The Army Black knights (2-0) are back on the road this Saturday as they travel to Southwest Texas to take on the Miners of UTEP. Fort Bliss is in the Miners backyard and as a result, the game promises to be a special occasion, with all kinds of attractions, ceremonies, and giveaways throughout the contest. The Black Knights players must block this all out to continue their winning start to the season.
Here are the three keys to Army beating the Miners:
1) Keep the option strong
Through two games in 2016, the Black Knights have rushed for 677 yards on 136 carries. That works out to an average of right around five yards per carry. Army has also rushed the ball for eight scores. The key is fullback Andy Davidson who has taken a position that was a question mark for Army and made it a huge strength. Davidson has over half the Black Knights scores (five) and rushed at a clip of 5.1 yards per attempt. If Army can establish Davidson early then it will be a rough afternoon for the Miner's defense.
2) Big plays on defense
Army has four interceptions on the season and each pick has come from a different player. Marcus Hyatt, Jeremy Timpf, Mike Reynolds, and Kenneth Brinson have all taken the ball away from the other team, showing that Army has a collection of players in the defensive backfield that can make plays and get the team the ball back. Against UTEP the opportunity will be there for more big plays as the Miners quarterbacks are completing less than 60 percent of their passes. A couple of big plays will be enough for Army to win the game.
3) Stop Aaron Jones
The Miners best offensive weapon (by far) is running back Aaron Jones. On the season Jones has 49 carries for 372 yards and three touchdowns. That works out to an average of over 7.5 yards per carry. Jones is a rare combination is that he can be counted on to carry the load and yet also be explosive. The latter part of this is seen in his season-long carry that went for 75 yards and a touchdown. Last week against Texas, the Longhorns knew Jones was option one, two,and three for the Miners, yet he still rushed for 123 yards. He is a talent that needs to be stopped.