Army College Football Preview

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In Jeff Monken’s third season as Army’s head coach, the Black Knights finally saw some positive returns as they closed the year with a win over Navy and then a bowl win over North Texas. With enough returning starters, Army should remain competitive in most of its Games with another bowl Game looking possible.

The offense should reach last year’s 29.9 points per Game, anchored by a running Game that can be just as good after averaging 339.5 yards. Ahmad Bradshaw (826 rushing yards, 8 TDs) is back to lead the triple-option behind the same offensive line that finished last year. The backs are mostly the same as well, with Andy Davidson (961 yards, 12 TDs), Jordan Asberry (421 yards, 5 TDs) and Kell Walker (378 yards) expected to have the same roles. Receiver may be the only question, but that shouldn’t matter too much as Bradshaw only completed 40 passes last year. With most of its pieces back, there’s no reason Army can’t repeat what it did in 2016.

The defensive side may be harder to replicate after holding opponents to 19.8 points per Game and fewer than 300 yards per contest. Part of that had to do with Schedule, but holding Temple, Duke and Wake all to 13 points can’t be discounted. Army’s depth will be tested as some of last year’s backups have moved into important starting roles. That said, the group still returns seven starters with experience at every level. John Volt leads the line as a senior, while Alex Aukerman is a playmaker at outside linebacker after 7.5 sacks last season. The secondary has some experience, but could run into some issues if injuries occur. It’d be a surprise if Army was as good defensively this year, although a huge drop off isn’t expected.

The goal for Army will be to beat Air Force and Navy in the same season, which hasn’t happened in a while. The Black Knights should reach another bowl Game with a similar Schedule as a year ago, aided by a couple nice matchups to start the year before getting thrown to the wolves in Columbus. OUtside of the Game against the Buckeyes, no other Game stands out for the Black Knights as being too difficult, especially with Notre Dame not in their path.

With the running Game set to be just as good, Army looks headed for another solid season that could even see the team reach 10 wins. The Black Knights’s over/under is sitting around eight wins at most places, but there’s a path to reach more than that due to a Schedule that’s more favorable than a year ago.


2017 Army Black Knights Football Schedule

Sept. 1 vs. Fordham
Sept. 9 vs. Buffalo
Sept. 16 at Ohio State
Sept. 23 at Tulane
Sept. 30 vs. UTEP
Oct. 7 at Rice
Oct. 14 vs. Eastern Michigan
Oct. 21 vs. Temple
Nov. 4 at Air Force
Nov. 11 vs. Duke
Nov. 18 at North Texas
Dec. 9 vs. Navy (Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia)

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