LINE Wisconsin -14
ATS PICK Wisconsin
We all know what Army can do.
We all know the last thing a Big Ten team wants in the middle of its season is to refocus all of its efforts on staying in the lanes, dealing with the nasty blocking schemes that makes everyone sore, and fighting through the mental fatigue of never, ever having the ball.
With all of that, and fully aware that most teams can’t hit the Army knuckleball, there might not be a team this year outside of the one in Athens that can better handle what Army brings to town.
This one is an all-time It’s Not Your Fault pick if it doesn’t work.
I’ll get to the obvious in a moment, but with Wisconsin, it’s ALL about turnovers.
This team just can’t stop screwing up, with a whopping -11 in turnover margin with two or more in every game but the blowout over Eastern Michigan. However, the magic number might be three.
Wisconsin couldn’t get by Penn State, Notre Dame, or Michigan after giving it up 11 times in the three games. It turned it over twice last week against Illinois, and it didn’t matter. Why?
93 yards, and 26 of those on the ground. That’s what Illinois was held to.
Back to the turnovers for one quick second. If Wisconsin doesn’t give the ball away in bunches, it dominates – it’s been that way for two decades. Army has come up with five turnovers on the year, and two of them came in the opener against Georgia State.
But it’s about stopping the run, obviously.
Wisconsin’s defense has an Achilles heel, and it’s the deep ball against lightning fast receivers. Army will hit one of those shots, but there won’t be a second.
On the ground, the Badgers allowed 112 yards to Michigan, and no one else has pushed past 50. Not Penn State, not Illinois, and Notre Dame netted three yards it didn’t need.
Army obviously has to run well to win – it’s No. 1 in the nation on the ground. Wisconsin is No. 1 in the nation in run D by a relative mile.
Army has to win the time of possession battle – it’s No. 1 in the nation. Wisconsin is usually on top but it’s currently No. 4.
Army has to hit its third down tries to own the time of possession battle – Wisconsin is No. 2 in the nation in third down stops.
And then there’s the competition. Army has been great so far, but it played Georgia State, WKU, UConn, Miami University, and Ball State. Now it’s going to play a big-time program that’s in the midst of a big-time clunker of a year and desperately needs this win.