If you watched the Black Knights’ 31-14 win, you would have seen an Army team that looked unstoppable in all the categories of the game. Rice never found any momentum offensively, only scoring twice. The Owls defense didn’t look any better in their feeble attempts to stop the Black Knights triple-option attack. Some of the stats show you just how dominant Army was:
- Rice’s offense never ran a play inside of the red zone.
- The Black Knights of the Hudson forced two turnovers and the offense committed none for a second straight week, pushing the season turnover margin to +5.
- Army outgained Rice 414-289, including another 107 yards and 3 touchdowns from Andy Davidson.
- The Black Knights dominated time of possession 40:12 to 19:48
So what does this mean for Army and for Rice?
Army Black Knights
Army is off to their best start since 1996 going 2-0, in 1996 Army went 10-2, won the Commander in Chief trophy, and finished ranked #25. The Black Knights can realistically start the season 4-0, with two away games against UTEP and Buffalo. The challenge will be a third straight road game in Durham, North Carolina against the Duke Blue Devils.
If Army can get to 4-1 by week 5 that will be huge in clinching their first bowl berth since 201o. After the road trip they have two home games in a row against FCS Lafayette and a North Texas team who went 1-11 last season and are currently 1-1. The Black Knights bowl chances are looking better than ever with a favorable schedule the next five weeks.
Army’s linebacker turned fullback Andy Davidson has been unstoppable rushing for 228 yards and five touchdowns this season. Andy has been the MVP for the Black Knights through the first two weeks. Another bright spot has been Army not turning the ball over through two weeks and the defense forcing four interceptions when they only had six last year.
Rice is now 0-2 and they’ve been dominated in both games, and it isn’t going to get any better next week either when they play Baylor. I see this team starting the season 1-4 through five weeks.
The Owls defense hasn’t been able to stop the pass (552 yards and 3 touchdowns against WKU) or the run (348 yards and 4 touchdowns against Army), and they still haven’t forced a turnover. The Owl defense has looked terrible to start the season.
Rice’s offense hasn’t looked any better. Even with QB Tyler Stehling throwing for a career-high 197 yards, the Owls only scored twice. The Rice offense had two explosive plays of 35+ yards and both of those ended up in touchdowns. Rice hasn’t been able to find a rhythm in either game, only scoring 28 points total.
Rice is in danger of missing a bowl game for the second straight year. The Owls schedule works against them as they tough game after tough game. This team could end up with two or three wins this year.