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Army looks to solve Troy’s defense, former assistant Shiel Wood

Former Army assistant Shiel Wood (left) will try to contain the Black Knights' run game as Troy's defensive coordinator. Photo by Lynn Fern/Black Knight Nation

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.



  1. Fearless 6

    November 11, 2022 at 7:30 PM

    Good luck with “try to run our base offense ” against this Troy D. Had better figure out how to hold and sustain blacks for this conventional running attack which BTW has nothing to do with option — double or triple.

  2. Tommy

    November 11, 2022 at 11:10 PM

    Looking forward to what Davis is going to do when “base offense” doesn’t work (and it probably won’t work because Troy’s defensive coordinator Wood was on the Army coaching staff just last year and also took note I’m sure of how Air Force put up a steel wall on Army’s running game). Will Davis then go to the triple option sweeps, pitch plays to a slot back, or pass the ball. And if it is the latter, will he play Cade Ballard or maybe even Bryson Daily at QB? And if so, will he make that adjustment early on in the game…or wait it out until it will be late to turn the game around for Army?

    • Fearless 6

      November 14, 2022 at 1:51 PM

      Excellent comment by Tommy. Regrettably when the Army offense stalled out in H2 Davis did none of those things. Daily should have started H2 and if needed at the bitter end Cade Ballard should have been running the 2 minute drill….

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