Army vs. North Texas prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Black Knights and Mean Green on Saturday in West Point, NY.
Army vs. North Texas Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 22 – Noon ET
Where: Michie Stadium, West Point, NY
TV Broadcast: CBSSN
The Black Knights (4-2) had a very easy time at home last week in a 62-7 win over a Lafayette squad that was facing its first FBS team since a 41-14 setback to the Black Knights in 1997. Army’s triple-option offense was clicking once again following the previous week’s 13-6 setback at Duke, as the Black Knights had a season-high 671 yards of total offense.
Meanwhile, Mason Fine passed for one touchdown and ran for another as the Mean Green (3-3, 2-1 Conference USA) scored a 38-21 home win over Marshall the last time they were in action. UNT was off last week, so it will have extra time to prepare for the Army rushing attack. Jeffrey Wilson, who had a 72-yard scoring run in the third quarter, gained 188 yards on 26 carries against Marshall, while Eric Jenkins returned an interception 52 yards for a score.
The last time these teams played was in 2010, when Army pitched its first shutout since 2005 in a 24-0 home win. North Texas came into that game with the No. 23 passing offense in the country at 282.5 yards per game but was held to just 106 yards. Meanwhile, seven Army players combined to run for 292 yards.
What To Know About Army
After back-to-back close losses, the Black Knights returned to form against the Leopards and hope to move closer to a bowl bid this week against the Mean Green. Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 109 yards and a touchdown, while fellow signal-caller Chris Carter threw for two scores against the Leopards. The Black Knights’ rushing attack churned out 537 yards (!!!) and racked up 31 first downs, while the defense held the Leopards to just 10 rushing yards on 17 carries. Of course, Army should have won this game because it was against an FCS opponent. But Jeff Monken can at least feel good that his team did not play down to its competition. He should also feel good about a defense that can keep the team in games even when the offense is not clicking.
What to Know About North Texas
The Mean Green have surpassed their win total from last year, so things are already better under Seth Littrell in his first season. Littrell took over the program after it experienced only its second season with double-digit losses in the program’s 91-year history. Freshman quarterback Mason Fine is having success as the starter, but his play has been inconsistent. Littrell wants to see Fine and this offense make progress each week, and it certainly has since a rough outing against Florida and its tough defense.
Offense: Army. The Black Knights are averaging 35.5 points per game, which is almost 10 points more per contest than the Mean Green.
Defense: Army. Monken’s squad is allowing a mere 245.2 yards per game.
Special Teams: North Texas. Army kickers Mitchell Howard and Blake Wilson have combined to miss four field goals on the season.
Coaching: Army. After a great run at Georgia Southern, Monken could be primed to get the Black Knights back into the postseason.
Intangibles: Army. The Black Knights have the utmost confidence in their rushing attack following last week’s performance.
Matchup To Watch
Army ground game vs. North Texas defensive front
The Black Knights’ machine-like ground game is churning out an average of 366.8 yards per game, while the Mean Green are allowing opponents to rush for 189.0 yards per contest. The bottom line: if you want to beat Army, you have to limit the effectiveness of the triple-option attack. Army quarterbacks have only attempted 53 passes on the season, only completing 50.9 percent of the throws. The run is this team’s bread and butter.
Spread: Army -17.5
Army vs. North Texas Prediction
The Black Knights’ rushing attack will be too much for the Mean Green defense to absorb over a full game. Fine will be able to make a few plays with his arm and feet, but the Army defense will buckle down in the second half and make a couple of critical third-down stops for a Black Knights winner.
Army vs. North Texas Score Prediction: Army 34, North Texas 20