Army vs. Louisiana-Monroe - 9/12/20 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Photo by Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (0-0) at Army Black Knights (1-0)
College Football: Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 1:30 pm (Blaik Field at Michie Stadium)
The Line: Army Black Knights -21 -- Over/Under: 53.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
The Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks and the Army Black Knights meet in college football action from Blaik Field at Michie Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks make their season debut here after their initial season opener against Troy was postponed due to a COVID outbreak. The first task at hand for the Warhawks will be replacing Caleb Evans who was the face of ULM football at QB over the last few years, but he’s now finished with the program. Evans is a huge loss considering the Warhawks averaged 461 yards and 32 points per game last season. Colby Suits was Evans’ backup last year so he’ll most likely get the first shot at the starting job, but Jeremy Hunt is another option who can use his arm and his feet to move the ball up and down the field and may end up being a better fit for the offense than Suits. Perry Carter and tight end Josh Pederson are expected to lead a ULM receiving group that features multiple deep threats within the lineup while Josh Johnson will be tasked with leading the Warhawk backfield after averaging over six yards per carry with just under 1,300 rushing yards and 11 scores as a junior last season. The defensive end is where the Warhawks need to tighten things up, as ULM allowed 38.7 points per game, the 3rd-highest average in FBS last season. I mean it’s not often where you’ll find a team that scores 29, 37 and 50 points on three separate occasions in a season and still manages to go 0-3 in those games. ULM loses leading tackler Cortez Sisco, but KeyShawn Johnson is back to anchor ULM’s linebackers behind Kerry Starks and the Warhawk pass rush with Starks logging 5 sacks and 10 tackles for a loss last season. Corey Straughter will look to seal things in the secondary with 5 interceptions last season, but adding Logan Wilson as a transfer from Kansas State to the secondary is a huge plus for a Warhawks’ secondary that’s already returning five guys from last year’s unit.
The Army Black Knights come into this game looking to build on their season-opening 42-0 win over Middle Tennessee last time out. The option offense dominated the line of scrimmage and time of possession battles for the Black Knights, as Tyrell Robinson led Army in rushing with 94 rushing yards coming on 9 carries while Christian Anderson had 10 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown. Sandon McCoy had 50 rushing yards and 3 rushing scores while Anthony Adkins added a rushing TD as well. Defensively, Cedrick Cunningham had 7 total tackles, including 5 solo tackles as well as Army’s lone sack as well as two tackles for a loss.
Louisiana-Monroe is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games and 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games overall while the under is 12-4 in their last 16 road games. Army is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games and 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 games in September while the under is 5-0 in their last 5 games against the Sun Belt conference.
Louisiana-Monroe’s air it out style of play has resulted in a lot of track meets, especially last year where they gave up almost 40 points a game while scoring 30 themselves. However, none of those teams ran an option offense that controls the clock the way that Army’s offense does, and we saw it against Middle Tennessee where the Blue Raiders just couldn’t get anything going. I think Army chews up a ton of clock here, and with so many new faces in the ULM offense, I can’t solidly say that points should be expected here. I’ll lean towards the under as my free pick for this game.