The Army Black Knights (4-1) have an interesting-looking clash on tap this weekend against the Wisconsin Badgers (2-3). Here are the three keys to an Army victory.
1 – Win the time of possession
Wisconsin is a little more aggressive through the air than it was a decade ago, but this is still a team built around time of possession and controlling tempo with its uniquely slow style. This makes it an ideal matchup for an Army squad that lives on ball possession and retention, grinding out games with the triple-option attack. The Black Knights hold the ball better than anyone in the nation – a nonsensical amount at over 40 minutes per game – and if they can do this here then the Badgers will simply grind themselves out of time to win.
2 – Win the turnover battle
Army doesn’t lose the ball – it is third in the country in turnovers lost – meaning that the fact that the Black Knights don’t generate a ton of turnovers is less of an issue. Wisconsin, on the other hand, is just awful in turnover margin and sits at 130th in the nation in that category. If Army keeps the ball – and can take it away a couple of times – then the methodical attack that Wisconsin wants to use just won’t work.
3 – Unlock the run defense
The Badgers might be 3-2 but this is a Big Ten school that leads the entire nation in run defense having already faced the likes of Michigan, Penn State, and Notre Dame. The Badgers held Illinois to just 93 total yards – and just 26 on the ground – last weekend in a show of absolute defensive brutality. This is the ultimate test of an irresistible force smashing headfirst over and over again into an unbreakable object and the sight should be fascinating. If Army can run the ball it wins. If it cannot then it is going to be a long day.