When and Where: 2 p.m. at Dix Stadium in Kent, Ohio.
Series History: Only one game, a 17-14 Army win in overtime in 2006.
Matchup: Army comes in at 5-4, looking to rebound after the loss to Air Force.
Kent State comes in at 4-5, also looking to bounce back after a loss to Temple.
Last week’s loss makes this a huge game for Army. With only two of these next three games counting for their push towards bowl eligibility, the clock is ticking on Army’s postseason chances. I doubt Rich Ellerson wants the Black Knights to have to play in Yankee Stadium against Notre Dame in front of what will be a pro-Fighting Irish crowd still looking for their sixth win. That game will have enough distractions without the pressure of a do-or-die scenario.
I think the fact that there is a lot riding on this game helps Army. If they had nothing to gain here, it would be easy to overlook Kent State and begin thinking about Notre Dame and Navy. I think the Black Knights will come out hungry on Saturday and put on a good performance, paving the way for an exciting finish to the season.
Player to Watch: FB Jared Hassin. Hassin has now rushed for 100 yards in four straight games. I expect Army to continue to feed him the rock and let him lead them to postseason eligibility. The offensive line has done a great job this season opening up lanes for him and they will have a great chance to step up and show how good they are against the Kent State front seven, which has done a great job against the run.
Potential X-Factor: DL Jarrett Mackey. Mackey has played very well so far, and has been unheralded as much of the attention has gone to Josh McNary. He has played a large role for the Army defense this year and I expect more of the same Saturday.
Prediction: Army won’t suffer from a hangover after the Air Force loss, simply because they cannot afford to. The Black Knights come out strong and dominate from the beginning, cruising to bowl eligibility.
Army 27, Kent State 10
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.