Sports

Army’s Football Team Has A Staggering Amount Of Success On 4th Down

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief

Army’s football team is borderline unstoppable when it comes to converting fourth and short.

SB Nation wrote the following on Army’s absurd success on fourth down:

Since 2005, no one else had gone for it even 20 times on fourth-and-1 … They converted 21 times! That’s a 91 percent success rate, more than 20 percentage points higher than normal. Teams running the triple option have the perfect playbook for fourth-and-1 conversions, but even by triple-option standards, Army’s 2018 success was ridiculous. While Army went 21-for-23, fellow optioneers Air Force, Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech, and Navy went a combined 40-for-52. That’s a 77 percent success rate, still better than normal, and far below 91 damn percent. In recent history, only 2015 Navy (18-for-19 on fourth-and-1) came anywhere close to Army’s frequency and proficiency.

It’s kind of funny SB Nation came out with this article. I was just talking the other day about how Army damn near beat Oklahoma this past season. (RELATED: Army’s Football Uniforms For The Navy Game Are Sick. Check Out The Awesome Photos)

Their triple option offense has become incredibly difficult to stop. One of the wildest things about football at the service academies is the fact they pretty much have to run that kind of offense. They lack the athletes necessary to run and gun with the best teams in the nation.

Why is that? Well, it’s extremely simple. Elite recruits have no interest in going to service academies when they can ball out and party at Alabama. That means Army and Navy have to develop offenses for guys who aren’t big time football players, which leads them to the triple offense. It handicaps the other team’s speed and can be very successful.

I had no idea it was this successful for the Black Knights on 4th and 1. At this rate, they should never punt.

Plus, the Black Knights are coming off an 11 win season. Things are going nicely for the men at West Point. There’s no question about that.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Army Football (@armywp_football) on

Finally, I would love to see what would happen if Navy, Air Force or Army played an SEC, Big Ten or Big 12 schedule. I’d like to believe Army could hang around and win some games, but we’ll never know until it happens.

I’ve had this debate a billion times, and I fear they wouldn’t hit the .500 mark. Someday we might actually find out, and I’d watch every second of every game.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Army Football (@armywp_football) on

Either way, the season will be here soon enough. It’s going to be glorious.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter