Weekly Predictions: ACU vs. Army
T-1. Owen 1-0
T-1. Carrie 1-0
T-1. Madi 1-0
T-4. Tavian 0-1
T-4. Jalen 0-1
Owen: The Wildcats will be forced to contain the nation’s top rushing team in the country Saturday on national television. To accomplish such a task will likely prove difficult as Army is averaging 320 rushing yards per game. Dorrel has emphasized to his players the importance of containing West Point’s triple-option backfield which has torched defenses early in the season. Before falling to No. 14 Cincinnati 24-10 Saturday, Army was also nationally ranked. It’s well within reason to suggest this matchup will be the ACU’s most talented opponent to date. If the Wildcats hope to stay competitive with America watching, turnovers will need to be of the utmost concern. ACU lost two fumbles in its season-opener against UTEP that proved costly. Defensively, they also failed to force a turnover. Senior quarterback Peyton Mansell will also need to throw the deep ball more often if he hopes to solidify himself at the helm of the offense. Army is caught off guard by the Wildcats tempo, but ultimately takes advantage in the second half.
ACU: 17 Army: 31
Carrie: ACU enters into their second game this season with one of their toughest challenges this season, playing the Black Knights of Army in West Point, New York. The previously ranked Black Knights were knocked out of the Top 25 by No. 14 Cincinnati Bearkats last week, so there is no doubt that Army will be fighting to reclaim their spot. With Army ranking as one of the top teams in the nation in rushing yards and defense, the Wildcats will have to figure out how to get past its defense and stop its running game. Leading the way on offense is senior quarterback Peyton Mansell, who finished 13/20 passing in the loss to UTEP. Alongside Mansell will be junior quarterback Sema’J Davis, who will have to fill many roles due to the growing list of injuries on ACU’s roster. This game on national television is one of the biggest opportunities to play on a national stage that ACU has ever had, but in the end Army should prevail.
ACU: 10 Army: 38
Tavian: Two weeks ago, ACU opened up its season on the road against UTEP and ultimately couldn’t seal the victory and lost 17-13. Now having a bye last Saturday and two weeks to prepare for Army, the Wildcats are looking to avenge their season-opener loss. Now the Wildcats looked good right out of the gate against UTEP, but a couple of turnovers slowed down the offense. In order for the Wildcats to win this matchup Peyton Mansell is going to need to take some shots downfield and play a little bit risky. The defense gave up a few plays here and there, but overall I was impressed with how they performed. I think this week will be a tough task as Army likes to run the ball a lot and our front seven might get tired. The Wildcats need to control the game and leave Army’s offense off the field as long as possible. Overall Army will win this one with ease.
ACU: 9 Army: 38
Jalen: After losing their season opener, the Wildcats will face one of their biggest opponents in school history in the Army Black Nights this weekend. This by far will be the Wildcats toughest matchup on the schedule. Nationally, Army ranks first in rushing yards per game, fourth in total defense and fifth in rushing defense. Army recently took their first loss against No. 14 Cincinnati, eventually falling out of the Top 25 rankings. As for the Wildcats, they will have to figure out to best run the ball. Junior running back Tyrese White rushed for only 41 yards. However, senior quarterback Peyton Mansell displayed efficiency, completing 14 of his 21 pass attempts. I believe he will be doing a lot of passing this game. Although this will be a great experience for ACU, this is a no brainer. The Wildcats lose by a large margin.
ACU: 7 Army: 42
Madi: The ACU Wildcats are playing essentially the best team on their schedule. They lost the first game of the season against UTEP. Although they had some struggles towards the end offensively, they did come out strong in the beginning. They have had two weeks to prepare for Army so they have had the opportunity to rest and watch tons of film to get ready for their big challenge. Even with all the preparation, Army is still ranked as one of the top teams in the nation. I think the Wildcats’ best shot is to be aggressive on offense and come with a sense of confidence that they belong there. I want to give the Wildcats the benefit of the doubt, but this opponent might be too big of a challenge to handle.
ACU: 10 Army: 31