Key Matchups: Army vs. Rhode Island

(M. David Leeds/Getty)

The second game of the year matches the Army Black Knights (0-1) and Division I-AA University of Rhode Island Rams (0-1). Both teams had tough losses last week.

Background

The second game of the year matches the Army Black Knights (0-1) and Division I-AA University of Rhode Island Rams (0-1). Both teams had tough losses last week. 

Last Week

Army's offense was easily managed by the Akron defense and lost 22-14 in the inaugural Patriot Bowl. The loss showed that Army still has no real playmakers on offense and that they are susceptible to turnovers. The defense was the bright spot, but Akron's Jabari Arthur dropped several balls that could have made the game much more lopsided.

The Rams lost a tough game to the Fordham Rams, giving up a 9 yard touch down pass with 15 seconds left. URI ran for 319 yards in the game and amassed 422 total yards.

What we Learned

Army's defense is pretty good – they gave up just 125 yards passing (and just 287 total for the game), and they held Akron out of the end zone on 3 of their 4 trips into the red zone.

QB David Pevoto is still terrible – the "buzz" among the 17,000 "flies" who bothered to show up for the game was that he has no pocket awareness whatsoever, no mobility, and very poor judgment under pressure. These are all the same weaknesses that cost him the starting job last year.

Whenever sophomore running back Wesly McMahand is in the game, which was most of the time last week, our opponents will have absolutely no fear or concern about blitzing – he demonstrated last week that with his size, he can do little more than act as a speedbump while opposing linebackers and safeties sprint in and blast the QB on any and every pass play. And this was against AKRON! Just imagine how bad it could get against BC, Georgia Tech, Rutgers, etc.

Who is favored?

There is no point spread when a Division I team plays a Division I-AA team. However, if there were, Army would probably be a four touchdown favorite.

What to look for?

Look for Army to get back on track. The Rams have a run oriented offense and the bigger faster Cadets should be able to stop them handily. Army looked very well coached in their loss to Akron – they will be prepared to play assignment defense to quell the Ram attack.

Look for Army to have success offensively. URI will be smaller and slower than the Cadets. This will be the only game where Army's athletes will be superior and they will be able to run and pass easily.

How it will unfold?

Army will score often. Look for the offense to approach 500 yards on offense. Hopefully we will see a little of Carson Williams and Patrick Mealy in the second half. Look for the defense to handle the Ram run, but do not be surprised if option quarterback Derek Cassidy or tailback Joe Casey break a long run for the Rams.

What will it mean?

Don't get too excited if the game gets out of hand in Army's favor. Last year Army defeated VMI, also a 1-AA opponent, 62-8. They followed that victory with six consecutive losses. Beating up on a 1-AA team will prove nothing.

Final Score – Army 49 – URI 7 (Predictions this year 0-1)

Enjoy it this week, folks. There won't be too many more games like this for Army the rest of the way

Co-writers Ridge Nelson And The Dalai Lommer prepared this article.

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