1:00 PM ET, October 25, 2008
Michie Stadium, West Point, NY
WEST POINT, N.Y. -- Ian Smith scored two touchdowns and Army had five sacks for the second consecutive week as the Black Knights earned a 14-7 victory over Louisiana Tech on Saturday.
After an 0-4 start, Army won for the third time in four games to improve to 3-5, matching its win total from the past two seasons.
"It feels good -- the thing is, you just can't get complacent," said Victor Ugenyi, who had one of Army's three sacks on the Bulldogs' first nine plays. "We have to keep going back at it, like we were when we were losing the first three or four games."
Along with the sacks, the Black Knights stopped six other rushes for losses. Army limited Louisiana Tech (3-4) to 68 yards rushing. The Bulldogs began five drives in Army territory, scoring only once.
"That defense comes out and does a great job," Army coach Stan Brock said. "They are a live group. They want to get out and play. They really don't care where the ball is. Their goal is to go three-and-out. ... They are playing with an intensity over the season, probably over the last six games, that I've never been involved with. I think to carry that intensity is not easy to do."
Louisiana Tech had allowed only six sacks all season. Army nearly matched that total on Saturday.
"I thought they were quicker than us up front," Bulldogs coach Derek Dooley said. "They have little quick guys who were beating us off the ball, and we didn't do a good job of protecting."
Smith, a junior who totaled 17 yards on four carries in six games this season, ran four times for 41 yards and also caught a touchdown pass.
"I just got my opportunity, and I just stayed with it," Smith said.
Collin Mooney led the Black Knights with 57 yards rushing on 17 carries. Army finished with 203 yards rushing.
The Black Knights limited the Bulldogs to 18 yards on 19 rushes in the first half. Josh McNary had two sacks. Frank Scappaticci's sack forced a fumble that Fritz Bentler recovered at Louisiana Tech's 18-yard line, setting up Smith's 1-yard TD run with 3:20 to go in the first quarter.
"Personally, I think we got after them," McNary said. "We played fast and aggressive, hard, tough."
Louisiana Tech tied it 7-7 at 7:11 of the third quarter after Tarence Calais swatted the ball out of Justin Turner's hands and Jared Barron recovered on Army's 34. It was one of four turnovers by Army, including three lost fumbles. Louisiana Tech scored eight plays later when R.P. Stuart ran to the left side of the end zone on a 2-yard end-around.
Army went up for good when Smith caught a 2-yard pass from quarterback Chip Bowden with 10 minutes remaining.
Army's 66-yard drive was set up after Brad Oestriecher missed a 51-yard field-goal attempt to open the fourth quarter. Oestriecher earlier missed a 42-yard attempt.
Army outgained the Bulldogs 235 to 152. It was the lowest total gained by an opponent since Army held Yale to 82 yards in 1996.
At a halftime ceremony, Pete Dawkins, the 1958 Heisman Trophy winner, addressed the crowd as Army retired his number, echoing Lou Gehrig by calling himself the luckiest man on the face of the earth to have played for Army.
His 1958 team was Army's last unbeaten squad, finishing 8-0-1. Dawkins was the third and most recent Heisman winner from Army. His No. 24 is only the second number retired by the Black Knights -- 1946 Heisman winner Glenn Davis' No. 41 is also retired.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||2-14||6-17|
|4th Down Conversions||1-2||3-3|
|TD||02:30||Ian Smith 1 Yd Run (Matthew Campbell Kick)||0||7|
|TD||07:11||R.P. Stuart 2 Yd Run (Brad Oestriecher Kick)||7||7|
|TD||10:00||Ian Smith 2 Yd Pass From Chip Bowden (Matthew Campbell Kick)||7||14|