Game Preview and Prediction of Duke vs. Army


Duke heads to Michie Stadium to face the 1-4 Army Black Knights at 12 ET. Duke is coming off a close fought victory over Boston College last week which improved their record in the ACC to 2-0. Army last week was downed by Penn State, 20-14, where the Black Knights fumbled the ball an astounding seven times. They lost three of those fumbles. Army runs the triple option and this is not the first time Duke has faced an offense similar this season as Georgia Tech runs the most potent triple option attack in the country. So Duke is prepared but do not let that 1-4 record of Army fool you. In their 4 losses, the margin for defeat is a combined 16 points. A few bounces of the ball and Army could be 4-1 even 5-0. With that being said here are some keys to the game. 

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1. Army continuing to turn the ball over

The main reason for Army’s record is their propensity to turn the football over. This was their downfall against Penn State. They scored 14 points last week and the two drives they scored on were the only ones were they did not record a negative-yardage play or a fumble.

Army is running into one of the most stout defenses in the country as Duke is top 10 nationally in total defense, giving up only 270 yards per game. Duke held Georgia Tech’s running attack to 173 yards, almost 200 yards less than their average. Expect a similar showing today and for Army to be kept relatively in check.

2. Duke’s offense opening things up

In a post earlier this week, we highlighted some steps the Duke offense could take in becoming more consistent and explosive. It all starts at quarterback where Thomas Sirk has to find a way to push the ball downfield to wide receivers T.J. Rahming and Johnell Barnes. Rahming had an excellent first half last week against Boston College before disappearing in the second. This team has playmakers and it is time to start showcasing them.

Look for the tight ends, Braxton Deaver, David Reeves and Erich Schneider, to become over involved in the passing game. They will give Sirk reliable weapons underneath while still having options over the top with Rahming and Barnes. The defense has carried this team the entire year. The offense needs to start picking up the slack against an Army defense that ranks 85th in total defense.

Army players to watch

QB Ahmad Bradshaw who has run for 341 yards and 4 TDs while also throwing for 3 more.

RB A.J. Schurr who is Army’s punisher and goal line back where he himself has 4 TDs.

Prediction – Duke 27 – Army 10

Duke’s defense has been on too much of a roll the entire year to see them being flustered by this triple option attack. Look for Army’s turnover woes to continue and for Thomas Sirk to finally find a rhythm for an entire game.

UPDATE: WR T.J. Rahming WILL NOT play today because of a leg injury sustained in practice this week.