The Army Black Knights (4-0) travel to Muncie, Indiana, this weekend to take on a Ball State Cardinals (1-3) squad that is looking to get its season back on track. Here are the three Keys to an Army win.
1 – Keep the explosive plays coming
The Army ground attack is more known for its ability to grind out yards than for its explosiveness as a general rule. That wasn’t the case last weekend against Miami (OH) however, with the Black Knights scoring a pair of rushing touchdowns that went for over 70 yards as part of a triple-option assault that rumbled for 384 yards on the day. Quarterback Christian Anderson scored both – one from 72-yards and one for 75-yards – and more big plays against Ball State will lead to a win against an offense that can’t match Army.
2 – Win on third down
Ball State and Army match up similarly on third down when the Cardinals have the ball. Ball State is 72nd in the country at converting third-down chances as 38.5%, while Army is 79th in the country at stopping teams converting on third down at 39%. When the possession is flipped, however, Army has a massive advantage. The Black Knights are sixth in the country in third-down conversions at a massive 56.1%, while the Cardinals defense is 51st at stopping conversions at 34.7%. Army needs to win offensively on third down and control tempo.
3 – Zero turnovers
Army has just one turnover this season – a fumble in the game against Western Kentucky – and that is the second-best record in that stat in the FBS. Ball State has only forced two turnovers all year, so head coach Jeff Monken will be expected another ball security clinic. Army is comfortably the better team here and the only way Ball State has a chance is to take the ball away from Army in plus territory. The Black Knights will not let that happen.