Army-Rice 10 things to watch

The Army Black Knights host the Rice Owls on Saturday. ArmySports.com looks at 10 things to watch for during this key Army game.

1. Steamed Rice: Rice is coming off consecutive losses to No.7 Texas (52-7) and No. 19 Florida State (55-7). Both national powers put a pretty good physical beating on the Owls. So the question remains: Can Rice lick its wounds in time for Army at West Point on Saturday.
 
2. Playing with heavy hearts: No matter how banged up and tired Rice is, expect the team to play with plenty of emotion and energy.
Tragedy struck Rice when 19-year-old freshman Dale Lloyd, a defensive back, died on Monday. Lloyd collapsed on the field at Rice Stadium at approximately 5 p.m. Sunday during a light workout. The cause of death is pending the results of an autopsy.
 
3. Army's ego: Army is 2-2, but could easily be 4-0. The Black Knights enter the Rice game favored by 10 points. It's the perfect time for Army to get cocky. Sure, coach Bobby Ross will do a great job keeping his team level-headed. But these are still college kids.
 
4. 'Touchdown' Tony: Freshman running back Tony Moore has been through a lot in four games at Army. He scored two touchdowns against Kent State. A week later, Texas A&M stood him up at its own 5-yard line on the final play of the game. Army lost 28-24. Moore could of crawled up in a ball and felt sorry for himself. Instead, he became more determined.
The result?
Two Moore touchdowns against Baylor last week. This kid has a nose for the end zone.
 
5. Pevoto's progress: Hey, give the kid this, he didn't throw an interception against Baylor last week.
Pevoto completed 15-of-22 passes for 138 yards and threw his first career touchdown pass. Pevoto is coming along and, obviously, cutting down on mistakes. But the jury is still out on whether he can be a weapon or just a quarterback who Ross counts on not to do anything flashy, just move the team and limit mistakes (there is no shame in that).
 
6. Carson Time: Maybe heralded freshman quarterback Carson Williams gets some time against Rice.
Army would have to put the game away, we're talking three touchdowns, for Ross to motion to Williams. It would be interesting to catch a glimpse of Williams, who turned down offers from Vanderbilt, Arkansas and N.C. State.
 
7. Paging, Jordan: Ross expected starting free safety Jordan Murray to play against Baylor last week.
He didn't, thanks, to a bad hamstring. Murray has now missed three games. Third-stringer John Laird started in his place last week. But Ross and Army fans had been excited about Murray, a junior, entering the year.
It's not exciting watching Murray sit on the bench. Let's hope he's back in the lineup this week.
 
8. Pitching a shutout: Army's hard-charging 'D' has been solid all season, but it could be even better.
This could be the Black Knights' week to shine. Rice has had trouble scoring under first-year coach Todd Graham, who scraped the option in favor of a spread offense. The Owls rank 115th nationally in total offense (219.0) and 105th in scoring offense (15.0).
How about an Army shutout? Let's not greedy. But you never know.
 
9. Wesley McMahand da man: So what if he's only 5-foot-6, 171 pounds, Army sophomore Wesley McMahand has proved he can run.
He put up a season-high 93 yards on 22 carries against Baylor last week. It marked his second straight 90-yard games. Next up? The 100-yard plateau. It could be done against Rice.
McMahand has 286 yards this season.
 
10. Cool-headed Caleb: It wasn't pretty when strong safety Caleb Campbell was tossed from last weeks' game against Baylor for arguing with officials.
It might not be pretty against Rice, either. Figure Campbell has a lot to prove to himself, his teammates and the fans for his mistake last week. It could be some performance because Campbell is due for a big game.

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