It has been mentioned here before that the defense should be on top during the spring. This translates directly to the spring game because the offense does not suddenly get a boost just because the play is live.
To put it another way, if the Army offense is on top in the annual spring showdown then the coaching staff is in for a lot of long nights during the summer and fall trying to fix the unit.
That is why head coach Jeff Monken and his positional coaches were so pleased when the 2017 Army Black & Gold Game ended with a 14-10 victory over the Black team.
What Monken is really looking for in this game is for his offense to be mistake free and for the defense to be all over the field closing gaps and running lanes. The Army offense is run through the fullback even more than other triple-option systems, so the spring game is never going to feature long, highlight reel runs.
The offense was far from flashy, which was expected given the concepts that have not yet been installed into the system, but Army only turned the ball over once which must have pleased the head coach.
The defense was predictably ahead of the offense and the aggression level was high throughout the unit. One particular standout was linebacker Cole Christiansen, one of the underclassmen that the Black Knights will need to stand up and produce given the losses on that side of the ball.
The quarterbacks were in red non-contact shirts which further limited the ability of the offense to be successful. What we did see though was Christiansen, in particular, making great reads during the scrimmage and getting in position to lay the wood on the quarterback had this been a fully live contact event.