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Army vs Miami Ohio preview: Black Knights return home to face the RedHawks

Do the RedHawks have an answer for the Black Knights triple-option?

NCAA Football: Army at San Jose State Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

As we approach mid-season, Army faces the Miami (OH) RedHawks at Michie Stadium after a three-week stint on the road.

After a blowout win against the San Jose State last week, the Black Knights (4-2) face and interesting opponent in Miami (3-4, 3-1 MAC). With a 52-3 victory over SJSU last week, Army and could be setting itself up for another win, but the RedHawks are 3-1 for their conference. Miami falls second Buffalo in the MAC. But Army conquered Buffalo two weeks ago in a relatively painless 42-13 win for the Black Knights.

Army’s triple-option offense strength has found a home with Kelvin Hopkin’s Jr. who has 110 carries and almost 500 rushing yards. Hopkins racked up more than 100 yards on the ground against Hawai’i and Oklahoma. Last week against SJSU, he had 99 rushing yards.

In spite of an unsure start to the Miami season, its offense has weapons. Wideouts Jack Sorenson and Dominique Robinson have been key players for the RedHawks, combining for nearly 600 receiving yards and four touchdowns.

Running back Kenny Young could help keep Army’s offense off the field too. Young has paced the Miami offense with 168 rushing yards and three touchdowns over its past two games. RedHawks’ back Alonzo Smith could also pose a problem for the Blacks Knights on Saturday, as he has rushed for 342 yards and three touchdowns on the season. Army ranks 17th in the nation in rushing defense, allowing 110.7 yards on the ground per game, so the RedHawks could look to run often if they’re confident in Young and Smith.

This could be a quick game if both teams run often and keep the clock ticking. Army is second in the nation with 313.5 rushing yards per-game this season. Miami is 32nd in the nation in rushing defense, allowing 123.7 yards per-game, so the Black Knights back should be able to find lanes.

With the Black Knights at home Coach Monken seems excited to be back in a familiar place saying at his weekly press conference: “After a long, tiring trip, hopefully, our guys are going to recover and do a really good job of getting some rest and getting ready for this week to play Miami, who I’ve been really impressed with.”

This isn’t the first time the pair have met. If Miami takes this victory home, it’ll make for a four-game winning streak against the Black Knights, starting in 1997, 1998, and 2011. It’s also worth mentioning that the field at Michie Stadium is actually named in honor of Army coach, Earl “Red” Blaik, who played at Miami from 1915 to 1917. Blaik coached Army football for 18 seasons from 1941 to 1958, leading the Black Knights to earn three national championships.

Match-up details

Kickoff: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. (EST)

Watch: CBSSN

Where: Michie Stadium, West Point, NY

Rankings: In Bill Connelly’s S&P+ rankings, Army is 75th and Miami (OH) is 66th (for an explainer on S&P+, click here).

Spread: Connelly expects Army to win a close game, while Miami covers the 7.5-point spread.