The third game of the year matches the Army Black Knights (0-2, Sagarin 165) and Mid American Conference Akron Zips (0-1, Sagarin 100). Army leads the all time series 3-1, but Akron beat Army in the Patriot Bowl (Cleveland) last year, 22-14. Both teams are trying to rebound from difficult previous games. Army is gasping for breath in the fight for football relevance.
It was a delight to see an undersized, overachieving, and exceptionally well-coached team play with efficiency, intensity, creativity and deception to beat a bigger, faster, stronger opponent on the football field at Michie Stadium. It was unfortunate that Army was the team on the receiving end of such a complete butt whipping.
Army committed 4 turnovers and was easily handled by DI-AA New Hampshire. UNH led in first downs, 17-15, and they out-rushed Army 184-169. Army as 7 for 11 for 95 yards in the air and UNH was 12 for 17 for 138 yards with 1 interception. Army dominated time of possession 35 minutes to 25. QB Carson Williams hurt his non-throwing hand early in the game – and left having completed all 7 passes he threw. His replacements were 0 for 4. Army took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, UNH returned the ensuing kickoff 87 yards for a TD and never looked back.
After the game, highly touted recruit Paul Macintosh left the team. Sophomore running back Patrick Mealy also left the team, but returned after the weekend. Rumors abound at Army, but this team has not been so desperate for a win in its history…or in my lifetime at least.
Akron lost to Ball State 41 – 24. Akron Quarterback Chris Jacquemain was 21-of-44 for 269 yards and had a 13-yard scoring pass to Andre Jones, but was also picked off four times; three of them by Sean Baker. Akron also lost a fumble. Akron rushed for 119 yards and allowed 491 yards in offense to Ball State, who is 3-0 on the season.
What we Learned
Army may make a run at their record-setting 0-13 season from back in 2003 if hustle and execution do not improve. Coach Stan Brock, who increasingly looks like a man in way over his head, called out his team and accused them of quitting last week. Judging from the way his defensive players were hanging their heads in the 4th quarter last week, it would be hard to argue the point. However, it showed very questionable judgment on his part to do so publicly. The way their offense is performing, it's surprising that more players aren't jumping ship. Army's defense has some decent talent, but the Army offense must start scoring some points. Army's offense looks about as bad as is humanly possible, and nobody can make the excuse that they are being outgunned by teams with superior athletes. Never could we have imagined that the day would come when we would remember fondly the days of Zac "Opie" Dahman, Josh Holden, Coach Todd Berry and that unforgettably horrible winless team. Their offense was pathetic but entertaining. This offense is pathetic and ridiculously boring.
At the Rubber Bowl, we learned that a good offense can easily move on this defense. Army may have a chance to move the ball consistently on them.
Who is favored?
Akron is favored by 7 points
What to look for?
Army to dominate the time of possession and play their best game of the year, although that isn't really saying much. Army might be competitive if they do not commit any turnovers.
Look for Akron to move the ball and score on nearly all of their possessions
Final Score – Akron 35 - Army 21 (Predictions this year 0-2)
The game will be televised on ESPN Classic 1:00PM EST.