Three Keys – Army vs Fordham

Football is back! That means it is time once again for us to go behind the storylines and discover the keys to Army’s success in each game this year. With a Friday night showdown against Fordham just hours away we will find three areas to watch which will help determine the outcome of the game.

If these keys fall in the favor of the Black Knights then Army will be looking good for victory. If the keys are not successful, however, then it is going to be a long night for Jeff Monken and company.

With all that being said here are the three keys for Army to take down the Rams and start the season with a victory:

1) Pound away with the option

By now everyone knows that one of the greatest benefits of running the option is that the defense being faced has little to no time to prepare for the onslaught of decoys, angles and fakes they are about to face. There are two exceptions to this rule though, opening day and the bowl game. Fordham has been able to work on stopping the option throughout fall camp, knowing that they will face Army on Friday night and then discard the option defense to work on more traditional schemes immediately after the game. This gives Fordham an advantage over most of the teams Army will face. The Black Knights, however, cannot let any initial Fordham resistance drive them away from the game plan of pounding the ball inside and waiting for the edges to open up.

2) No turnovers from Ahmad Bradshaw

Army will be starting a new quarterback this season as Ahmad Bradshaw beat out expected starter A.J. Schurr for the position. It is an unfortunate situation for Schurr as his training camp injury never really allowed for this to be a fair competition. Bradshaw is by far the more intriguing of the two quarterbacks. His athleticism is off the charts and, having run a pure shotgun offense in high school, he is more developed as a passer. He is learning the option on the fly and this game will be a great indicator of how far Bradshaw has come. Mistakes will happen, but limiting turnovers is going to be huge for this team in 2015.

3) Stop Chase Edmonds

Fordham only returns a handful of starters from last fall, but one of them is a running back who was named FCS Freshman of the Year last season. Chase Edmonds rushed for an astonishing 1,838 yards and 23 touchdowns in his first year as a Ram, setting single season school records in each category. The 185 pound sophomore runs with surprising power for his weight and he is capable of scoring from any part of the field. The pick of his 2014 games was a 231 yard and four touchdown effort against Rhode Island and when Edmonds gets rolling in a game he becomes almost impossible to stop. Army did an excellent job on the freshman sensation last year, holding him to just 69 yards on 13 carries, but the defense will have to be just as disciplined this time around if the Black Knights are to win their opener.

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