Army vs. Duke fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Friday, August 31
Game Time: 7:00 pm ET
Venue: Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC
Army (0-0) vs. Duke (0-0) Game Preview
It was the moment last season when Army showed the world it was for real, and it was when it looked like the Duke season was over.
The Black Knights were on a five-game winning streak roll and already had bowl eligibility wrapped up, and then came a 21-16 victory over a Blue Devil team with an offense that hit the skids. One bad Duke performance later – including a blocked punt for a score – and it was panic time.
However, playing Army turned out to be an option offense tune-up for the Georgia Tech attack a week later, and the Blue Devils went on to win three straight to close out the season.
This time around, the Blue Devils have to go on the road to face Northwestern and then Baylor after dealing with the Black Knights option – they can’t afford to lose at home to another great Army team.
On the flip side, with Liberty and Hawaii up next, Army should be able to get on a roll if it can to do again to Duke. And then reality will hit hard against Oklahoma. First, though, this is their chance to prove that 2018 could and should be another 2017.
One Reason Why Army Will Win
QB Ahmad Bradshaw might be gone, but fullback Andy Davidson is back. He ran for 64 yards in last year’s win over the Blue Devils, and Darnell Woolfolk is back, too – he ran for 51 yards and a score.
The option attack is going to work again.
However, it’s the defense that took over last season and made a good campaign great. With almost all of the top tacklers back, and enough strong parts in the secondary to be fantastic against the Blue Devil midrange passing game, that side of the ball should be able to do its part for a second year in a row. As long as the offense can do its job and control the clock, the game will stay close throughout.
One Reason Why Duke Will Win
The Blue Devil defense should be ready.
Not only did it see the Army offense last year, and not only did it have a whole offseason to get ready for it, but the group is loaded with the experience to be disciplined enough to handle what’s coming.
It’s not like the Black Knight offense worked all that well last season – it ran for a mere 226 yards; hardly anything special considering it threw just one pass. This time around, expect Joe Giles-Harris and the rest of the linebacking corps to have another massive game.
Eight starters are back on D, and unlike last year, the O will do its part and outgain the Army attack because …
What’s Going To Happen
QB Daniel Jones needs to come out humming, and he will.
He’s not going to bomb away, and he wasn’t bad in last year’s loss, but this time around, he’ll be more effective on third downs, will play with a quicker pace, and he should hit on the big plays that weren’t there last season.
Army will be Army, and the game will never get out of hand, but Duke won’t be as sloppy as it was last season in West Point.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Duke 27, Army 17
Line: Duke -13.5, o/u: 45
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2.5
Must See Rating: 3
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