The Stanford Cardinal are coming off of a big 34-13 win over an underrated San Jose State team last Saturday, and will look to continue that success when they travel across the country to take on Army.
Playing the first road game of the season is never easy. While Army may not exactly be a powerhouse, they will doubtless be excited to take on a team ranked as high as the Cardinal.
The Black Knights had the country’s top running game in 2012, averaging 369 yards per game. However, they did run the ball 806 times throughout the season, giving them an average of 5.5 yards per carry (while other strong rushing teams such as Oregon averaged nearly 6 yards per carry).
Army averaged a whopping 67 rushing attempts per game last season, but Stanford should be up to the test. The Cardinal have an elite front seven, and allowed less than 100 rushing yards to their opponents last season.
Army’s offense is rather one-dimensional, as they finished near the bottoms of the stat sheets in passing last year. While this is largely due to their offensive system rather than a lack of talent, Stanford will still be able to stack the box against the run without the threat of an aerial attack.
Kevin Hogan had a strong showing last week against San Jose State last week, and he’ll need to keep that momentum and confidence during his first road matchup. However, he should be able to lean on his solid rushing attack if he needs to.
Only two FBS teams were worse than Army against the run in 2012, and David Shaw needs to take advantage of
this matchup. With an exceptional front wall capable of paving the way against any defense, running backs Tyler Gaffney and Anthony Wilkerson will likely have an easy time out of the backfield.
Based on the way the Cardinal looked last Saturday against San Jose State, it seems they should have no problem taking down Army, even in their first road game of the season.
The game kicks off at 9:00 a.m. PT, so be sure to get an early start on Saturday to catch this matchup.