Army Football is back at Michie Stadium this week for the first time since November 2021, when they beat UMass, 33-17. This weekend’s game will also be the first televised game of the year on CBS Sports with a noon kickoff.
The Army Team has a tough match-up this Saturday, but they may have history on their side. They own one of the best home winning percentages in all of college football under Head Coach Monken, having gone 17-2 at home over the last few years.
They’ll need to be good this weekend to beat a very good Roadrunners team from UT – San Antonio.
Keys to Victory
Contain Frank Harris
Harris threw for 337 yards on 43 attempts against Houston with 28 completions (65.1%) and 3 touchdowns. He also ran for 78 yards and another touchdown. That made him by far UTSA’s most productive offensive player last week.
The Army Defense must get after the quarterback and pressure him, but they also better contain his ability to scramble, or he’ll keep the chains moving on the ground.
Run the Ball / Control Time of Possession
Army must run the ball more consistently this weekend than they did against CCU. But can they? Last week UTSA gave up just 3.2 yards/carry to a very good Houston offense with Roadrunner linebackers doing most of the grunt work to keep the Cougars contained. That’s a little worrisome. However, UTSA also let the Cougars convert nearly 62% of their 3rd downs overall, tying Houston for the 15th best 3rd down performance in the entire nation.
That is a crazy convergence of stats.
We’ve seen Army succeed against stout rushing defenses before. They’ll need to do so again in order to keep Harris and company off the field and to keep their own defense fresh for when it counts. Worryingly for Roadrunner fans, UTSA’s offense only held the ball for a little more than 24 minutes last weekend.
Passing as Part of the Offense
Army quarterbacks went 4/8 passing last week with 2 long touchdown passess. Anytime Army has 2 touchdown passes, it’s either an indication of a great offensive performance, or it means that things have gone a little off the rails. Last week, we maybe saw a little bit of both.
Still, the offense cannot be afraid to pass the ball again this week. Coastal stacked the box and dared Army to throw, resulting in multiple wide open receivers down the field. The fact that Army took advantage twice makes it that much more likely that future defenses will have to play a little more honestly against the pass going forward.
If UTSA stacks the box like Coastal did, the Black Knights need to again make the competition pay.
Getting prepped for the home opener.— Army Football (@ArmyWP_Football) September 8, 2022
Hear from @CoachJeffMonken, Leo Lowin and Tyrell Robinson going into Saturday's matchup against UTSA, after Wednesday night's practice. #GoArmy pic.twitter.com/PiKL3YJHbm
Get Production Out of the Interior Defensive Line
The ends and the outside linebackers played well last week, but the interior defensive line needs to suck up more blocks. This will free up the inside linebackers to make more plays. We didn’t see a lot of those plays last week, unfortunately.
Sadly, as a defensive lineman no one should know who you are except for your family because a lineman is supposed to pile up bodies to allow the linebackers to make tackles.
Anonymous or not, Army’s interior D-Line is crucial to its defensive success overall.
Go Army! Beat UTSA!
Cover image via USMA Flickr.