Key Matchups: Army vs. Fordham

The eighth game of the year matches the Army Black Knights (Sagarin 121, 2-5) and the Patriot League Fordham Rams (Sagarin 230, 1-6.) Army leads the all-time series 2-0, with the last victory coming in 1949 35-0.

The only other meeting took place in 1891, when Army beat the Rams 10-6. It turns out that this game is a hot ticket in the New York Metropolitan area as the game is officially a sell-out; tickets have sold on Stubhub at three times face value. There may not be much at stake in this game, but it is a great representation of football in America.

Last Week

In Nashville, Army was punished by Vanderbilt 44-21. The Commodores ran for 344 yards and held the ball for 34 minutes as they completely dominated the Cadets.

While Jordan Rodgers stole the headlines, the game was dominated by the Vanderbilt offensive and defensive lines. Zac Stacy ran for a career high 198 yards on 21 carries and 3 touch downs. Rodgers ran for 96 yards and passed for another 186. While his 10 for 27, 1 TD/2INT was not really impressive it was more than enough to out produce the listless Army offense.

Army had just 288 total yards, 270 on the ground. Other than a third quarter drive led by third stringer Angel Santiago, the offense accomplished very little. They only had about 25 minutes time of possession, not nearly enough for them to be able to hang in there for very long. Once again, a myriad of fumbles completely took Army out of the game. To cap off a thoroughly horrendous evening, QB Trent Steelman was knocked out with a leg injury.

Alex Carlton missed another extra point and Chris Bolt averaged 42 yards on 5 punts.

In Easton, PA, Fordham gained 565 yards, 413 in the air, but turned the ball over three times and were blown out by Lafayette 45-24.

The Rams led 14-7 after the first quarter, but two 2nd quarter Lafayette TD runs put them ahead for good.

What to look for?

While Army is fumble prone and small on defense, and the chance for bad weather in the Hudson Valley Region on Saturday could exacerbate those weaknesses. However, Fordham is a very poor FCS team. Other than a victory against 0-6 Columbia, they have been thoroughly beaten in all of their FCS games. They will try to spread out the Army D, throw it a lot, and run draws out of the spread formation. This offensive approach has not been a problem for the Black Knights to stop in the Rich Ellerson era. Fordham is not a team with a massive offensive line capable of smashing Army's small defensive front with runs between the tackles.

On offense, with Trent Steelman unable to play, Max Jenkins will get his first career start, which is appropriate for Senior Day. This will be the first game in 3 seasons that Steelman has not started for the Black Knights. We expect a very conservative approach, with no more than two or three passes, and with the bad weather forecast, not that many option pitches. Army will likely look to use their size advantage to smash Fordham's defensive front and keep everything between the tackles. Raymond Maples, Jarred Hassin and Larry Dixon should all have monster numbers by halftime.

We expect Army to dominate a lesser team. We expect many underclassmen to play in the 2nd half and gain experience as the starters rest in preparation for their trip to Colorado Springs. Enjoy it, West Point Nation – it could be the last hurrah for this season.

Who is favored?
Army is favored by 30 points

Final Score – Army 49 – Fordham 7 (predictions 2011, 2-5)
Game will be shown on CBSCSTV @ 12:00 PM EST. Top Stories