Army Black Knights
(6-4, 5-5 ATS)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(5-5, 3-5-2 ATS)
New Yankee Stadium will host an NCAA football betting affair for the first time in its brief history, and what a clash it has on Saturday! The Army Black Knights and Notre Dame Fighting Irish will duke it out in a battle that will have old school college football fans reminiscing over the glory days of the sport.
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Army has to already be as thrilled as could be that it has wrapped up a bowl game this year, and it knows that this, like a victory in the regular season finale over the Navy Midshipmen, would be nothing more than icing on an already very, very sweet cake. You don’t think of the Black Knights as a bunch that can rank No. 41 in the land in scoring, but the argument could be made that their offense is better than that of the Middies, something that you haven’t been able to say for years. RB Malcolm Brown has rushed for 308 yards this year, and he is most likely out of the lineup on Saturday. However, RB Jared Hassin, QB Trent Steelman, RB Patrick Mealy, RB Brian Cobbs, and RB Raymond Maples, all of which have at least 27 carries for at least 134 yards, are all going to be active and could all be dangerous. Steelman and Hassin have been bulls this year. The two have combined for 20 TDs. Hassin needs 142 yards to make it to the 1,000 yard mark for the campaign. Defensively, Army does get a bit of a pass due to the fact that the triple option does take so much time off of the clock, but it takes some real talent to hold teams to just 329.0 yards and 24.4 points per game, especially when you’ve had some terrible games against the Hawaii Warriors, Temple Owls, and Air Force Falcons.
It’s hard to say that this is the biggest game for HC Brian Kelly of the season, but if he wins, his Irish have earned the right to go to a bowl game with six wins. A loss puts all of the marbles on the line against the USC Trojans in Pasadena next weekend. Many think that it is just a blessing to be at this point after blowing out the Utah Utes last weekend in the home finale. It was a new beginning for the Golden Domers as well, as they debuted QB Tommy Rees as a starter. He wasn’t asked to do much, as he only threw the ball 20 times on the day. However, he made the most of those 20 balls, as he completed 13 of them for 129 yards and three TDs without tossing an INT. The defense held the Utes, one of the best offenses for a mid major team in the country, to just 265 total yards. A defensive effort similar to this might be a necessity to get to that coveted sixth win. We still aren’t so sure whether WR Theo Riddick, who has been nursing an ankle injury for several weeks, will be able to give it a go against the Black Knights or not.
The overreaction here to Notre Dame is a bit absurd. It was one great game for the Irish, and it doesn’t make up for an entire season’s worth of woe. Army just has all of the mojo on its side in this one, and it has to be considered fortunate to playing this game on a legitimate neutral field instead of in South Bend. This will be a very close game, and we want all of the points we can get.
College Football Free Pick: Army Black Knights +8