Oct. 4, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army sprint football will make its home debut on Friday night when it hosts CSFL rival Cornell at Shea Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The game will be a “black out”, with fans encouraged to wear black, as the undefeated Black Knights (3-0, 2-0 CSFL) will sport black pants and jerseys with gold helmets. The Big Red (3-0, 2-0 CSFL) come to West Point also showing a perfect mark.
Last Time Out
Army is coming off a 52-6 victory at Mansfield last Saturday. The Black Knight defense held the Mountaineer offense scoreless, as MU’s lone score came off a fumble recovery returned to the end zone during Army’s second drive of the game. Senior Noah Currie tallied a team-best seven tackles, including five for a loss, while forcing his Army-best third fumble of the season. Currie also broke free as the Black Knights’ sack leader in 2012, with 3.5 quarterback takedowns on Saturday.
The Big Red are coming off a 22-15 home win over Princeton last Friday night. Cornell held a 20-0 lead at the half before the scrappy Tigers, who haven’t won a game since 2005, made a comeback. The Big Red registered 391 yards of total offense, including 200 in the air and 191 on the ground. Brendan Miller is under center for CU in 2012, averaging over 215 passing yards per contest and nearly 37 yards rushing. Abe Mellinger has caught two of Miller’s five TDs in 2012, while Benjamin Herrera averages a team-best 50 yards per game rushing average.
The Army-Cornell Series
Friday marks the 70th meeting between the two long-time conference rivals. The Black Knights lead the all-time series 53-16 (.768), which dates back to 1957. The 53 wins Army has collected are second to only Princeton, which the Black Knights have beaten 54 times.
Army carries a 3-0 record to start the season for the first time since 2009, and just the third time since 2000. A big part of the Black Knights’ successful start is their suffocating defense. Army is surrendering a paltry 11.3 points per game, the lowest point total through three games since that 6-1 season in 2009. The defense has been noticeably better from a year ago, as the Black Knight D allowed 19.3 points per game during the 5-2 campaign of 2011.
Friday’s Army-Cornell showdown is the first time since 2010 that both teams enter the game 3-0. In the 2010 meeting, the Big Red stole a 20-10 victory at West Point’s Shea Stadium for Army’s only loss during its CSFL Championship-winning season. Penalties were the pitfall for Army in that game as 10 flags were thrown for 84 yards, resulting in five crucial first downs.
Compare and Contrast
Through three games, Army stands atop many important categories in the CSFL rankings. The Black Knight defense leads the league with its 163-yard average, while the offense stands alone in first with its 529 YPG total. Individually, senior QB has totaled CSFL-leading figures in passing yards (977), passing TDs (12) and completions (80), while junior WR Tom Jeffers is No. 1 in the CSFL in receptions (29) and receiving yards (347). As a team, Army is in a three-way tie for first place with Cornell and Navy, all sporting 3-0 overall records and 2-0 conference marks.
The Black Knights capped Week 3 with yet another CSFL Weekly Award as senior WR Cody Nyp collected Offensive Player of the Week accolades. Nyp had eight catches for 156 yards and two TDs against Mansfield to become the second straight Black Knight to collect the weekly offensive award. Senior QB Javier Sustaita earned the honor following Week 2’s win over Post, while senior DL Noah Currie snagged the defensive certificate after the Allegiance Bowl victory as well.
Army will hit the road for the fourth time this season when it travels to Penn next Friday. The Black Knights will be in search of their fourth consecutive win against the Quakers when they hit Franklin Field at 7 p.m.