It’s that time again! Army fans, you had your break. A nice bye week to recuperate from the oddity that was Morgan state and now, it’s back to business. Saturday, Army football is hoping to extend their home winning streak to 16 against Tulane. Let’s take a look at what the team is facing tomorrow afternoon.
“I think Willie’s philosophy has always been to try to run the ball effectively,” said Jeff Monken. “And then defensively, stopping the run...he’s a precise, fundamental coach.”
In the way that Monken describes Tulane’s head coach, both he and Willie Fritz could be similar in their views on fundamental football. Tulane (3-1) is heading to the Hudson on a bit of a high themselves. Being 1-0 in their conference, with their lone loss coming to Auburn thus far in the season, make the Greenies quite a contender for the Black Knights. Tulane is coming off a bye week as well, and just for the sake of mentioning history, they have beat Army (3-1) twice in previous matchups.
One of Tulane’s greatest assets naturally is their starting quarterback, Justin McMillian. The graduate transfer is incredibly explosive on the ground. Against Houston, McMillian managed 91 rushing yards. His a season high of 199 passing yards came against FIU at the start of the season, and he leads the team with four touchdowns. Army is also looking at a team that’s ranked 10th in the country in rushing offense, and of course, that isn’t all to the credit of the Green Wave’s quarterback.
Darius Bradwell, Tulane’s primary rusher, has totaled 225 total yards this season with113 (on 20 carries) of them coming from the Houston game alone. Match that with Corey Dauphine whose managed 202 rushing yards and two touchdowns along with Jalen McClesky, who received a 53-yard touchdown pass to close out a victory against Houston, and you’ve got an aggressive offense.
Some might say Army fans are singing the same old song but once again, the Black Knights have to stick to what they know best to come out with a win at home tomorrow. Still ranked in the top ten in the country in rushing (293.5) and 11th in fourth down conversations, with a healthy Kelvin Hopkins Jr., back under center, Army fans should be able to cool their nerves.
The Black Knights, however, are going to need a full unit on both sides of the ball to stop Tulane’s running game. Cole Christiansen has performed amazingly thus far and managed 23 solo tackles with two forced fumbles. On offense, Connor Slomka has totaled 261 yards and Kell Walker, 161 of his own, each with two touchdowns. If we can hope communication between Army running backs and Hopkins is solid as usual, the Green Wave will have met their match.
All-in-all some might say the beginning of this season for Army has been a bit shaky. Yes, compared against last year, the Black Knights are mirrored in terms of wins and losses. but it’s still early in the season. Coming off a bye and seeing a glimpse of greatness in the Army secondary has been great to watch. But truth be told, with a get back to basics attitude, the team should come off Saturday afternoon with a nail-biter win no-less.
Game Day Info
- Opponent: Tulane University
- Mascot: Riptide the Pelican
- Stadium: Michie Stadium
- Watch: CBS Sports Network
- Capacity: 38,000
- Surface: Field Turf
- Tickets: Starting at $47 on StubHub
- Kickoff Time: 12:00 pm EST
- Odds: Tulane is favored by -3. O/U is 44.
- Weather Forecast: Sunny with temperatures expected in the low-60s.