Key Matchups: Army versus Connecticut

The ninth game of the year matches the Army Black Knights (Sagarin 170, 2-6) and the University of Connecticut Huskies (Sagarin 133, 2-6.) UCONN leads the all-time series 4-1, having won the past four meetings.

The ninth game of the year matches the Army Black Knights (Sagarin 170, 2-6) and the University of Connecticut Huskies (Sagarin 133, 2-6.) UCONN leads the all-time series 4-1, having won the past four meetings. The last one came in 2006, when the Huskies prevailed in East Hartford 21-7. This is an interesting matchup between two of the worst teams in the entire country. If it were not for the other, there would be a good chance of both teams finishing the year without another win. This game has created so much local buzz that tickets for this colossal clash at Yankee Stadium are half off on Groupon ($37.50).

Last Week
In East Hartford, CN, the Huskies took advantage of four Golden Knight turnovers and won their first American Conference game of the year in a shocking upset of first place Central Florida 37-29.

The Golden Knights gained 429 yards in total offense, 284 in the air and 145 rushing, but only scored on four of fifteen drives. The Huskies gained 327 total yards, 148 passing and 179 rushing, but they scored on six of 16 drives.

Husky Senior Quarterback Chandler Whitmer was 13 for 25 and threw two touchdown passes. He was contained in the option offense as he gained 20 yards on 13 carries. Senior Running Back Deshon Foxx gained 102 yards on 11 carries. Most of those yards came on a 68 yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Three different receivers caught 11 passes for most of their yards.

At West Point, NY, the Falcon defense stopped the Army offense to cruise to yet another victory over their rivals 23-6. The Cadets were limited to 169 total yards and held the ball for just 24 minutes.

As all opponents have done the past several weeks, Air Force stacked the middle and limited Senior Running Back Larry Dixon to 13 yards on 10 carries. They brought up the safeties to take away the outside pitch and eliminated that option, as Army only had two runs for greater than ten yards. Army attempted to pass over the defense, but Senior Quarterback Angel Santiago was only 2/11 for 20 yards. Often Santiago would look to his receivers, pull the ball down and attempt to run. In the second half, Air Force blitzed him and he rarely had time to throw.

Army only ran 51 plays on the afternoon and scored twice on 11 possessions with one of those drives starting on the Air Force 32 yard line. Army’s most talented runner, Terry Baggett, ran twice for nine yards.

The Air Force defense was very well prepared to stop Army. Army simply did not have the size or talent to beat them.

The Army defense had their best performance of the year. They only allowed one big play, a 54 yard touchdown pass from Senior Quarterback Kale Pearson to Junior Receiver Garrett Griffen. Pearson was 8/12 for two touchdowns and he rushed for 41 yards on 11 attempts. Sophomore Running Back Jacobi Owens led all rushers with 118 yards on 27 carries. Air Force held the ball for 36 minutes and simply wore the Army defense down.

Sophomore Linebacker Jeremy Timpf had 17 tackles, clearly his best performance of the year. Sophomore Defensive Back Josh Jenkins had an interception on Air Force’s first possession to set up a field goal.

Who is favored?
Connecticut is favored by 4.5 points

What to look for?
Look for a very boring game in front of an audience of 15,000 fans or less, making the cavernous Yankee Stadium look and sound empty. Expect a relatively lifeless and uninspired performance from both teams.

Army has been unable to move the ball on offense as the season has progressed. Army averages 23.5 points per game and 368 yards per game, but productivity and efficiency have steadily declined over the past three games. The Husky opponents average 26.8 points and 370 yards per game.

The Huskies average 16.9 points per game 282.6 yards per game. They average 191.5 yards passing and 91.3 yards rushing offense per game. Until last week, the Huskies only win was a nail biter against The FCS Stony Brook Seawolves. But last week’s win over UCF was their best game of the year. The week prior, they played East Carolina very tough, suggesting that their fortunes may be on the upswing.

Army is in a complete tailspin. They are lacking spirit and motivation. They are also lacking talent on both sides of the ball. They have also been alarmingly bad in the 2nd half of games. Perhaps this speaks to Army’s perennial lack of depth in all areas, but it also suggests that their FCS quality coaching staff is having difficulty matching wits with their opponents in making halftime adjustments. This game represents Army’s best opportunity to win a game for the rest of the season. However, we know that in recent years, while Army is mediocre at best in the friendly confines of Michie Stadium, they are pathetic and non-competitive away from home. We see no reason why this week’s contest should be any different.

We believe that UCONN will use their size and speed advantage and beat Army physically. They will force Army to throw and Army will not be successful. This game promises to be very poorly played and UCONN will prevail.

Final Score – Connecticut 24 – Army 10 (predictions in 2014, 3-5)

Game will be shown on CBS @ 3:30 PM EST.

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