Four quick hits from Saturday’s games, which saw Army and Navy both fall to 0-2 on the season.
1. P.J.’s big day. We told you about Penn State senior/enlisted Navy diver P.J. Byers last week, and while the officer candidate didn’t play during Saturday’s 34-7 win over Navy, he was part of Penn State’s Military Appreciation Day tribute. Byers carried the American flag onto the Beaver Stadium turf in the above picture, served as a game captain and was honored in a second-half ceremony along with teammate and former Marine Brent Smith, a freshman who also didn’t see action. While he didn’t make the stat sheet, Byers did make the lead spot in the PSU media-relations postgame quote summary. Key team-first quote: “I could not have asked for a better game.”
2. Trey’s tribulations. Bill Wagner over at The (Annapolis, Md.) Capital put together a must-read summary of Trey Miller’s struggles in his first full season behind center for Navy. Miller, a junior, threw an interception and fumbled twice, accounting for all but one of the Mids’ four turnovers. He managed 17 yards passing and had 21 yards on the ground with a team-high 18 carries. Wagner goes into detail on what could be behind the struggles, and at least two of those issues — a sore ankle still healing from the Notre Dame game and trouble with crowd noise at Beaver Stadium — should improve next week at home against Virginia Military Institute.
3. Saturday’s slate. Speaking of next week, it’ll be the first time all season that Army, Navy and Air Force play on the same weekend. Navy hosts VMI at 3:30 p.m. Eastern (CBS Sports Network), Air Force visits UNLV (10 p.m. Eastern, Altitude network) and Army travels to Wake Forest (12:30 p.m. Eastern, ACC Network, find your station here). Keep an eye on our master schedule for updates.
4. Army’s ground assault. Good news from Saturday’s 41-40 home loss to Northern Illinois: The 486 yards rushing piled up by Army is the most by any Football Bowl Subdivision team all season. Bad news — Army had eight yards passing. It’s a record-setter, according to Army football guru Sal Interdonato, but not the kind you’d like. And it’s no surprise that according to the NCAA’s official stat sheet, the Black Knights are second in team rushing, averaging 384 yards per game, and dead last — 120th — in passing at 29 yards per game. Air Force sits first in rushing (387 ypg) and 117th passing (134 ypg). The Black Knights had no answer for NIU’s more balanced attack, which allowed them to put up 41 points despite having the ball for less than 18 minutes.