Army Football Game Notes: The Temple Game

Stephen Fraser made his first career start against Rutgers.

Stephen Fraser made his first career start against Rutgers.

Nov. 14, 2011

Army Game Notes vs. Temple Get Acrobat Reader

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army and Temple will meet for the fifth straight season when the Black Knights travel to Philadelphia on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ESPN3 will provide a live online video stream.

  Play-by-Play: Scott Graham
  Color Analyst: Rob Harley

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.); WZAD* (97.3-FM, Wurtsboro, N.Y.);  WNSW^ (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); KRZI* (1660-AM, Waco, Texas — Fort Hood)

*will carry partial schedule, including Army-Navy game
^Spanish broadcasts

Play-by-Play: Rich DeMarco
Color Analyst: Dean Darling
Sideline: Tony Morino
Program Hosts: Bob Outer

• The 90-minute “Army Football Tailgate Show,” begins at 11 a.m.

The Army Sports Network game broadcast will be carried via Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 93).

  Alma Mater: Hawai’i, 1977
  3rd Season at Army (15-20, .429)
  12th Season Overall (75-61, .551)
  Record vs. Temple: 0-2

  Alma Mater: Central Connecticut State, 1981
  1st Season at Temple (6-4, .600)
  1st Season Overall (6-4, .600)
  Record vs. Army: 0-0

The Black Knights are coming off a 27-12 loss to Rutgers at Yankee Stadium. It was Army’s sixth straight loss away from West Point this season. All three of the Black Knights’ victories in 2011 have come in the friendly confines of Michie Stadium.

Army faced Rutgers without the services of its two top rushers — sophomore RB Raymond Maples and junior QB Trent Steelman. Maples, who leads the squad with 891 yards, suffered a head injury in practice prior to the Rutgers game and was unavailable. Steelman, who has rushed for a team-high 11 touchdowns in 2011, left the Vanderbilt game with an ankle injury and has missed the last three games. Without the duo, the team ran for a season-low 228 yards. Maples is likely to return on Saturday, while Steelman’s status will continue to be monitored on a daily basis.

Despite the numbers against the Scarlet Knights, Army enters this weekend’s game as the No. 1 rushing team in the nation, averaging 352.0 yards per game. The Black Knights have reached the 300-yard mark in eight of their 10 games. Saturday’s game against Rutgers snapped the Black Knights’ nine-game streak with at least two rushing touchdowns.

The Black Knights have suffered growing pains in 2011 with a large contingent of youngsters making their collegiate debut. A total of 41 players have seen their first collegiate action, including 19 freshmen, the most true freshmen from any team in the nation. Twenty-six players have made their debut with the starting lineup, including 10 plebes. Army’s starting backfield against Rutgers consisted of three freshmen (QB Angel Santiago, FB Larry Dixon, RB Stephen Fraser) and a junior (RB Malcolm Brown). Santiago and Fraser were making their first career starts. In addition to the three backs, Army also started a plebe at center (Ryan Powis) and three more were with the first unit on defense (DT Jacob Drozd, LB Geoffery Bacon, CB Lamar Johnson-Harris).

Freshman QB Angel Santiago made his first career start against Rutgers. Santiago is Army’s third different starter this season, following junior Trent Steelman and senior Max Jenkins. Santiago took every offensive snap, rushing for 72 yards on 30 carries and completing six of his 15 passes for 77 yards. His 30 carries were the most by an Army player since the 2008 season.

Freshman FB Larry Dixon ran for a career-high 93 yards against Rutgers. Dixon has moved into the third spot on Army’s rushing list this season with 435 yards. Dixon has scored a rushing touchdown in each of the last three games, and is averaging 6.5 yards per carry for the season.

• Snap Army’s two-game losing streak.
• End Temple’s three-game winning streak against the Black Knights.
• Be Army’s first win of the season away from West Point (0-6).
• Halt Army’s eight-game losing streak at Lincoln Financial Field (0-8).
• Be Army’s first win this season against a Mid-American Conference opponent (0-3).
• Mark the first time Army has won at least four games in three straight seasons since a 14-year run from 1984-1997.
• Move head coach Rich Ellerson into a tie for 13th place on the Army career wins list (16).
• Be the 653rd win in the 122 seasons of Army football (652-469-51; .578).

Temple head coach Steve Addazio is in his first year as the Owls’ head man. Addazio served as offensive coordinator at Florida for two seasons, serving on the Gators’ staff from 2005-10. Prior to his tenure at Florida, Addazio served on the staffs at Indiana, Notre Dame and Syracuse. He has coached in 11 bowl games, including Florida’s BCS National Championship wins in 2007 and 2009.

