December 6, 2019

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Matchup Preview: Tulane vs. Army West Point

The Tulane Green Wave (3-1, 1-0) travel to West Point, NY following last week’s bye to face the Army Black Knights (3-1), which kicks off at 11am CT on CBS Sports Network. Tulane and Army have faced off 22 times over their series history, with the Green Wave leading the all-time series 11-9-1. Last week, Army defeated Morgan St. 52-21. Tulane currently enters the matchup as a 2.5 point favorite, with ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) giving the Wave a 56.3% chance of beating the Black Nights in West Point.

Tulane has yet to face an offensive squad like Jeff Monken’s triple option threat. Preparing for the option is never an easy feat, but Tulane has been excellent on defense all year, especially in defense against the run. The Green Wave give up, on average, 147 yards per game, while Army’s offense is currently averaging nearly 300 yards a game on the ground. It will be interesting to see how the Wave front 7 handle the fierce ground and pound led by Army RB Connor Slomka. Expect Tulane’s defense to sell out on the run, with leading tackler LB Marvin Moody and NT De’Andre Williams plugging up the interior gaps. Wave DE Cameron Sample will have to be a threat on the edge for when Army decides to test the perimeter of Tulane’s defense. Fortunately for the Green Wave secondary, Black Knight QB Kevin Hopkins Jr. rarely airs it out, with a season statline of 5-12 on passing attempts for 96 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. 

Offensively, Tulane will have their hands full with an Army defense that ranks 20th nationally in total defense. Look for the Green Wave to get multiple backs involved in the run game, including Darius Bradwell, Amare Jones, Corey Dauphine, and of course Justin McMillan, who has been fantastic as a dual-threat quarterback. 

Keys to the Game

For Tulane, their stout defense must neutralize the Army run game. The Black Knights excell in controlling time of possession and could cause problems for the Wave if their offense is sidelined for a majority of the game. 

Offensively, Tulane needs to continue rushing the ball with proficiency, but that task is easier said than done against arguably one of the better defensive units in the country.

Prediction:

Expect a low scoring game as both squads field excellent defenses who thrive on takeaways. Final Score: Tulane 24, Army 20