WEST POINT, N.Y. — Army slipped by a very good Kutztown team last weekend 24-19, and now they ready for their next challenge: Penn State.
Army Head Coach, Rich Pohlidal knows his team has to build on their tight win over Kutztown to beat Penn State at home on Saturday.
“We’ve got to be at our best. That’s what we’re looking for every weekend,” Pohlidal said.
The forward play has been Army’s strength so far this year. The Black Knights’ pack will be tested against Penn State’s own crew of bruising forwards, including All-American lock Dan Metcalf.
Pohlidal praised PSU’s physicality, saying they play “hard rugby” and he’ll be looking for his front rowers to respond positively to the challenge in the dark corners of the rucks and mauls.
Nick Tengtio (hooker), Jeff Ferebee (tighthead prop), Matt Higgins (openside flanker), and Aaron Retter (lock) have all been outstanding early in the season for Army, giving the backs solid platform to attack from.
The Army backs are coming along as well under the direction of USA international fly-half Will Holder.
West Point is focused on their next game, but we fans can speculate about what a win at Penn State means for the cadets.
If Army wins, they all but wrap up their East Conference #1 playoff seed. After PSU, they play Delaware (0-2) which will likely be a ‘w’ for the Black Knights.
PSU and Army are level in the standings, but right now the top three teams in the conference (including Kutztown) are all in the mix for the D1A postseason.
Seeding may prove crucial come late April. The #1 team from the East plays the winner of the ARC #1 vs. Mid-South #2 play-in game. The East #2 seed will play the #1 Mid-South team, which will be either Life or Arkansas State.
On his team’s postseason hopes, Pohlidal simply said, “We’re not playing to lose.”