Army brings triple-option to face Buckeyes
Published 12:33 am Friday, September 15, 2017
Army (2-0) at No. 8 Ohio State (1-1) Saturday 4:30 p.m. (Fox)
Line: Ohio State by 30.
Series record: First meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Ohio State is still stinging from the thumping by Oklahoma at home last week and trying to solve some problems with its passing game and defense. Army is much improved under coach Jeff Monken and even came from behind to beat Buffalo last week, but the Black Knights will have trouble being competitive with the Buckeyes. Keeping the score close would be a moral victory. After the humiliation of last week, Ohio State can use a solid, feel-good home win.
Army’s triple-option against the Ohio State defense. The Black Knights are the worst passing team in the nation but rank second nationally in rushing with an average of 417.5 yards per game after home victories over Fordham and Buffalo. Senior QB Ahmad Bradshaw and fullback Darnell Woolfolk are a tough 1-2 punch and difficult to contain. With one of the best defensive lines in the nation, the Buckeyes specialize in stuffing the run.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Army: Bradshaw is operating at a high level, averaging 162 yards per game to rank sixth nationally, and 9.5 per carry with three TDs. He has seven 100-yard games in his career.
Ohio State: RB J.K. Dobbins ran for 181 yards in week one and another 72 yards last week splitting time with Mike Weber. The true freshman is special, possessing slick moves and breakaway speed. Weber’s hamstring continued to bother him last week and he’s still not 100 percent.
FACTS & FIGURES
Army has not defeated a ranked team since a 17-14 win over No. 15 Air Force on Nov. 4, 1972. … The Black Knights have attempted just 10 passes in the first two games and completed two. … The Ohio State defense is allowing just 60.5 rushing yards per game and has allowed just one touchdown on the ground. … Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett needs 670 passing yards to become the school’s all-time leader. … Ohio State WR Austin Mack is probable after suffering an apparent concussion last week against Oklahoma. His head banged off the turf when he came down with a sideline catch.