1. Army’s opponents have a combined record of 1-8 (Duke’s only win came against Army).
2. The Black Knights have done a good job of controlling the clock this year, holding the ball for almost 34 minutes each game.
3. The starting kicker (Matthew Campbell) was replaced after missing 2 extra points in the opening game. New starter Alex Carlton is 2-2 on XP and 3-4 on FG since taking over, but this will be his first game on the road.
4. Ali Villanueva is the leading receiver with 6 catches for 114 yards and 2 touchdowns. Villanueva is 6 ft 10 inches tall and weighs 283 pounds.
5. Army fumbled six times last week, but only lost one in the win over Ball State last week.
6. Expect 4-5 guys to get significant carries against Iowa State. The runners include RB’s Patrick Mealy and Jameson Carter, fullbacks Kingsley Ehie and CeDarius Williams and QB Trent Steelman.
7. Donovan Travis is the playmaker on defense. Travis has intercepted three passes this year, 2 came last week including a pick six that won the game for Army.
Iowa State Notes
1. If Kennard Banks doesn’t play Saturday expect Ter’ran Benton to get most of the snaps. With the flexbone offense coming to town, Iowa State will needs the best tackling cornerbacks on the field.
2. Marquis Hamilton and Jake Williams have emerged as favorite targets for QB Austen Arnaud. I think a healthy Darius Darks will burst back on to the scene this Saturday.
3. Stephen Reumpolhamer has unseated Austin Alburtis as the starter at defensive tackle.
4. Coaches seem to be gaining confidence in redshirt freshman OT Brayden Burris
Keys to Victory
1. Slow down the option – Army is as one dimensional as a team can be averaging 258 yards on the ground and 62 in the air. Starting QB Trent Steelman has completed just 7 passes in three games. If Army gets behind and needs to throw Carson Williams will most likely enter the ball game. The assignment on defense is pretty straight forward, the Cyclones just need to execute.
2. Convert Fumbles into Turnovers – The Black Knights are going to put the ball on the turf, Cyclone defenders need to get on the loose footballs.
3. Develop a Rhythm on Offense – The Cyclone offense started to click in the second quarter last week and it carried into the first possession of the third quarter. After that, the offense failed to move the ball the remainder of the game. I am going to chalk it up to playing inexperienced players. I would love to see the Cyclones play the up tempo, quick snap style they played at certain times last week.
Players to Watch
1. Alexander Robinson – Alot of people are predicting a big game for Arnaud this week and that very well could happen. Army defends the run well and is susceptible to the pass. However, I think we will stick with what we are doing best, which is running the ball. Robinson has back-to-back 100 yards games and that streak will continue.
2. Kennard Banks/Ter’ran Benton – I really don’t think we will see Banks in this game, but if we do I think he will have a nice game. If Benton gets the nod watch for him to try to stake claim to the spot.
3. Darius Darks – One of these weeks Darks, Johnson, Franklin or Reynolds is going to break out. I am betting it’s this week and it’s Darks.
I can’t wait for Saturday. The suspension/reinstatement of the three players has dominated the talk all week and it will be good to get the discussion back to the play on the field. I really expect the Cyclones to come ready to play. Rich Ellerson, has done a nice job in his first year at Army, but transitioning a team to a flexbone option offense doesn’t happen in four games. The Black Knights have victories over two bad teams and this will be their first tough test on the road. Wally Burnham will have a good game plan drawn up and I expect the Cyclones to create a few turnovers. If the ISU offense is on their game, which I think they will be, they should have their way with the Black Knight defense. I like Iowa State big in this game.
Iowa State 41 Army 10
Iowa State – Army Game Links
Video: Iowa State Defensive Coordinator Wally Burnham breaks down Army
Video courtesy of Cyclones.com
Video: Iowa State Offensive Coordinator Tom Herman breaks down Army
Video courtesy of Cyclones.com