Week 6 football preview: Boston College at Army

Rich Ellerson

Army head coach Rich Ellerson watches from the sideline as his Black Knights struggle against Stony Brook on Saturday at West Point (US Presswire photo by Danny Wild)

The basics for Black Knights fans as Army attempts to crack into the win column.

Who, where, when: Boston College (1-3, 0-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) at Army (0-4), Saturday, noon Eastern.

TV: CBS Sports Network (Ben Holden and Randy Cross have the call).

Gambling is illegal in most states: Boston college is a 9.5-point favorite.

We interrupt this preview …: News for Army fans already looking forward to next year after an 0-4 start — the Black Knights will face Louisiana Tech in Cotton Bowl Stadium on Sept. 28, headlining a brand-new event called the Heart of Dallas Kickoff Classic. The game had been scheduled for Louisiana Tech’s home field, according to this Army release. Conference USA, where the Bulldogs play, is shopping the game to national television providers. It will be the first time Army’s ever played in the Cotton Bowl, which was built in 1921 and seats more than 92,000 fans.

Scouting the Eagles: Boston College’s offensive attack is a mirror image of Army’s — 116th in rushing out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools (84.5 yards per game), but 13th in passing (330 ypg). Junior quarterback Chase Rettig has thrown for nearly 1,300 yards already this season, along with nine touchdowns. Possible bright spot for Army: The Eagles are 94th in run defense, allowing 192.25 yards a game.

Dreaded ‘vote of confidence’: Army head coach Rich Ellerson still has the support of the school’s athletic director, according to an early-week report. The kind words from Boo Corrigan came after Saturday’s 23-3 loss to Stony Brook, Army’s eighth-straight defeat stretching over two seasons. Instead of kicking off a three-game homestand with a win over a Football Championship Subdivision opponent, Army’s now winless, a home underdog against the 1-3 Eagles and staring at a possible 0-6 start (Kent State is 3-1 and faces Army at West Point on Oct. 13) before hitting the road again. Ellerson’s 15-26 in four seasons at Army.

Shaping up: Some of Army’s wounds in the Stony Brook game were self-inflicted — a season-high six penalties for 50 yards and four fumbles. Army’s fumbled 13 times already this season, losing six. Quarterback Trent Steelman has a team-worst seven fumbles, losing three.

Powis still out: Both tackles on Boston College’s defensive line weigh more than 290 pounds and could clog up the option attack. It’s a bad week to be without starting sophomore center Ryan Powis; he’s still listed as sharing the starting job with senior Will Wilson on Army’s official depth chart, but a report from Army football guru Sal Interdonato says he’s likely out with a groin injury for the second game in a row.

Secondary in spotlight: Speaking of injury reports, Interdonato also says senior cornerback Josh Jackson and freshman free safety Brandon Fusilier-Jeffires could miss Saturday’s game, weakening the Army defensive backfield in the face of a pass-happy opponent. One player to watch could be sophomore cornerback Marques Avery, who has two career games and five career tackles (four against Stony Brook) under his belt. By contrast, Boston College junior wideout Alex Amidon is fourth in the nation with almost 140 receiving yards per game.


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