Tomorrow is Saturday and that means it’s once again football time in Norman. This week, the Sooners take on the Black Knights and their speedy offense.
Army heads into Norman with a 2-1 record following a big win over Hawaii last week. The Black Knights focus a lot on running the ball, this could definitely be a problem for Oklahoma if they tackle as poorly as they did last week.
In this preview, I will break down Army’s offense and defense, as well as some key players to watch out for on both sides of the ball.
Army’s offense begins and ends with the play of their talented QB Kelvin Hopkins. He is a very gifted runner, but can also hurt you with his arm as well. He has 420 passing yards, as well as 205 yards on the ground this season.
He’s not the only player running the ball for the Knights either. In fact, through three games they already have four other players who have broken 100 yards. Sooner fans will take notice of players like Walter Camp candidate Darnell Woolfolk, Connor Slomka and Fred Cooper. All have the ability to break tackles, and keep the chains moving. Army has averaged almost 40 minutes of possession in all of their games.
One big issue for Army is their lack of size at the line of scrimmage. They only have a few players who tip the scales at over 300 pounds, which should give Oklahoma ample opportunities to break down the line and stop the triple option in its tracks.
It’s really all about how the Sooners tackle this week, because Army is incredibly disciplined, and will try to break down this defense by keeping them on the field for a huge chunk of time.
As worried as I am about the offense, I feel the exact opposite way about the defense. All of Army’s opponents this year have been able to torch the Knights through the air, and it’s safe to say none of those QB’s have showed as much skill as Kyler Murray. Even if Army is able to slow the Sooners offense down by keeping their defense on the field, it shouldn’t take long for Lincoln Riley to call the right deep play, and get Oklahoma in the end zone quickly.
A key player to watch on Army’s defense is LB James Nachtigal. He is the Knights leading tackler and had a sack last week against Hawaii. The Sooners will have to keep a blocker on Nachtigal at all times.
While Army’s offense is a bit of a concern, Oklahoma still has superior athletes on both sides of the ball. Army will likely come out hot like Tulane last season, but once the Sooner defense figures out the triple option first hand, it should be smooth sailing for the Sooners.
Final Prediction – Oklahoma 48 Army 21
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