Three Keys Revisited: Air Force at Army

Austin Niklas (Danny Wild-US PRESSWIRE)

Air Force was unable to beat the Black Knights at their own game on Saturday as little to nothing went right offensively in an ugly 41-21 loss. The Falcons were out played for three quarters at West Point before waking up in the fourth quarter only to give up a fumble for a touchdown which was in keeping with events of the whole day. Here is a look back at AFA's three keys to a win over Army.

Air Force was unable to beat the Black Knights at their own game on Saturday as little to nothing went right offensively in an ugly 41-21 loss. The Falcons were out played for three quarters at West Point before waking up in the fourth quarter only to give up a fumble for a touchdown which was in keeping with events of the whole day. Here is a look back at the three keys to see what went wrong for Air Force.

1) Out rush the Black Knights

Going into the game there were not many people who would have even suggested that the Black Knights would be able to out rush the Falcons by over 200 yards. On the day though that was the case as Army went for 314 yards compared to just 103 for Air Force. The most shocking part of the figure is that Air Force actually ran the ball 43 times, this means that the second leading rushing attack in the nation put up just 2.4 yards per carry against what was thought to be a weak rushing defense. Army was quicker to the point of attack all day than Air Force and seemed to be playing with more desire and energy. Running or passing, there was just nothing the offense could do to move the ball against an inspired defensive unit.

2) Keep tabs on Trent Steelman

Air Force was never really able to stop Steelman and he was as effective as ever when Army got into the red zone. One of the problems the Black Knights have had recently is turnovers, but the Falcons were unable to jar the ball loose or cause that vital turnover which would have shifted momentum when the game was still a contest. Instead Steelman controlled the game as he rushed 29 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns. What is interesting about the performance of the Army quarterback is that he didn't have a single big, game breaking run (longest was 11 yards) but he was able to run behind his dominant offensive line to slowly move the ball down the field. Air Force just had no answer.

3) Score on The Opening drive

Air Force became the first team this season to score on the opening drive against Army and not go on to beat the Black Knights. It was actually the end of the second Falcon drive which set the tone for how this game would play out as Connor Dietz was stopped on fourth-and-goal from the Army 1-yard line. Three plays later Steelman hit running back Raymond Maples on a 53-yard catch and run which led to an Army field goal. That was the last time which the Falcons would be in single digits of the Black Knights all game.

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