The Horned Frogs, 4-2 overall and 0-2 conference, ended their two-game losing streak Saturday, defeating the 3-5 overall Army Black Knights 31-17 last weekend in West Point, N.Y.Senior tailback Lonta Hobbs ignited a first-half onslaught of 31 unanswered points with a 2-yard carry into the Army end zone with just over five minutes remaining in the first quarter.
After a pair of missed field goal attempts by Frog place kickers senior Peter LoCoco and junior Chris Manfredini, the Horned Frogs’ defense settled in and forced four first-half turnovers, all of which occured in the second quarter.
An interception by Nick Sanders, with 9:44 remaining in the first half, sparked a 24-point second quarter that took the Frogs into the locker room with a 31-3 halftime lead.
“We were flying around and having fun making plays,” head coach Gary Patterson said of his team’s defense. “It was fun to watch, because they were having a good time.”
The defense contributed to the Frogs’ overall performance with four sacks, three interceptions and two forced fumble recoveries.
“That was the group that I saw a year ago when we led the nation in takeaways,” Patterson said.
The offensive line assisted the defense by not allowing a sack. The Frogs were able to gain 190 yards rushing from three main contributors, Hobbs (72 yards), senior quarterback Jeff Ballard (67 yards) and sophomore tailback Aaron Brown (50 yards).
Ballard also accounted for 169 yards through the air by going 13 for 23 attempts with a touchdown and an interception.
The Frogs, though winless in conference this season, prepare for their homecoming game and a Mountain West Conference showdown against the Wyoming Cowboys at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.