Army couldn’t get past Air Force last time out, and as a result, the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy will rest in Colorado Springs this year. There is still bowl eligibility to play for, however, with the Black Knights needing to bounce back on the road against Troy.
By Steve Wright
Here are the three keys to an Army Black Knights win over the Troy Trojans:
Break a Solid Run D
The Trojans have been good against the run this season. They have only allowed over 100 yards rushing three times all year, though one of those games was last time out against Louisiana-Lafayette. Troy won the game 23-17, but the 203 yards given up on the ground certainly present a problem for the Trojans with Army on deck. The Black Knights are hitting at 302 yards on the ground per game, using the triple-option to keep opponents guessing. That has to be the basic plan against a team not used to defending this attack.
Be Better on Third Down
Before the Air Force game, we mentioned how important it was for Army to keep drives going. This, however, didn’t happen. Army had just eight first downs for the entire game. A large part of this was that they were 4-of-14 on third down and 1-of-3 on fourth down. That is why Army could only pick up 145 total yards and finished with just seven points. Playing Air Force is different – they have a similar enough system to read Army better than most – so that ability to stay on the field must be improved this week.
Put a Hat on Carlton Martial
It is way under the radar, but 5-foot-8, 210-pound Troy linebacker Carlton Martial is about to break the all-time NCAA record for tackles in a college football career. Martial is always around the ball, and this game is right up his street. The Black Knights have to stay assignment sound, but knowing where No.2 is and getting a hat on him will be important if Army is to break open long runs.