Air Force Falcons (3-5) vs. Army Black Knights (6-2)
- Start Time: 12:00 PM EST
- Location: Michie Stadium, West Point, NY
- TV: CBSSN
- Line: Army -7
- FPI: Army 79.9%
- O/U: 44
- Series: Air Force 36-15-1, Army 21-0 last year
The Falcons are a sneaky team. They aren’t great or even above average, but they will hang around late into games.
They have played three QB’s this year, Arion Worthman got benched because of ineffectiveness, Donald Hammond III and Isaiah Sanders have looked pretty good in the games they’ve appeared in (Hammond: 105 yards rushing, 224 yards passing, Sanders: 445 yards rushing, 767 yards passing).
Sanders should be the starter come Saturday due to an injury suffered by Hammond III in the SDSU game. Sanders is very much like Kelvin Hopkins. Hopkins is better, but their stats and gameplay are similar.
Just like Army is b-back heavy; so is Air Force, their leading rusher is b-back Cole Fagan (486 yards on 107 carries). He is a very strong runner and doesn’t go down easy. Most of his runs are set up because the Falcons run a lot of plays using the spread. When you spread everyone out, the middle will open up.
Watching past Air Force games, this offense is big play or bust. When they are scoring points, they are coming on big plays; they very rarely sustain long time-consuming drives. If Army can limit big plays, they shouldn’t have many problems against this offense.
The Air Force defense shut down Navy, which isn’t a huge accomplishment this season, but it’s a triple option offense nonetheless.
They give up 26.8 points and 366.3 yards per game, They struggle against the passing game, expect to see Kelvin Hopkins throw a little more often than normal (no more than 10 times).
Army has a chance to beat Air Force back to back years for the first time since winning three straight from 1976-1978. They also can clinch the Commander-in-Chief Trophy back to back years for the first time ever.
This is the biggest game of the season so far for the Black Knights, this is a must win game or being bowl eligible for a third straight year won’t matter to Army fans.
Army’s defense is hot, they gave up 16 total yards in the first half against EMU. Jay Bateman has his unit playing great football; they give up 96.9 rushing yards per game which is 11th in the nation. They also give up just under three touchdowns a game (20.6 ppg).
This is set up by the offense holding on to the ball for 40+ minutes every game. They don’t have to be elite if the offense is holding on to the ball and putting up points. Brent Davis’ squad averages 406 yards a game, as well as 32.9 points per game.
Kelvin Hopkins has been the offensive MVP so far, he gives Army an element that Ahmad Bradshaw did not, the passing game. If passing wasn’t enough Hopkins, always gives the extra effort and will pick up an extra yard or two whenever he is tackled. Those yards were huge in crunch time against EMU before they pulled away.
B-back Darnell Woolfolk can make some history this week, if he gets 40 yards, he will be the 13th player in Army history to rush for 2,000 yards. If the Black Knights get him going early, it’ll set up not only the outside runs with Kell Walker; but it’ll set up the play-action pass that Hopkins loves.
This game is going to be fun. It’s a rivalry game, the coaches don’t like each other, Army players still take the “Navy is our only rival” comment made by an Air Force player personal, and the CIC is on the line. Could this get any better?
Air Force is going to be fired up, they want revenge for the 21-0 embarrassment Army handed them last year in Colorado Springs.
This game is going to come down to who has the better quarterback play. My money is on Kelvin Hopkins, that dude is a winner, Sanders isn’t there just yet.
Army will force some turnovers and it will lead to another big win over Air Force and the CIC will remain at USMA for another year.
Army 35-Air Force 10