Editor’s Note: It was reported Saturday morning that Army Senior Quarterback Christian Anderson will start in place of last week’s incumbent Tyhier Tyler.
Western Kentucky Odds Against Army
western kentucky heads to west point to take on the army, against whom they are 3-0 all time. Both teams are coming off dominating Week 1 wins, and it can’t be overlooked that Saturday’s game will be on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
wku head coach tyson helton said: “it’s such an honor to play in that game, i can’t think of a better environment.” but will wku be able to keep the game closed in that environment?
After a 59-21 win over ut-martin, western kentucky looks to keep the momentum going on the road. this will largely depend on the staff they have in the field.
Tight end Joshua Simon suffered a knee injury during Thursday’s game, and his status for Saturday has yet to be determined. Simon caught three passes, including two touchdowns, for 73 yards in the season-opening win.
wku also hopes to get receiver dalvin smith and running back noah whittington, who missed the first game. Linebacker Nick Days, who missed Thursday’s game with an ankle injury, is also questionable this week.
the hilltoppers offense on Thursday could have been as good as it could be. they averaged 9.62 yards per play with a 62.3% hit rate.
most people knew bailey zappe would be good but he really exceeded expectations as he completed 80% of his passes averaging 13.2 yards per pass play with a success rate of 66, 7%.
Heading into the Army this week, those numbers couldn’t be more important because to get ahead of the Army’s slow, methodical offense and time of possession, they’ll need to score points at a steady pace.
Regardless of who you are, it’s hard to prepare for the army’s unusual offensive in a week. This army running game is going to be light years ahead of what you saw last week, and I think it’s going to be a big deal for hilltoppers.
ut-martin’s running game was blocked on only 5 of 33 attempts by wku’s defense.
he gave up 6.3 yards per rush on a 63.6% success rate, and if he does that this week, the army’s slow-running game will move a lot faster than we’re used to seeing.
west point is on fire after last week’s 43-10 win over georgia state, and punters are very excited about the black knights as they are coming off a performance as dominant as a two-point deficit .
currently the action network app makes the black knights get 91% of the bets and 99% of the money.
Can the Army perform well as a favorite with so much public support on a day with more meaning than just football for this team and everyone involved?
black knights offensive
yes, they played georgia state last week, but like western kentucky, this team’s offensive performance cannot be discounted regardless of the opponent.
The Black Knights had an average hit rate of 53.5% and had 43 points on 356 total yards. They didn’t miss a beat when starting quarterback Tyhier Tyler left the game with a leg injury when Christian Anderson was able to come in and play well.
One of the biggest positives from last week was his ability to make plays when it mattered.
With a 62.5% third-down success rate, they only failed to convert six third-down chances. and of those six that failed, three converted on fourth down, when they posted a 100% success rate.
defense of the black knights
This defense allowed just 10 points on 177 total yards against Georgia State while generating two turnovers, six tackles for loss and three sacks. the army’s defensive line dominated the trenches.
linebacker arik smith finished with five total tackles, and cornerback jabari moore had an interception.
army high school looked good last week, but wku’s passing game will be a much bigger threat than georgia state’s.
analysis of clashes between western kentucky and the army
toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how western kentucky and the military match up statistically:
data via college football data (cfbd) and footballoutsiders; sp+ spn projection.
While everything we analyzed for these two teams comes from a small sample, it’s important to look at their special teams’ performance and starting field positions last week.
The Army’s six touchdown drives were for an average of just 44 yards. when units started at the Army 35-yard line or further back, he punted twice and kicked a field goal.
Western Kentucky is unlikely to give you the same generous starting position. tennessee-martin had average field position at his own 22-yard line last week. the army also gave up a locked extra point and had a failed conversion of two points.
western kentucky vs. betting choice army
I’m hesitant to take sides in this game as I’m really excited about wku for this year in general but it’s going to take a lot to get to west point on saturday with the atmosphere energized. and come out with a victory.
Defensively though, both teams are going to struggle. Last week, Georgia State had zero passes of more than 20 yards and no explosive drives. while the army high school looked good, it will be a different story against this western kentucky offense.
The Army is historically known for their time of possession and slow drives that rely heavily on the running game, and I don’t think this West Kentucky defense can stop them at all.
ut martin had a better hit rate and more yards per game against wku than army did against georgia state.
I’ll bet at the end at 52.5 (-110) and I’ll bet it up to 54.5 (-110)
choose: over 52.5 (play up to 54.5)