Key Matchups: Army vs. Kent State
(Simon Bruty/Getty)
(Simon Bruty/Getty)
ArmySports.com
Posted Oct 12, 2012


The sixth game of the year matches the Army Black Knights (Sagarin 139, 1-4) and the Mid-American Conference North Kent State Golden Flashes (Sagarin 98, 4-1.) Army leads the all-time series 2-0 with the last victory coming in 2010 at Kent State, 45-28.

Background

The sixth game of the year matches the Army Black Knights (Sagarin 139, 1-4) and the Mid-American Conference North Kent State Golden Flashes (Sagarin 98, 4-1.)  Army leads the all-time series 2-0 with the last victory coming in 2010 at Kent State, 45-28.  This looks to be a fantastic game as Army, with new found confidence, faces a 4-1 team looking to bolster its out of conference record as it marches towards a MAC championship

Last Week

At West Point, N.Y. – It was a magical game; with calls for Ellerson’s job and legitimacy of the program at stake, General Odierno was on hand, which forced General Huntoon to be on hand and somehow, the team remained loose.

Trent Steelman ran an option keeper to the left side and rushed 29 yards for a touchdown run with 45 seconds left and Army beat the Eagles 34-31, to snap an eight-game losing streak.

Despite the “experts” who “know football” in West Point Nation writing letters to the coach questioning his practice methods, his lack of fire on the sidelines, his not being tough enough on the players, etc., he managed to remain calm and cool under the pressure of having to win this game, and he found a way to do it. We admit that we wanted Class of ’89 grad and Tampa Bay Bucs Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan to be the head coach, and we have been critical of Ellerson’s in-game decision making and the inability of his staff to clean up repeated fundamental mistakes. But we salute RE for doing a magnificent job getting his team to bounce back from an ugly defeat the week before with a fabulous all around effort in this game.

Army gained 595 total yards, 516 on the ground, and held the ball for 37:38.  Raymond Maples rushed 34 times for 184 yards, Steelman rushed 22 times for 141 yards and Larry Dixon rushed 13 times for 128 yards.  Additionally Steelman was 5 for 12 for 79 yards.  Steelman and Maples each fumbled and turned the ball over once.

Boston College gained 420 total yards, 234 in the air and 186 on ground.  Army did a fantastic job against the pass as Chase Rettig only completed 16 of 29 attempts.  While there were some gaffs in coverage, the defense is definitely improving.  The defense’s one really poor play came on an Andre Williams 99 yard run where Lamar Johnson-Harris failed to fill the gap and allowed a momentum changing play.

Maples was held on a fourth-and-goal with two minutes remaining in the game, but BC Coach Spaziani called three runs into the line.  A delay of game forced a punt from the 6-yard-line and gave Army excellent field position for the final drive with 45 seconds left.

This was truly an amazing game because for the first time in nine games, Army found a way to win and as insignificant as it looks to the outsider, Army fans will remember this one for years to come.

In YPSILANTI, MI, Dri Archer's scored three touchdowns, one rushing, one receiving and one on a kickoff return and Kent State beat the hapless Eastern Michigan Eagles 41-14.

Trayion Durham ran for 116 yards on 24 attempts. Dri Archer gained 72 yards on 8 rushing attempts. Spencer Keith was 12 for 21 for 113 yards.

What to look for?

This contest promises to be a very high scoring game. Army threw 12 passes when they were not hopelessly behind against BC.  This considerably more balanced approach moved the Eagle Linebackers off the line of scrimmage and opened up the run.  This was especially visible in Army’s final drive of the game.

Kent State has a decent defense.  They allow 26 points a game and 150 yards per game on the ground.  We think that Army will be able to move the ball and score, assuming a limited number of fumbles.

Kent State averages just over 200 yards on the ground and a little under 200 yards passing a game.  Trayion Durham is a 260 lb. power RB and Dri Archer 165 lb. all purpose speed back.  They should be able to move the ball on the Cadet defense. If Army commits their linebackers to the run then it opens up the passing game for a capable, if not overly spectacular, quarterback in Spencer Keith.

Army will need to be unpredictable to get a few stops and force a couple of turnovers.  Army will need to score often, limit the turnovers, and keep their defense off the field as much as possible. That is pretty much the formula for Army every week, and it has worked once so far.  Also, Army will need to avoid any emotional letdown after last week’s great win.

Our rose colored glasses are back on, we are jumping back on the bandwagon, and we think that they can do it again.

Who is favored?

Army is favored by 1.5 points

Final Score – Army 42 – Kent State 38

(Predictions this year 1-4)

Game will be shown on CBS College Sports Network.

Picks from the Ridge

Kentucky +17 at Arkansas

Rutgers -7 vs Syracuse

Florida -8 at Vanderbilt

(Predictions this year 2-1)



Related Stories
Head to Head: Army vs. Kent State
 -by ArmySports.com  Oct 10, 2012
Kent State 31, Army 17
 -by ArmySports.com  Oct 14, 2012
Army Report Card: Kent State
 -by ArmySports.com  Oct 15, 2012

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