Associated Press Photo
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network) -
ARMY: The Black Knights (1-7) suffered a 30-22 setback to Ball State. With the loss, Army was eliminated from bowl contention while also suffering its eighth straight loss to an opponent from the Mid-American Conference. Trent Steelman (101 yards) and Hayden Tippett (100 yards, TD) both reached the century mark rushing in the loss. However, Army struggled to stop the run, as Ball State tallied 224 rushing yards and a team average of 4.3 yards per carry. That has been an ongoing theme this season, as the Black Knights rank 116th out of 120 FBS teams in run defense, allowing 233.9 yards per game on the ground. Their inability to stop opponents from chewing up chunks of yardage has undermined their own top-ranked rushing offense (383.1 ypg). Still, plenty of pride will be at stake this weekend when Army hosts fellow service academy Air Force.
BYU: After dropping two in a row to nationally-ranked opponents, the Cougars got back into the win column, and kept their bowl hopes alive, with Saturday's 41-17 win at Georgia Tech. True freshman Jamaal Williams scored a career-high four touchdowns (three rushing, one receiving) and went over 100 yards on the ground (107) for the second time this season. Riley Nelson completed 19-of-28 passes for 204 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. He also ran for a score. The BYU defense held Georgia Tech to 157 total yards and 17 points, both season-lows. The Cougars did now allow a third-down conversion in 10 attempts. The Yellow Jackets' two touchdowns came on a pick-six and a special teams return, marking BYU's fifth game of the season where the defense did now allow a touchdown. The Cougars will get a bye week before hosting Idaho in its last home game of the season.
NAVY: The Midshipmen's midseason turnaround continued, as they notched their fourth straight victory with Saturday's 56-28 trouncing of East Carolina. Navy needs to win just one of its final four games to return to the postseason. Keenan Reynolds ran for 81 yards and three touchdowns against ECU. In addition, two of Reynolds' three completions went for TDs. All told, Navy posted a season-high 563 yards of total offense. Indeed the offense has been on a roll, scoring 28 points or better in four straight games following a 12-0 shutout loss to San Jose State. Gee Gee Greene chipped in with 131 rushing yards in Saturday's triumph, as Navy produced a season-best 512 rushing yards as a team. ECU's defense, which had been playing well, yielded a season-high in rushing yards in the first half alone. The Mids scored on five straight possessions in the second half to take control. They'll try to keep it going against Florida Atlantic this week.
NOTRE DAME: Notre Dame football is most definitely back. The Fighting Irish went on the road and rocked eighth-ranked Oklahoma, 30-13, to remain unbeaten and move to No. 3 in this week's AP poll. It marked Notre Dame's fourth win over a ranked opponent this season, as the team is off to its best start since 2002 with hopes of a BCS title shot. Everett Golson scored the go-ahead touchdown on a one-yard run with 5:05 to play. Heisman hopeful and Irish linebacker Manti Te'o, who had 11 tackles -- two for loss -- and a sack, intercepted a Landry Jones pass on Oklahoma's ensuing possession to set up a Notre Dame field goal and make it a two-possession game with 3:22 remaining. Golson, who sat out last week against BYU after suffering a concussion the previous week, threw for 177 yards on 13-of-25 efficiency and added 64 yards rushing on 11 carries. The Irish can ill-afford to ease off the gas pedal at home against Pittsburgh this weekend.