The Black Knights have winnable schedule down the stretch, but it is becoming harder and harder to envision Army running the table. With three of the next four contests coming on the road, changing the current narrative is not going to be any easy task. Can the Black Knights get back on the right track on the road against Georgia State on Saturday night?
Army out-rushed for second straight gameSince a strong 3-1 start to the season that included a near-upset of then No.7-ranked Michigan, Army has lost back-to-back games in disappointing fashion. One week after ending their 15-game home winning streak versus Tulane, Army mustered just eight points and 208 yards of total offense in the team’s 17-8 defeat versus Western Kentucky last week. The Hilltoppers dominated the time of possession, holding the ball for 38 minutes and wearing out the Black Knights’ defense with a relentless rushing attack, racking up 225 yards on the ground against Army’s defense. Quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. completed 5-of-12 passes for 71 yards and a touchdown, but the Black Knights were unable to get their triple-option offense going, as no runner finished with more than 41 yards in the loss.
Army has been headed in the wrong direction over the past two weeks, especially in the trenches. Head coach Jeff Monken has married himself to the run throughout his career, so when an opponent is more physical than his team at the line of scrimmage, it doesn’t sit well. Prior to the loss to Tulane, it had been 16 games since Army had been out-rushed, but they’ve now gained less rushing yards than their opponent in back-to-back games. The last two weeks have seen Monken desperately ditch the run game for a more balanced attack, but it hasn’t worked.
Army comes in averaging 26.5 points per game and allowing 20.7 points on defense. They should have an easier time moving the ball on the ground this week though, against a Georgia State team giving up nearly 200 rushing yards per game. They will be challenged with stopping the run as well, as the Panthers actually enter the week averaging more rushing yards per game than the Black Knights (253.5 to 250.7).
Georgia State's defense steps up in win vs. Coastal CarolinaGeorgia State improved to 4-2 and 2-1 in the Sun Belt after pulling off a tough 31-21 road win versus Coastal Carolina last week. Quarterback Dan Ellington threw for 122 yards and a touchdown, while adding 128 rushing yards on 19 carries to help the Panthers win their second straight contest. Two other Georgia State players, Tra Bennett and Seth Paige, each ran for over 100 yards as well, as the Panthers ran for 350 yards on the ground as a team to escape with a road win in conference play. The victory marked the first time since 2017 that Georgia State was able to win back-to-back conference games.
With four wins through their first six games, it appears that Georgia State is going to be headed to a bowl game once again this year. ESPN’s most recent predictions has the Panthers playing in either the Cure Bowl or the Camellia Bowl.
Georgia State’s front seven took a big step forward last week, handling Coastal Carolina’s pistol option and holding the Chanticleers to just 4-for-14 on third down conversions. The defense also forced four fumbles in that game, which will be a major point of emphasis once again this week against an run-heavy Army attack. The Panthers come in allowing 37.5 points and 452.8 yards of total offense per game, including 199.8 yards per game on the ground.
- Black Knights are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games.
- Black Knights are 8-2-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Black Knights are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. S-Belt.
- Panthers are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- Panthers are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.
- Panthers are 1-6-2 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight up win.