The 3-2 Black Knights travel across the country on Saturday to face a winless San Jose State squad. It is a game Army is more than good enough to win, even on the road.
By Steve Wright
Here are the three keys:
Use the bye wisely
This is more of a preparation key than a game time key, but it is important the Black Knights have used the bye wisely to prepare for this trip.
Army crushed Buffalo last time out on the road, but traveling within the state of New York is a little different to crossing four time zones to play the Spartans. Jeff Monken and his staff will have to have made sure that the Black Knights have had the right nutrition and hydration, while the game plan needs to be one that calls for Army to start fast.
The 12:30 PST start time isn’t a bad one for the Black Knights and hopefully all those players that were dinged up during the first five games of the season have made the most of the time off to rest and recover for the grind of the season ahead.
Be aware the Spartans can play
Sure, San Jose State is 0-5. That could easily lead to a level of complacency, but it important to note that the Spartans record doesn’t come close to telling the story of their season.
Two weeks ago the Spartans played out a five-overtime loss to Hawaii. Last weekend, they roared back from 28-0 down to take the lead 30-28 on the road against Colorado State. Then the Rams turned it around, scoring the last 12 points of the game to win 42-30. Those are losses that are obviously difficult to take, but it shows that this is a team with the fight and the moxie to keep going even when the odds look bleak.
Army needs to get ahead of this team and take the crowd out of the contest. They also need to be aware that SJSU is never out of the game.
Dominate on the ground
If Army can run the ball and control the clock then they will win this game.
The Black Knights go for 308 yards per game on the ground and they are about to face a San Jose State team that averages giving up 150 rushing yards per contest. That number would probably be more, but opponents have had little trouble throwing the ball on the Spartans to the tune of 337 yards per game.
Expect to see Kelvin Hopkins Jr. have himself a ball game here. Hopkins has been impressive both on the ground and through the air and this is the game in which he will break out carrying the ball. It would be a shock to see Army rush for less than 350 yards in a win.