Army coach Jeff Monken reiterated during his weekly news conference that not a single one of his players was recruited by a Power 5 team and not one could match up physically with Ohio State.
He also said his triple-option would be no great surprise because Buckeyes defensive coordinator Greg Schiano planned for the scheme against Navy on a yearly basis when he was Rutgers’ head coach. The Black Knights did get within 20-14 of Penn State two years ago, beat Northwestern 21-14 in 2011 and were game in holding their ground and taking some against Ohio State on Saturday, but midway through the third quarter Monken was correct on all counts.
Preparing for the antiquated triple-option offense is similar to a batter facing a knuckleball pitcher, and a lot of times the Cadets had the Buckeyes whiffing at ball carriers during a 99-yard, 18-play touchdown drive that lasted 9 minutes, 37 seconds in the second quarter. Darnell Woolfolk did the honor by running over a couple of defenders for a 3-yard touchdown.
What went right
The Cadets ran the ball 58 times, but had just one fumble (and lost it).
When it is forced to attempt a pass, Army sometimes is much like an armadillo caught in the middle of the Florida Intercoastal Highway with cars approaching. Hey, Coach Monken, even fellow triple-option teams Air Force and Georgia Tech can air it out a little bit. Bradshaw’s first pass fell incomplete because Ohio State linebacker Jerome Baker blitzed up the middle untouched and planted him a moment after the throw. He also might have put too much air on a throw when Kell Walker was open by a couple of yards at the goal line in the second quarter. Buckeye safety Erick Smith batted it away. Finally, when the situation screamed pass on Army’s first possession of the third quarter, Walker was stuffed for a 2-yard loss on third-and-four at the Buckeyes' 26. A 43-yard field goal attempt was wide left.
Thirty-point underdog Army might have made its first mistake when it won the coin toss and chose to defend. The result was, well, blitzkrieg, as Ohio State went 75 yards for a touchdown in eight plays. The Buckeyes went 94 yards in 13 plays to make it 14-0, and playing catchup is a difficult game for a team that runs the triple-option.
If the running game was still in vogue, Army’s 5-foot-9, 235-pound Darnell Woolfolk might be playing for the Buckeyes and making a name for himself like Pete Johnson, Champ Henson, Bruce Elia and those other bulls from the past. He ran for 74 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.
They said it
“I don’t know how many guys they’ve got on their defense who are going to play in the NFL, but we have exactly none. We have no one on the offensive line who is going to play in the NFL, and they’ve got to block those guys.’’
— Army coach Jeff Monken
The Cadets had possession 13 minutes, 54 seconds longer than the Buckeyes but gained only 278 total yards.
Army’s record when trailing at halftime under Monken is 3-17. … The team had won five straight games since last season. … The Cadets are 43-51-1 against Big Ten teams. Their last win over a Big Ten team came in 2011 against Northwestern.