The Owls are coming off a 24-21 win over MAC East Division rival Miami (Ohio). Temple trailed 7-3 after the first quarter, but scored 14 unanswered in the second quarter to take the lead for good. Matt Brown rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown, while quarterback Chris Coyer rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown while throwing for 92 yards (10-for-19) and a score. Miami quarterback Zac Dysert threw for 364 yards and three scores, but Temple intercepted two passes and forced another turnover on a fumble.

Offensively, the Owls are one of the natio’s top rushing teams. Temple is eighth in the nation, averaging 254.3 yards per contest on the ground. The Owls score 28.5 points per game. Running back Bernard Pierce leads the team and ranks 13th in the nation with 115.0 yards per game. Pierce has already cracked the 1,000-yard mark (1,035) and run for 19 touchdowns. He did not play against Miami due to injury. Brown is next on the list, averaging 70.2 yards per game and 5.7 yards per rush. Coyer is averaging 90.0 yards per game on the ground, posting 450 yards in only five games. He has completed 54.4 percent of his throws (18-33) for 215 yards and four scores. Evan Rodriguez is Temple’s top pass catcher, accounting for 30 receptions, 385 yards and two scores. Deon Miller has a team-best three touchdown catches.

The Owls are one of the toughest teams in the nation to move the ball and score on. Temple ranks 13th in the country, allowing just 305.5 yards of total offense per game. Opponents have scored only 14.6 points per game versus the Owls, the fourth-stingiest outfit in the nation. Stephen Johnson leads the team wtih 83 tackles. Adrian Robinson and Kee-ayre Griffin both have 11.0 tackles for loss. Griffin owns a team-leading 6.0 sacks. Tahir Whitehead leads the team with three interceptions.

Brandon McManus headlines the Owls’ special teams. He ranks fifth in the nation with a 46.15 yards-per-punt average. Brown is ranked 25th in the country in punt returns, averaging 9.67 yards per attempt.

The all-time series between Temple and Army is tied at 4-4. The Owls have won the last three meetings, including a 42-35 win at Michie Stadium last season.

Of the eight previous meetings between the two teams, six have come at West Point. Army is 3-3 in those games and 1-1 in Philadelphia.

Temple  is the fourth and final Mid-American Conference squads the Black Knights will face in 2011. All four games will have taken place away from West Point. Army is 0-3 thus far, suffering losses at Northern Illinois, Ball State and Miami (Ohio).

2011 marks the sixth straight season Army has played at least one game versus a MAC opponent. It is the fifth straight year Black Knights have opened the season versus a Mid-American Conference foe (Akron, 2007; Temple, 2008; Eastern Michigan, 2009, 2010; Northern Illinois, 2011).
The Black Knights are 8-11 against the MAC since 2005. (2005: 1-1; 2006: 1-0; 2007: 1-2; 2008: 1-3; 2009: 2-1; 2010: 2-1; 2011: 0-3).

Army is 21-16 all-time against teams currently competing in the MAC (Akron, 3-1; Ball State, 2-1; Buffalo, 1-2; Central Michigan, 0-2; Eastern Michigan, 4-0; Kent State, 2-0; Miami, 2-3; Northern Illinois, 1-1; Ohio, 1-0; Temple, 4-4; Western Michigan, 1-1).

• Army has run for at least 200 yards in all 10 games this season.
• Army has lost seven straight games when allowing a non-offensive touchdown.
• The Black Knights have lost 36 straight games when allowing 40-or-more points.
• Army has won eight straight games when scoring at least 40 points.
• The Black Knights have lost 18 straight games when trailing after three quarters.
• Army has defeated a team from a BCS automatic-qualifying conference in each of the last three seasons (Vanderbilt, 2009; Duke, 2010; Northwestern, 2011).
• The Black Knights have lost four straight games following wins over BCS league opponents.
• Army has lost six straight games away from West Point.
Raymond Maples has run for at least 100 yards in his last two games.
Larry Dixon has run for a touchdown in three straight games.
• Army has not allowed a point in the first quarter in three straight games.

The Black Knights are idle until their annual showdown with arch-rival Navy. The 112th edition of the Army-Navy game presented by USAA will be played on Saturday, Dec. 10 at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. It will be the first Army-Navy game played in the Washington, D.C. metro area. The Mids have won nine straight games in the series, the longest winning streak by either team.

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