The Black Knights face head coach Jeff Monken's old school adding a little extra motivation to getting a win this weekend.
“You want to represent them the right way. It’s always more fun to beat someone you know. I know that his players will definitely be motivated just to reinforce his coaching ability and his presence there,” said CBS Sports Network analyst Kevin Carter. “I know his players have a little bit extra motivation because they probably feel it from him.”
The teams are familiar in more than just the head coach department. Both run the triple option offense and like to grind opponents down over the course of a game, winning the time of possession battle and playing sound defense. Illustrative of that point, Army ranks 2nd in rushing offense (303.4 YPG), Georgia Southern is 5th (275.8). Southern averages 35 minutes time of possession per game while Army averages 33.
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With the similarities between the two teams, Carter is focused in on the line of scrimmage and who executes better in the small details of the game.
“I’m looking up front along the line of scrimmage. Both of these teams thrive in the same way,” said Carter. “It’s going to come down I think to not only controlling the line of scrimmage, but all of the things in between all of the connective tissue I like to say. It’s all the special teams, all the exchanges. I think it’s going to come down to turnover margin and who makes the fewest mistakes on routine things.”
That said, Carter gives the edge to Army saying that he has been impressed by the true variety of players who have stepped up for Monken’s team this season. 11 ball carriers have had 12 rush attempts or more and seven of those have carried the ball 30 times or more. In a season of uncertainty, that kind of depth in invaluable.
“I like how there have been different people that have stepped up for this Army team over the year. The cast of characters, the leading rushers, receivers there’s like 15-20 guys,” said Carter. “It’s hard to point out which guy is going to make an impact because they have so many that contribute to their success. I think that’s actually going to help them this time of year also.”
Another point in the Cadets favor? They have yet to lose a game at Michie this season going 5-0. Oddsmakers have them listed as the favorite at -4 heading into Saturday. For fans, it’s one of just two regular season games left to get the chance to check out Army in action.
Kickoff between Army and Georgia Southern is set for 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time on CBS Sports Network.