After nearly a month removed from the banks of the Hudson, Army returns to Michie Stadium next to 78,000,000 gallons of water in Lusk Reservoir. This week the Black Knights take on Miami University, no not the University of Miami #TurnoverChain, but Miami-Ohio. This will be the sixth all time meeting between the Black Knight and the Redhawks. Miami-Ohio currently leads the series 3-2 and won the last meeting on Oct. 8, 2011. After completely annihilating San Jose State last week, Army has now outscored their last two opponents by a combined score of 94-16. The Cadets are also riding a nine game home winning streak, one of the longest active streaks in the country. ESPN is giving the Black Knights an 82% chance to win and betting lines opened with Army as 12.5 favorites. Some serious money has come in on Miami-Ohio as the line has moved down to 7.5 points on most sportsbooks. Look, Miami-Ohio has a pretty good defense, but Big Ben isn’t leading the Redhawk’s Offense anymore…let’s take a look at the Keys to Victory for Army.
Army’s Keys to Victory:
- Get the Running Game Going – We need to have a 300+ Yard Rushing Performance on Saturday. The rush defense for Miami has been outstanding so far this year, only allowing 3.3 yards per rush, good enough for 20th nationally.
- Feed the Fullbacks – In order to help us rush for over 300 yards, we need to get the fullback dive going. It opens up the rest of our rushing attack. If the Redhawk’s can stop us inside, then outside runs will be as predicable as construction work outside your Barracks during Dean’s Hour. The stable of Fullbacks needs to produce at least 125+ combined yards.
- Allow less than 3 Tackles for Loss – Miami’s Defense has registered 49 tackles for loss, which ranks 25th in nation. The Black Knights need to keep their 2.5 tackles for loss allowed average intact. That average is the lowest among all FBS Teams and a big reason why our offense doesn’t get behind the chains. We currently have top five rankings in both 3rd and 4th conversion percentages and that’s a big reason why.
- Lead at the Half – We are 4-0 this season when we have the lead at halftime. Under Saint Monken we are 19-6 when leading after 2 quarters of play.
- Stop the Miami Running Backs – Rushing plays and throws to the Running Backs account for 63% of Miami’s Offense. In three of their last four games, they have rushed 200+ yards. If we can slow them down, it is going to be hard for Miami’s inconsistent offense to be productive. So far this year when we have held opponents to less than 150 rushing yards, we are 4-0.
Final Word and Prediction:
Miami’s defense is good, but not that good. They are giving up 24 points/game while their 89th ranked offense only musters 25.7 points/game. Additionally, a lot of those points have come in the last two weeks in blowout wins against opponents with a combined record of 3-9. The Redhawks Offense ranks 94th on 3rd conversions and 69th on 4th down. That doesn’t match up well against our strong late-down defense. Speaking of the Army defense, which I have been very high on this year, I want to give the Offense some credit for their success. The low number of tackles for loss is something that I haven’t heard anyone talking about this year. That nation leading statistic is why our Offense has been so successful on 3rd and 4th down. These conversions lead to long drives and ultimately produce our insane 40+ minutes time of possession average. This is why the Army Defense has had the lowest number of total plays run against them in all of college football. As for the prediction, if you follow us on Twitter you already know that we are locking the Black Knights up for the win. Go ahead and take them at -7.5 as well. Tune in after the game for the superlatives article and if you missed last week’s superlatives earned at San Jose State, make sure to check them out.
Beat Fake Miami. Rest.