Service academies take care of business

Army's Alejandro Villanueva catches a 7 Yd Pass from quarterback Trent Steelman in its win over VMI at Michie Stadium. (Army photo)

Army's Alejandro Villanueva catches a 7-yard pass from quarterback Trent Steelman in the Black Knights' win over VMI at Michie Stadium. (Army photo)

This week was a let down. Last weekend featured the Army/Air Force showdown with ESPN Gameday on the sideline and Navy’s historic upset of Notre Dame. This weekend Army, Air Force and Navy all faced opponents they should have beaten. And yes I included Rich Ellerson’s improved West Point squad who faced the Keydets of the Virginia Military Institute.

All three came through with a win, although Navy got a scare from the Delaware Blue Hens, who always seem to give the Midshipmen a hard time no matter how far Navy’s football program advances. I still can’t believe the Navy players’ ho-hum attitude after beating Notre Dame last weekend. Has Notre Dame really fallen this hard or has Navy come this far? Tough to tell.

Some quick recaps from the weekend:

Army 22 VMI 17

The Black Knights tried to give this game away losing four fumbles, including one with 2:47 remaining in the fourth quarter. However, the defense stood tall keeping the Keydets out of the endzone. Army running back Patrick Mealy led the offense and finished with 136 yards rushing.

Coach Rich Ellerson has turned this program around. The Black Knights have a chance to end the year with six wins if they can pull the upset over Navy on Dec. 12. Next week Army heads south to play North Texas, which is another winnable game as long as they can hold onto the ball.

Air Force 45 UNLV 17

Air Force never gave UNLV any sliver of hope they could pull the upset. Running back Asher Clark, who ran for 160 yards, started the onslaught with a 24-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. The Fighting Falcons didn’t let up the rest of the first half and went into the locker room with a 24-3 lead. UNLV came out in the second half strong, scoring a touchdown to cut Air Force’s lead to 14. But Nathan Walker squashed those hopes with his 2 yard touchdown run. The Falcons will take a three-game winning streak into its matchup with No. 22 BYU next weekend.

Navy 35 Delaware 18

Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo had to expect a letdown facing FCS opponent Delaware after beating Notre Dame for the second time in three years. But he still had to be disappointed with his team’s effort in the first half that left Navy trailing the Blue Hens by two at halftime. Not until the fourth quarter did the Midshipmen pull away.

Quarterback Ricky Dobbs ran in five touchdowns on the afternoon. If only college fantasy football existed. Ricky Dobbs would be a beast. I digress. Navy will get a much-deserved week off before flying out to Hawaii for it’s Nov. 28 meeting, which will be aired on ESPNU at 10:30 p.m. EST.


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