Stopping the run is key for each of these teams but will the Eagles’ close losses to nationally-ranked teams be enough experience to hold up against the Black Knights?
With a schedule that has gone through multiple changes, Army is settling into its final games of the season. This week, the Black Knights take on Georgia Southern — a team that, like Army, is 6-2 overall.
And while it’s the first-ever meeting between the teams, the opponent isn’t unfamiliar to Army head coach Jeff Monken and others on the Black Knights’ staff.
Prior to arriving at West Point, Monken was the head coach for the Eagles from 2010-2013, where he led the team to two Southern Conference titles. Offensive coordinator Brent Davis and special teams coordinator Sean Saturnio also spent two seasons in Statesboro, Georgia.
But even with the familiarity, this meeting will be a “real test,” Monken said.
Arguably, one of the Eagles most notable weapons is quarterback Shai Werts. The senior is averaging 173 yards of total offense per-game and has tallied 11 touchdowns on the year; five passing and six rushing.
Monken called Werts the “key” to the Eagles’ offense.
“He’s a great runner and is really good in the open field,” Monken said. “He’s a physical runner, he isn’t one of those guys who does a hook slide every time someone gets close – he squares his shoulders and runs down the field.”
Werts has also thrown six interceptions this season though. He is by no means a mistake-free quarterback.
Army quarterback Christian Anderson made his first appearance in several games last weekend against Tulane and had a rough introduction back on the field, averaging just 4.5 yards and throwing two interceptions. He’s missed three games alone due to injury and Monken has worked in three other quarterbacks into the rotation in his absence: Jemel Jones, Tyhier Tyler and Cade Ballard, with the trio totaling four touchdowns.
Army’s defense has been one of few consistencies for them this season. And while they’re only allowing 286.6 yards per game, the Black Knights are going to give their opponents a real challenge in stopping the run.
With both teams having the same record and boasting a strong option-based rushing attack — Army is ranked second in the country and Georgia Southern ranked fifth — both teams could feel like they’re looking in the mirror a bit.
How to watch
Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 21 at noon EST
Where: Michie Stadium — West Point, N.Y.
Watch: CBS Sports Network | Ben Holden, Ross Tucker and Tina Cervasio will have the call.
Spread: Most books have Army favored by four points. The over/under is 41.