Army "must win" games in 2008

They are called them must-win games. Teams need these games to snap a losing streak or get into the playoffs. The season has yet to start, so Army doesn't face any must-win games. But we already see some must-have victories for the Black Knights.

This has to be a turn the corner year for Army. To make that happen, the Black Knights, obviously, have to win more games. We've selected six games Army has to win if it wants to be seriously.

It's no coincidence we picked six, that would make the Black Knights bowl-eligible for the first time since 1996. Let's get something else straight, we aren't putting a cap on Army wins this season.

The Black Knights are capable of winning more than six. But these are the must-have games.

Aug. 29: Temple

By no means is Temple a pushover. Third-year coach Al Golden has the Owls going in the right direction. But if Army wants to be viewed as legit, the Black Knights have to beat teams like Temple. They did last season, dropping the Owls 37-21 at Michie Stadium with several big plays.

This Temple team should be tougher. The Owls return every starter on offense and defense.

Sept. 6: New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a top flight Division I-AA team and, keep in mind, Rhode Island, an average I-AA team, gave Army a fight last season. Still, I-AA teams have to be automatic wins.

Oct. 11: Eastern Michigan

Eastern Michigan's losing snide goes back even further than the Black Knights.

The Eagles haven't had a winning season since 1995. Eastern Michigan finished 4-8 last year, but ended the year with a 48-45 upset win over Central Michigan. The Eagles haven't allowed less than 26 points per game over the last five seasons.

Eastern Michigan does have a quarterback with potential. Junior Andy Schmitt can run and throw the ball.

Oct. 18: at Buffalo

Just like Temple, Buffalo has a good young coach trying to turn the programs' fortunes around. In UB's case, it's Turner Gill.

But just like Temple, if Army is for real, this is a game the Black Knights have to win.

Buffalo, which went 5-7 last year, does have some talent. Some believe quarterback Drew Willy is the best to ever wear a UB uniform. Willy completed 68 percent of his passes and had 15 touchdowns with six interceptions last year. Meanwhile, running back James Starks had 1,103 yards and 12 scores last year.

Oct. 25: Lousiana Tech

Since La. Tech is a warm weather team, let's hope it's a chilly, wet and rainy day at Michie for this game.

Sorry fans, but that would benefit the Black Knights. Even without the weather, this is a winnable game for the Black Knights. Louisiana Tech went 5-7 last season. The team is usually solid on offense, but shaky on defense.

Nov. 8: at Rice

Rice can put up points, but the Owls also give them up.

Army has to take advantage of this and make a few stands on defense. Sounds easy enough, but if Army pulls it off, it should pull out a win. The Owls' finished 118th in the nation in yards allowed per game (510.8) last year and scoring defense (42.9). But Rice does have some of its own firepower. Returning is quarterback Chase Clement, who threw for 3,377 yards and 29 touchdowns, setting 18 school and four Conference USA records last year.

Clement smoked Army for 299 yards passing with five touchdowns. Top Stories