Army West Point football head coach Jeff Monken met virtually with members of the local media on Tuesday afternoon for his weekly press conference inside Nowak Auditorium.
The Black Knights play their first Commander-in-Chief's Trophy matchup of the season this Saturday at Michie Stadium when they take on service academy foe Air Force. Kickoff is set for 11:30 a.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
Army West Point Football Head Coach Jeff Monken
(Ref.: Opening Statement)
"I guess we haven't been here since the game two weekends ago and it was a great win for our guys, I thought they played really hard and performed well. I'm just pleased with the takeaways we got and our defense and how they continue to play and the production on offense. We're playing a lot of guys that don't really have a lot of game experience in some skilled positions, particularly the quarterback position. I'm really excited to see them get some game experience and build the reps that they frankly haven't had in practice. I thought they did a nice job. Our kicking game was really good that last time out. We covered kicks well, had a blocked kick and those are always big, and I'm just really impressed with the job that Coach (Sean) Saturnio is doing in motivating those guys to play really hard.
“Obviously, this week is a big game for us. We haven't had a bigger game this year than the one we're going to play this weekend. I know our guys are excited for the opportunity and certainly what's at stake when we play the academy games to earn the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. It's always a great game and always a tremendous battle and hopefully we'll play well enough this Saturday that we can make it a battle again.”
(Ref.: On the biggest things the team was able to work on during the bye week)
“Obviously we don't face a lot of option teams, we did in The Citadel earlier this year, so at least we were able to get some game experience on defense playing against an option team, and I thought our defense played particularly well that day. We didn't play well offensively, but I thought the defense did a nice job. It just allows us to have a couple of weeks to get into to playing option defense. What is always the case with these academy games is these offenses are really good at what they do and regardless of having extra time, they find a way to move the ball and make plays and so we are just going to have to play our assignments. Hopefully we block really well and are able to slow them down. Offensively, to prepare a game plan for a team that really know the options and all of these academy defenses and the experiences that we have playing in these games - playing against each other in preseason camps and throughout the season when we have those opportunities - we get to know the offense fairly well so their defense is going to be prepared. They'll have a good plan, so we are going to need to execute really well.”