The Army Black Knights (4-2) look to put an end to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-0) perfect start to the season on Saturday. Here are the three keys to an Army victory.
1 – Ride the crowd
This was unlikely to have been a game in which Army expected to host a ranked team at Michie Stadium when this one was added to the schedule. The No. 16 ranked Demon Deacons have had an outstanding start to the season, not trailing in any of their first four contests. They have been playing with fire a little of late, however, falling behind for the first time all year against Louisville and then climbing out of an 11-point hole against Syracuse before winning in overtime. The Army crowd is going to be well up for this one after the Black Knights gave Big Ten foe Wisconsin all it could handle in defeat last Saturday. Expect the crowd to be hot and for head coach Jeff Monken and his players to try to keep them hyped for as long as possible.
2 – Don’t turn it over
Army can win this by playing Army football. The Black Knights need to keep running the ball at a high level and avoiding mistakes. Penalties will be a key, but turnovers will be more important. Army has given the ball away just four times all season, but Wake Forest is right up there too with just six turnovers in their six games. The difference is on the other side of the ball. Army has six takeaways, something that has cost the Black Knights in their losses. Wake, on the other hand, has a massive 14 takeaways on the year. Army isn’t likely to throw picks, so it will be interesting to see how a lack of turnovers affects the Demon Deacons.
3 – Keep the defense strong
The Army defense is aided by an offense that chews clock, but they just don’t give up many yards. Wake averages 441.5 yards per game, but Army allows just 281.7 yards per game to opponents. Whichever team finishes closest to their season total here is going to have a great shot at winning the contest and Army will go into this one thinking that they can keep Wake under 300 yards on the day.