POSTGAME NOTES – ARMY VS. AIR FORCE (NOV. 7, 2009)
TEAM Air Force extended its all-time series advantage over Army to 30-13-1 with Saturday’s 35-7 defeat of the Black Knights at Falcon Stadium. Army has captured just three of 21 games played on Air Force’s home field and saw its losing streak to the Falcons stretch to four games with the setback. The Black Knights have dropped 12 of their last 13 verdicts to Air Force.
With Saturday’s loss, Army has prevailed just once at Falcon Stadium since 1978, winning in 2005.
After dominating play through the first two quarters, Army suffered through a tough third quarter. The Black Knights were outgained 159-40 in the third quarter and outscored 14-0 as Air Force took control of the game. Air Force scored 14 more unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
OFFENSE Freshman QB Trent Steelman made his ninth consecutive start for the Black Knights. It marks the highest total by a freshman quarterback in Army history and the longest starting streak by an Army quarterback since Zac Dahman made 11 straight starts in 2005.
Trent Steelman ripped off a season-long 42-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. It marked Army’s longest run for a touchdown this season and Steelman’s team-leading fourth rushing score of the season. Steelman is the first freshman quarterback to rush for a touchdown at West Point since Jerryl Bennett in 1978. Steelman is the only freshman quarterback to record multiple rushing touchdowns for the Black Knights in the modern era.
Trent Steelman established a season high in rushing, finishing with 102 yards on 18 carries. It marks the first 100-yard rushing game of Steelman’s career and the first 100-yard rushing game by an Army freshman quarterback in school history.
Neither team turned the ball over. Army is 0-3 this season and has lost 25 of its last 30 games when either even in the turnover category or losing the turnover battle.
Army’s offense was held below 20 points for the sixth straight game. The Black Knights have scored more than 20 points in a game just once this season – in a 24-17 win over Ball State on Sept. 19. Army has not scored more than two touchdowns in a game since that victory over the Cardinals.
DEFENSE Freshman DT Chris Swain made his first career start in place of injured senior Victor Ugenyi.
Army’s defense limited Air Force to just 39 total yards on 26 plays in the first half. Thirty-three of those yards came on a completion late in the second quarter. The Black Knights outgained Air Force 138-39 over the opening 30 minutes, including 128-4 on the ground. The Falcons managed just four rushing yards on 21 attempts in the first half.
Army’s defense registered nine tackles for loss in the first half, resulting in a loss of 45 yards for the Falcons.
Junior LB Stephen Anderson notched a quarterback sack in the first quarter. He has been credited with 2.5 quarterback sacks this season and 4.5 for his career.
Junior DE Josh McNary added to his school record quarterback sack totals on single season and career levels when he was credited with a sack of Air Force QB Tim Jefferson on a play in which McNary stripped Jefferson of the ball deep in Air Force territory. The Falcons recovered the ball at the 4-yard line, but the play led to a Falcon punt. McNary increased his season sack total to 11.5 and his career figure to 17.0 on the play. SPECIAL TEAMS Army surrendered an 88-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter. It marked the first time the Black Knights allowed a punt return for a touchdown since Kenny Moore accomplished the feat for Wake Forest on Sept. 15, 2007. It also marked the second straight game that Army has allowed its opponent to score a special teams touchdown.