own 42-yard line, while Army’s average starting field position was its own 24.
Saturday’s crowd of 37,409 marked the first sellout at Michie Stadium this season and the largest Michie crowd since the Black Knights drew 39,073 to last year’s game against Rutgers (Nov. 9, 2007).
Senior FB Collin Mooney led all rushers with 92 ground yards on 22 carries. It marked the fourth time this year that Mooney has rushed for at least 90 yards in a game.
Collin Mooney has rushed for 966 yards this season, averaging 107.3 ground yards per game. Mooney entered the game ranked 17th nationally at 109.25 rushing yards per contest. Mooney now stands 15th on Army’s single season rushing chart.
Collin Mooney needs 34 rushing yards to become the 10th player in Army history to register 1,000 rushing yards in a single season. Presently, nine different Army players have posted 12 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
Junior WR Damion Hunter notched the first touchdown of his collegiate career when he combined with QB Chip Bowden on a 47-yard catch-and-run score on the game’s third play from scrimmage.
Collin Mooney and Chip Bowden now stand as the 14th-best single season rushing duo in Army history. The pair has combined for 1,422 rushing yards this season.
As a team, Army pushed its single season rushing total to 2,117 yards, marking the first time the Black Knights have topped the 2,000-yard rushing mark since 1999 (2915).
Army was limited to a season-low 143 rushing yards on Saturday. It marked Army’s lowest ground total since the Black Knights managed just 100 rushing yards against Navy last December.
The Black Knights posted season highs in passing yardage (107), pass attempts (26) and pass completions (8) versus Air Force.
Army’s defense limited Air Force to 174 total yards and 142 rushing yards on Saturday. The Falcons’ longest drive of the day measured 34 yards. Air Force ran eight plays or more on just two of its 13 possessions.
Air Force entered Saturday’s game ranked fourth nationally in rushing, averaging 291.0 yards per game. The Falcons were limited to 142 ground yards (42 carries) by Army’s defense, the lowest rushing total for the Falcons against the Black Knights since 1996. Army limited the Falcons to 69 rushing yards on 29 carries in that 23-7 Army win. It also marked Air Force’s second lowest rushing total of the season.
Army held Air Force to a season-low 174 total yards on Saturday. It marks the second straight week that the Black Knights’ stop unit has limited their opponent to less than 175 yards. Army had not held consecutive opponents to 175 yards or less since 1996 when the Black Knights accomplished the feat against North Texas (175 yards) and Yale (82 yards).
Three different Black Knights registered double figures in tackles on Saturday, with senior LB John Plumstead leading all players with a career-high 14 stops. He was joined in double figures by sophomore DE Josh McNary (12 tackles) and sophomore LB Stephen Anderson (10 tackles). McNary posted career highs in both tackles and tackles for loss (3.0).