Army Holds On To Top The Hilltoppers
by Erin Summers
Army welcomed fans back to Michie Stadium on Saturday for the first time since a 47-6 victory over VMI on November 16, 2019. 665 days later fans were back in the stands to witness a Black Knights ground battle and the 11th straight home win for Army. And the roar of the crowd really had an impact.
"To look around and see fans in the stands again, and hear that roar after a big play, it was a lot of fun," Army Head Coach Jeff Monken said of the experience, "I know our players were charged up and excited."
With the Corps behind them, it was bend, not break for the Black Knights in the 38-35 win over Western Kentucky. For an Army team that led the nation in total defense last season, it was a rare thing for the Black Knights to give up nearly 500 yards of offense.
"Sometimes it's that way," Monken said after the game, "Sometimes you get into a competition and you're fighting for your life and you got to go all the way to the end. That's what our guys did."
Quarterback Christian Anderson opened up the Army playbook with a mix of long, sustained drives and quick passes. With the Black Knights pounding the ground for 348 yards, Anderson led the team with 126 rushing yards and running back Jakobi Buchanan added 61 yards and two TDs.
"I just give thanks to the coaches and players for trusting me to lead the team today," Anderson reflected after the game, "I was able to do well because the line did well. They were able to block well, the slots were able to get people on the ground."
Starting with the Marquel Broughton interception on the Hilltoppers opening drive, the Army defense held a powerful offense off until the fourth quarter.
"We knew we were going to be facing a really good quaterback," Broughton said, "He did put the yards up on us, but we came out with the win. We made more plays than they made and that's all that matters."
Western Kentucky rallied to score 21 points int he fourth quarter but, after an unsuccessful on-sides kick, time ran out for WKU.
The Black Knights again dominated time of possession, nearly 2-to-1.Two of their five touchdown drives ate up more than eight and a half minutes each.
"I think we just need to figure out how to finish the game off a little bit better for next game when we have the chance," Anderson commented.
That next game is Saturday, the 18th, back at Michie stadium against Connecticut. The Huskies, who are currently being led by Interim Head Coach Lou Spanos, are coming off of a 49-0 loss to Perdue. But Monken isn't taking anything for granted.
"They've got talented football players," he said, "They have a really big football team. Look at them on defense, they're as big of a team as we've played in a while. So, we'll have our challenges and our work cut out for us."
UConn is win-less on the season at 0-3 and averaging just 197 total yards per game. They've given up more than 40 points in two shut-out losses so far this season.
edited for web by Joe Harman