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Opponent Preview: Army

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Cincinnati May Be All That Stands Between Army and an Undefeated Season

Louisiana Monroe v Army Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bearcats face one of their toughest tests of the 2020 football season on Saturday afternoon.

The Bearcats will be playing host to the #22 Army Black Knights, one of the country’s most dynamic offenses. The Cadets from West Point head to Nippert Stadium with a 2-0 record, having laid the smackdown against Middle Tennessee State 42-0 on September 5th and Louisiana-Monroe 37-7 on September 12th.

West Point’s September 19th contest against Brigham Young was postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak on the Cougars’ team.

When one looks ahead at Army’s schedule, this matchup against Cincinnati may well be the only time this season when the Black Knights are not favored. The Bearcats may be the only thing preventing Army from an undefeated season.

Like a typical Army club, this year’s edition has chewed up huge swaths of territory running the football. In 2 games, the Black Knights have thrown for less than 60 total yards while peeling off nearly 800 on the ground.

Army employs the triple-option to perfection and dominates time of possession and the pace of play. Junior quarterback Christian Anderson has attempted just 7 passes in 2 games but has guided the option offense to perfection. He is averaging 75 yards rushing per game and has scored 3 rushing touchdowns.

A coterie of speedy and sturdy backs have piled up significant yardage for the Black Knights, including Jakobi Buchanan, Tyrell Robinson, and Sandon McCoy.

West Point’s offensive line is not going to blow anybody off the ball, but, as usual, they know all the angles to help their backs find daylight.

In their first two contests, Army’s defense has displayed unusual speed and cunning. The Black Knights swarm to the ball like nobody’s business and seem decidedly adept at preventing the big play.

Defensive back Cedric Cunningham Jr. is both a bully in the running game and a pest to pass receivers.

Senior inside linebacker Jon Rhattigan has proven to be disruptive force as both a run stopper and a pass rusher in Army’s early contests.

Expect Saturday’s contest to be fiercely contested and one of Cincinnati’s stiffest challenges of the 2020 season.