clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Army Black Knights vs. Penn State Nittany Lions: Preview, Start Time, TV, Prediction

Army won last weekend. Try to think of the good times during this one.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off their first victory of the season, the United States Military Academy sends their football team off to Happy Valley for a contest against the Penn State Nittany Lions.

It'll be a game that will test the team's merit and their fans' patience.

It's not just about Penn State being a bigger, stronger and better team, Army's injuries are starting to pile up.

Sophomore quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw is hurt and his senior backup A.J. Schurr has gotten all the first team reps this week.

Bradshaw saw limited practice as did sophomore right tackle Brett Toth while starting left and right guards senior Justin Gilbert and sophomore Jaryn Villegas did not practice at all. Ryan Alexander is listed as questionable for the game as well.

So the Black Knights could likely be down both their starting quarterback and most of their offensive line. That's a lot for Army to overcome to beat anyone, let alone Penn State.

What to Watch

Both leading PSU running backs, junior Akeel Lynch and freshman Saquon Barkley, are listed as questionable for the game. If one or both can play, Army's run defense will have their hands full.

Barkley leads the Nittany Lions with 373 yards and averages about 93 yards a game. Lynch is second on the team with 262 yards, but his 49 rushes leads the team.

If neither can go, Army can focus on junior quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who is actually third on the team with 18 rushes for a whopping -58 yards. So the Black Knights defense will obviously be focusing on his passing.

After a dismal first three games, Hackenberg turned in an impressive outing against San Diego State. With his running backs banged up, Hackenberg went 21 of 35 for 296 yards and three touchdowns.

He'll be looking to sophomore wide receiver Chris Godwin, the team's leading pass catcher, but another wideout to look out for is the sophomore, Saeed Blacknall. Blacknall made his season debut last week against SDSU and hauled down four catches for 101 yards.

Army cornerback Josh Jenkins is listed as questionable for this game and if there is any chance he can play, Chris Carnegie and the Black Knight secondary will certainly need his help covering the 6'3 Blacknall and 6'2 Godwin.

How to Watch

ESPNU will broadcast all the action from Beaver Stadium, Saturday at noon. While fans can stream the game on WatchESPN.com.

Prediction

The Cadets are 25-point dogs to the Nittany Lions. It'll be interesting to see if the Black Knights can even get half of the 556 rushing yards they garnered against Eastern Michigan. Especially if Schurr is at the helm.

Army has given Stanford fits before, but Penn State has given fellow service academy, Navy, a beating in recent years.

If Hackenberg plays like he did against SDSU then this to be a long afternoon for Army fans.

Penn State 42, Army 10