Army vs. Air Force: Game Preview, Kick Time, TV & Radio Schedule, Odds, Prediction
The Falcons host the Black Knights in their second leg of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy round robin.
WEEK 10: Army Black Knights (3-5) vs. Air Force Falcons (6-2, 4-1 Mountain West)
WHEN: Saturday, November 2 —1:30 PM MT/12:30 PM PT
WHERE: Falcon Stadium; Colorado Springs, Colorado (46,692)
STREAMING: You can get a free seven-day trial of SlingTV by clicking here.
SERIES RECORD: Air Force leads the series 36-16-1.
ODDS (via OddsShark): Air Force -14.5
SP+ PROJECTION: Air Force by 11.4
FEI PROJECTION: Air Force by 23.2
This week Air Force takes a break from conference play for a match-up with bitter rival, Army. Even though the Cadets from West Point have captured the last two Commander-In-Chief trophies, I don’t know that will mean anything come Saturday.
While there are never any givens when Military Academies square off; you couldn’t have two teams trending in more opposite directions. Army limps into Colorado Springs having lost four consecutive games. One of which was to a San Jose State team that Air Force took to task a few weeks earlier.
Air Force on the other-hand has completely dismantled the last three opponents they faced on the way to righting the ship from a disaster at Annapolis against Navy at the beginning of October.
Three Keys to an Air Force Victory
1. Take Care of the Football
The turnover bug had started to subside with the Falcons for a few weeks prior to last weeks game against Utah State. In their first two drives against the Aggies, Air Force coughed up fumbles to end their drives in enemy territory.
Even though Army has not looked like the same team this year as the preview two, it would not be wise to forfeit possessions to a Jeff Monken coached team. The first two possessions this week, may be their only two possessions of the first half.
2. Get to Army’s Bullpen
Let me be clear, I am not advocating or looking for any player in this game (or any game ever for that matter) to get injured. The nature of the triple option lends the quarterback position to be tested depth wise due to the physical toll it can take on from all the hits they take.
Air Force is no different, they have had their depth at quarterback tested on a weekly basis, even getting deep to fall camps 4th string player in Mike Schmidt against Hawai’i. That didn’t workout well for the Bows. Turns out, the Falcons have a stable of quarterbacks thankfully.
Army though this year, even when last years standout Kelvin Hopkins has played, has not been at an equal level of production as Air Force. Take into account that the Black Knights have played as much musical quarterbacks this year as Air Force, but have not seemed to find anywhere near the same success.
The point is, Air Force has been stout against the run, and the defense all around has really come together as the season grows. If they are getting to Hopkins (Laws or Anderson) at the line of scrimmage often, it could make it very difficult for Army’s offense to find traction.
3. Stay in Control
After two years of finding themselves on the losing end of games against Army, the Falcons should be highly motivated. There have been routine barbs shared between the two teams quarterbacks on social media. Jeff Monken even got in on the action by taking a shot at Air Force when they visited the White House this summer to receive the Commander-In-chiefs trophy.
Sometimes a lot of penned up emotion from multiple years can culminate into a buzz-saw like effort against your opponent. It can also result in undiscipline play, and beating yourself.
Five yard penalties can be critical in these kind of games, especially for a triple option offense. Fifteen Yard penalties will be absolutely back breaking. Steer clear.
I expect an emotional and hotly contested first half in this game. But Air Force is better in every aspect than Army this year, and they need to play like it.
Army sings First.