Army Black Knights vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
The Army Black Knights host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights for the fourth meeting between these teams in as many years. The Scarlet Knights look for back to back wins after a 20-17 overtime win over South Florida in week ten action while the Black Knights couldn’t hold an early lead in a 24-14 loss to Air Force. The Scarlet Knights are -8 point favorites over the Black Knights.
Defense, special teams and a few clutch plays by the offense all had a hand in Rutgers win over South Florida. In fact, the offense generally plays second fiddle on this team and their 228 offensive yards versus the Bulls says as much. South Florida eliminated the Rutgers rushing attack with 22 carries and less than a yard per rush. Eliminating the run and forcing the Scarlet Knights to win through the air is a recipe’ for success for opponents as the passing game makes plenty of mistakes and constantly makes misfires. Gary Nova got the start but was largely ineffective going 11 of 24 for 110 yards before he was replaced by Chas Dodd (11-17/125) who engineered the game tying touchdown drive to send the game in to overtime before winning it in overtime. Somehow the Scarlet Knights defense survived another dismal offensive performance because they were able contain South Florida to 381 yards and received a boost from the kick return team that brought back a kick 98 yards for a score.
Army let one slip away when they took a 14-0 first quarter lead over Air Force and than watched the Falcons score 24 unanswered in the second half. The Black Knights inability to throw the ball eventually caught up with them once they fell behind and were forced to play catch up. Army totaled 366 yards behind their option attack that was productive with 340 yards and over five yards per carry on 64 totes. Eight players ran the ball with Raymond Maples pacing the attack with 132 yards on only 17 tries. The team missed quarterback Trent Steelman on the ground and in a seldom used passing game with Max Jenkins struggling to a 2 of 10 day for just 26 yards and an interception. The Black Knights held their own on the defensive side of the football by limiting Air Force to 301 yards but most of the Falcons production came in the second half which had Army back on their heels a bit.
The question here is whether Rutgers continues to defend the option well as they have done so against Navy and Army in the past. Another big question is can the Scarlet Knights get their offense together and who will be under center. Rutgers seems to do well versus the Black Knights and need this one bad. Take Rutgers minus the 8 points.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights -8 Army Black Knights