When and Where: 12 p.m. at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y.
Series History: 13-1 in favor of Army
Matchup: Army is 4-3, coming off a tough loss to Rutgers. VMI is 3-4, including some blowout losses at the FCS level.
Army is eighth in the nation in rushing, sporting a balanced attack so far this season. The VMI defense is ranked 25th in the FCS against the run, but I still expect Army to find success on the ground. Why? This is a step up in competition for the Keydets, and no one has stopped Army’s ground game yet.
VMI is one of the worst teams in the FCS offensively, ranking 109th in total offense. The transition to a pro-style attack has not been smooth and it won’t get any easier this week. This will be another opportunity for Army to pad their defensive stats, especially sacks. VMI is 81st in the country in sacks allowed. Expect Josh McNary and company to play on the other side of the line of scrimmage.
Player to Watch: DE Josh McNary. McNary is second in the country in sacks, trailing Da’Quan Bowers of Clemson by half a sack. McNary has 9.5 sacks this year. The VMI offensive line has not done a great job this year, so I would not be surprised to see McNary leading the nation in sacks after this weekend. He has already received some national notice, and it is well-deserved. I expect his name will be mentioned more on the national docket as the season winds down.
Potential X-Factor: An Army hangover. A tough loss to Rutgers before a bye week, leading up to a game against an FCS team could be the recipe for a let-down game. Army cannot afford to take any team lightly, and needs this win to move closer towards bowl eligibility.
Prediction: Army dominates the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and cruises to another win. At least two sacks for McNary.
Army 38, VMI 13
Army will honor Rutgers player Eric LeGrand by unveiling helmet decals this week that will remain on the Army helmets for the rest of the season.
Army has become tied-in with another bowl game, opening up another opportunity to play a postseason game this year.
About the Author
Written by Donald Lappe
Senior at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Double Major in Media & Society and United States History. Also writing for TapouT Magazine and MMA Worldwide Magazine.