College Football News Preview 2020: Army Black Knights Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Army Black Knights Offense
Rushing means everything to Army, grinding out drives mean everything, and owning third downs means everything.
The Army offense is among the best in the nation on the money downs because it’s almost always in a manageable third-and-short situation, but when it doesn’t dominate and keep things going, there’s a problem.
Last year’s attack converted just over 45% of its chances – fantastic by any normal standards. When it got there or was better, it was 4-1 on the season – the only win when it didn’t get there was against Morgan State from the FCS.
By comparison, the 2018 offense converted 57% of its tries and hit the 45% mark ten times – going 9-1 with the only loss coming to Oklahoma. Now, over the last four years, Army is 28-4 when it gets to the 45% mark.
On the flip side …
Biggest Key To The Army Black Knights Defense
Come up with third down stops. The Black Knights have to convert on third downs to keep the defense fresh, and the defense has to stop third downs to get off the field so the offense can do what it does.
In the 11-win 2018 season, the defense allowed teams to covert on third down just 26.5% of the time, and only Liberty got past the 40% mark. Last year’s defense allowed offenses to convert on 45% of their chances overall, and seven teams hit 50% or better – all Army losses.
Key Army Black Knights Player To A Successful Season
QB Jabari Laws, Jr.
Kelvin Hopkins led the team with 710 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, and he was the normal Army passer hitting 43% of his passes with one or two big plays a game. Laws connected on 16-of-20 throws for 311 yards and a touchdown, doing most of his work in the tough 17-13 loss to Air Force.
Ultra-quick and with enough experience to be ready for the gig, he ran for over 100 yards in two games of mop-up duty and should add even more rushing pop than Hopkins. At least, that’s the goal.
Key Game To The Army Black Knights Season
at Miami University, Oct. 3
If everything goes according to plan, the Black Knights should beat Bucknell and win at Rice, and they’ll likely lose to Oklahoma. The real test for how the season will go will come up next with a trip against defending MAC champion Miami University.
Win that, and with four straight home games to follow, this can be a fantastic season. Lose, and the pressure is on considering the last four games of the year are away from home.
– Army Black Knights Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 Army Fun Stats
– 4th Down Conversions: Army 26-of-39 (67%) – Opponents 12-of-24 (50%)
– Time of Possession: Army 32:56 – Opponents 26:56
– Field Goals: Opponents 11-of-17 – Army 4-of-7