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Seeking consistency, Army meets Eastern Michigan

Associated Press Modified: October 19, 2012 at 11:18 am •  Published: October 19, 2012
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Army coach Rich Ellerson is still searching for answers for his struggling team, and finding them on the road won't be so easy with some key players ailing.

Army (1-5) travels to meet Mid-American Conference foe Eastern Michigan (0-6) on Saturday, and senior linebacker and captain Nate Combs won't play. Combs, who leads Army in sacks and forced fumbles, suffered a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter of a 31-17 loss to Kent State last Saturday at Michie Stadium and bruising fullback Larry Dixon has a sore hamstring.

"They're looking at that tape (against Kent State) and thinking they have a great chance this week," Ellerson said. "I would think they are looking at our defense and what we've been doing and are licking their chops a little bit. We've won the last couple of times we've been out there, but they've been hard-fought games that have come down to the final possession."

Although the Eagles are winless, they have to be encouraged after last week's performance in a 52-47 setback to Toledo. Their 624 yards of total offense was the most in four seasons under coach Ron English.

The Black Knights have been victimized by some big runs this season — Boston College's Andre Williams ripped off a 99-yard scoring run in a 34-31 loss to Army at Michie Stadium two weeks ago — and the Eagles have a sophomore tailback who repeatedly shocked Toledo.

In his first career start, Bronson Hill rushed for 283 yards on 28 carries and matched the school record with four touchdown runs. That's the best single-game rushing performance in the Football Bowl Subdivision this year and was just 8 yards off Larry Radcliff's school record, set in 1971 against Eastern Kentucky.

What's even more eye-opening is that three of Hill's touchdowns came during a chaotic third quarter as he busted runs of 47 yards, 58 yards, and 70 yards in a 3-minute span.

That's reminiscent of what Kent State's Dri Archer did to Army last week. Archer rushed for 222 yards, including an explosive 87-yard run late, and also threw a touchdown pass.

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