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Friday Night Lights
by ASA - 10/22/2009
Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Army Black Knights - (Rutgers: -10, 39.5)
Friday, October 23 – 7:00 PM CST
Friday Knight(s) Match-up
The Scarlet Knights have recently dominated the series between these two teams as Rutgers has won 9 of the last 11 dating back to 1991 and, more recently, is 4-0 SU having outscored Army 151-30 in their last 4 meetings dating back to 2002. In the last two years, Rutgers has defeated Army by a combined score of 71-9 while winning the yardage battle 967-371.
Despite the Black Knights struggles against Rutgers, they aren’t a team to be overlooked this year. They’ve already won three games this season and one more would put them at a total they’ve only reached one time since 1997 (2005).
They’ll need an upset on Friday night to get it.
Army has quietly posted great defensive statistics as we approach November in this College Football season. They are allowing 285 YPG – 171 pass YPG, 114 rush YPG. Last week, Army allowed just 195 yards to Temple. Temple ran the ball 38 times for a meager 80 yards.
After allowing 47 points in the season opener to Cincinnati, Rutgers is allowing just 12 points per game in their last 5. However, most of that has come against below-average opponents and they did allow 24 points in a loss to Pittsburgh last week.
True Freshmen QB Tom Savage has been fairly impressive as a first-year starter for Rutgers. He is completing 57% of his passes with 5 touchdowns and just 1 interception. This will be his first night road game in what is sure to be a hostile atmosphere at Michie Stadium.
He is 4-1 as a starter after supplanting Dominic Natale in the season opener vs. Cincinnati. After facing Howard, Florida International, Maryland, and Texas Southern; he finally got a real test against Pittsburgh last week. Pittsburgh completely shutdown Rutgers running attack (20 attempts, 38 yards) and forced Savage to try and win the game. Savage had a decent game but couldn’t lead the Scarlet Knights to victory.
Black Knights Running attack
We mentioned above how they run the ball an astonishing 80% of the time and they do it quite well, averaging 223 yards per game. However, their heavy run-attack is mainly a ploy to frustrate the opposing team and it hasn’t given them much overall success on offense this season. They rank 115th in the nation in yards per game and average just 4.4 yards per play and 17 PPG.
Last year against Rutgers they were able to run the football, averaging 4.6 yards per carry and amassing 217 yards, but it didn't translate on the scoreboard as the Cadets lost 30-3.
Rutgers is allowing just 91.5 rushing yards per game, but they did give up 223 to Pittsburgh last week and that allowed the Panthers to control the ball and get the win.
The line opened with the Scarlet Knights as a heavy 10 point road favorite and has stayed consistently around 10.
The total opened at 40 and dipped slightly to 39.5.
Rutgers is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games but just 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games as a road favorite. They have had a lot of success against non conference foes, posting a 12-5-2 ATS record in their last 19 non-conference games. Army is just 7-19-1 ATS in their last 27 games as a home underdog and 1-10 ATS in their last 11 vs. Big East. Rutgers is 6-0 ATS in their last 6 meetings with Army.
The ‘under’ is 5-0 in Scarlet Knights last 5 games overall and 13-3-1 in Scarlet Knights last 17 games in October. Army has stayed ‘under’ in 8 of their last 9 home games.
Game-time temperature is forecasted for beautiful football weather with temperatures in the 60’s with no foul weather.