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UTEP at Army: Black Knights prepare for 0-4 UTEP

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Army head coach Jeff Monkin spoke to the media about his team’s upcoming preparations for UTEP.

NCAA Football: Army at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

On returning home after back-to-back road games.

"Good afternoon everybody. It is good to be coming back home this weekend after being on the road for the past couple of weeks. The road hasn't been good to us unfortunately. It was a heck of a game and credit to what their coaching staff did to defend us. It was a real battle.

"We kept them off the board in the third and fourth quarters and finally had a successful drive in the fourth quarter, but Tulane came back with a heck of a drive and scored the winning touchdown with less than a minute to go. It was awfully disappointing that we weren't able to come away with a victory, but it's something we have to understand that our opportunities to win those games are going to be there and if we don't grab the bull by the horns to go and win, we will be in a dogfight at the end.”

"Hopefully we will find a way to play better, execute better, play better fundamentally, make more blocks and tackles, and do a better job this weekend against a team that is very talented.”

The fullback is an important part of Army’s triple-option attack.

"I thought all three of those guys (Andy Davidson, Calen Holt and Connor Slomka) played an outstanding football game. I think we're capable of playing any one of those guys at any point in the game. Every time we put a guy in there, he was making good runs and falling forward. We were stopped a few times, but we were gaining yards most of the day with them. I thought that was definitely a positive turnout from the game, and hopefully we can keep those guys healthy so can keep that whole stable of backs ready to go."

Monken expressed some concerns about his offense.

"Not converting those fourth-and-shorts were big plays. To be down there on fourth down twice in their territory and come away with nothing is a big concern, as well as turning the ball over. Had we made a couple more fourth downs, we probably would've had the confidence to go ahead and hammer it down in there. That's a couple of opportunities for points that we didn't get. That's the concern."

On UTEP…

"There's a lot of things they do from a formation standpoint they can give you headaches. They change personnel groups and they change formations. They play so many different quarterbacks, it's hard to try and figure out if it's the same game plan with each guy. Likely it's not. Because they would play the guy they felt was the best for the entire game plan. They are finding things that each of them do that add to their football team's success. Just the personnel groupings and formations kind of keep your head spinning.”

"Then defensively, having played our offensive a year ago and being able to watch the game from a year ago. They have a lot of guys who played in the game a year ago and I think that makes a big difference when you defend this offense for a second time, especially in consecutive years because you've got the same players playing the same plays."

Monken says Army was playing with extra emotion in losing Brandon Jackson before last year’s meeting with UTEP in the Sun Bowl.

"We played them last year and were in a very emotional state as we lost Brandon (Jackson) the week leading into this game. We benefited from that emotional high we were on. Wanting to compete and wanting to honor Brandon. The only way to control our emotion was to go out and play. Hopefully we can master our intensity from last year and hope that we will execute better than we have in the last couple of weeks and find a way to win the football game.”