Army is riding high after a commanding win over Abilene Christian, and continue their homestand against the visiting Citadel Bulldogs, who are 0-3 and 30-point underdogs. This match-up pits an FBS Service Academy against one from the FCS ranks, and features two offenses that rely heavily on the triple option.
Outside of Navy and Air Force, it’s quite uncommon to see Army lining up against another triple option offense, but such is the case with the Citadel Bulldogs in town. The Bulldogs have had a tough go of things in 2020, with four FBS match-ups comprising their abridged schedule. As 30-point underdogs, and with Army getting back on track, the Citadel has their work cut out for them.
QB Brandon Rainey enters the game with an 8-of-36 for 158 yards passing stat line, along with one touchdown and two interceptions. However, when Rainey connects, it usually goes for huge yardage plays. WRs Ryan McCarthy, Raleigh Webb and RB Keefe White are averaging 20 yards per catch. White also leads the Bulldog rushing attack with 150 total rushing yards and a 6.5 yards per carry average.
For the Black Knights, it seems likely that QB Jemel Jones will get the start after Christian Anderson left last weekend’s game against Abilene Christian with an injury. Jones did not disappoint, racking up more than 100 yards and two touchdowns on the ground while also going 4-of-7 for 52 yards and an additional touchdown through the air.
Army is averaging just over 400 yards per-game on offense, with 350 of those coming on the ground. Given the Black Knights’ success distributing the ball, we’ll likely see a lot of names from further down on Army’s depth chart, especially among fullbacks and possibly even at quarterback.
The Citadel’s defense is unfortunately about as underwhelming as its offense. In addition to being outscored 113-20 over three games, the Bulldogs have allowed an average of over 400 yards per game. Senior linebacker Willie Eubanks III leads the Citadel defense with 21 solo tackles. The NFL prospect also has five TFLs and two sacks on the season. Eubanks could be busy tackling Army ball carriers.
Meanwhile, Nate Woody’s defense continues to be strong, although last weekend’s game against Abilene Christian definitely tested the Army secondary. The Citadel will not display the same accurate passing attack, but the Bulldogs will likely try to throw as many wrinkles as they can to keep the Black Knights on their toes.
LB Jon Rhattigan continues to lead the Army defense with 28 tackles, as well as one interception for a touchdown. On the season, the Black Knights are ranked eighth in the nation in total defense and rank in the top 20 nationally in many other defensive statistics as well.
Things to Consider
Despite struggling against Cincinnati, the Black Knights have performed as expected against opponents this season, capturing all three home victories by hefty margins. Given the Citadel’s underwhelming stats and performance this season, it’s hard to see a way in which Army loses this game unless they let things go to their heads or let penalties or sloppy play interrupt their rhythm.
How to Watch
Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. (EST) on Saturday, October 10th
Watch: CBSSN — Ben Holder will handle the play-by-play duties, the color analyst is Ross Tucker and the sideline reporter is Tina Cervasio. Active and Reserve service members can also stream the game for free.
Where: Michie Stadium – West Point, NY
Spread: FanDuel has Army favored at -29.5, with the over-under at 46.5.