First Look: Rice vs. Army

Statistically the Black Knights of Army have fared pretty well this year. They are ranked in the Top 20 nationally in prominent Offensive and Defensive performance numbers. Throw out their record - they are a solid football team...

Seems like each week Rice faces a team with very good abilities - yet not so great win-loss records. That's definitely the case with their opponent this weekend, the Cadets of Army.

The Black Knights are 7th in the country in rushing yards; a statistic that no doubt has the full attention of every Rice Owl Defensive player and coach.

But they aren't your typical ball control team that struggles to stop the other team's Offense. Army has played exceptional Defense this year actually. They have the nation's 15th-best pass defense, allowing only 169.78 yards per game. Rice has thrown for 300 yards in six of its nine games. Army has kept its opponent under 200 yards passing in six of its nine outings, including six games with less than 175 yards and two games under 100 yards.

You can always count on Army teams to be tough and disciplined as well so this has the makings of a very tough football game for the Owls.

Here's a look at the starting units for Army...

Pos ## Player

TE 88 Mike Evans, 6-2 238

LT 76 Ali Villanueva, 6-10 302

LG 79 Brandon Cox, 6-3 294

C 64 Trey Miranne, 6-0 273

RG 63 Mike Lemming, 6-3 298

RT 67 Jason Johnson, 6-2 260

QB 10 Chip Bowden, 6-0 218

FB 30 Collin Mooney, 5-10 247

RB 23 Wesley McMahand, 5-5 177

RB 2 Justin Turner, 5-8 197

WR 8 Mike Wright, 6-2 218

Any good Option attack needs a standout Fullback. The Black Knights have one in the form of Collin Mooney. He needs just 34 yards rushing in Saturday's game to surpass 1,000 yards for the season. The Balck Knights have a potent arsenal besides Mooney though, in their 14-7 win over Louisiana Tech five different Army players ran for at least 25 yards. Sophomore QB Chip Bowden ran for 50 yards, junior RB Ian Smith gained 41 yards, junior RB Justin Turner added 38 yards and senior RB Wesley McMahand chipped in 25 yards.

Pos ## Player

DE 44 Josh McNary, 6-1 231

DT 99 Ted Bentler, 6-2 280

DT 98 Fritz Bentler, 6-3 235

DE 92 Victor Ugenyi, 6-3 253

SLB 42 John Plumstead, 5-10 222

MLB 46 Frank Scappaticci, 6-1 224

WLB 50 Stephen Anderson, 5-10 231

FC 1 Mario Hill, 6-0 182

SS 20 Lowell Garthwaite, 6-1 207

FS 6 Donovan Travis, 6-1 187

BC 27 Antuan Aaron, 5-9 192

Though not particularly big, Army has been a salty bunch on the Defensive side of the ball recently. In the last two weeks, Army opponents have started 10 drives on the Black Knights' side of the 50-yard line. Army held Louisiana Tech and Air Force scoreless on five of those drives. Army has a very active defense. Frank Scappaticci leads the Black Knights in tackles with 63, but DE Josh McNary has been a one man wrecking machine. He's second on the team in tackles with 58, but first in tackles for a loss (10.5) and sacks (4).

We'll deep dive more in our coming Game Previews...

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