Army is still the nation’s second-best rushing team following a tough game against Air Force last week.
The Black Knights’ 184-game streak of 100 rushing yards or more was snapped in the Commander in Chief’s trophy setback.
Army’s ground game will look to get back on track in an intriguing matchup at Troy Saturday.
Former Army assistant Shiel Wood calls plays for Troy’s defense, which is ranked 20th in the country against the run (113.1 yards per game). Wood spent the previous two seasons as Army’s safeties and linebackers coach.
Army coach Jeff Monken is happy for Wood’s success but wishes the Black Knights didn’t have to face a past member of his staff. Troy’s defensive line coach Eric McDaniel held the same position at West Point last year. Monken pointed out that Troy allowed just one rushing touchdown in the month of October.
“One,” Monken said. “That’s incredible. I’ve never heard of anything like that before.”
Monken said Wood has “years of experience” defending the option beyond the time preparing for Army and Air Force at West Point.
“I got a lot of respect for Shiel,” Monken said. “He’s doing a great job there. I’m sure he had a great plan prepared for us and for us, we are just going to have to have a great plan to match it and execute more than anything.”
With that said, it’s unclear if Army will insert any additional plays into its game plan this week.
When asked what Army needs to improve from last week, offensive coordinator Brent Davis mentioned, “Find ways to execute on average things. Run the fullback better (29 combined yards against Air Force). Try to run our base offense. That’s something that we are focused on.”
Davis said Tyson Riley didn’t practice much the previous two weeks (bye and Air Force) as the fullback was battling strep throat and getting IVs.
Army defensive coordinator Nate Woody said Wednesday that senior safety and captain Marquel Broughton’s status for Troy wouldn’t be determined until later in the week.
“He’s going through protocol before you can get them back. We don’t know now if he’ll play,” Woody said. “I talked to him and he feels fine and that’s great news.”
Broughton left the Air Force game under his own power after a collision with wide receiver David Cormier in the fourth quarter. He’s started 33 straight games for the Black Knights.
“This defense really depends an awful lot on him,” Woody said. “His leadership is something special. The guys look up to him as they should as he is their captain. They just love the juice he gives, the energy that he gives to our team.”
Monken said he expects Tyhier Tyler to play more at quarterback than he did last week. Tyler started the Air Force game under center for the first play. Senior Jemel Jones played the majority of the quarterback snaps from there on.