The last two meetings between Army and Stanford were both extremely tight and went the way of the Black Knights. The series between these two historic programs is all tied up at five wins apiece. Does this spell trouble for a Stanford Cardinal team currently ranked No. 5 in the nation, though? Absolutely not. Those two-consecutive victories that Army had the pleasure of walking off the field with date back to 1976 and 1979, one which was played in the original Yankees Stadium. Times have changed and the time is now for the Cardinals.
Expect Stanford to put an end to the two-game losing streak that has been hanging over their heads for the past 34 years when they make their way to Michie Stadium on the banks of the Hudson River in West Point, N.Y. Although the U.S. Military Academy boasts the most breathtaking and quite possibly most intimidating football scenery in the country, expect this one to get very ugly, and quickly. Stanford is a powerhouse on both sides of the ball and doesn’t take anyone lightly whether they are at home or on the road.
Much to the chagrin of fans of Army football, Stanford is by far too big and too powerful for the Black Knights to even stand a chance in this matchup. There are a number of factors that should lead you to think that David Shaw‘s football team will improve to 2-0 on its young 2013 campaign and hold its ground in the BCS Standings after Week 3 of the NCAA Football season.
Although Army has consistently put up big numbers with their running game over the past few seasons, look for Stanford’s front seven to stand strong against the Black Knights run. Senior running back Raymond Maples needs to try and find the end zone while junior Terry Bagget needs to get more involved as he has only touched the ball six times, racking up a total of 37 yards.
For Stanford, senior inside linebacker Shayne Skov will be enjoying somewhat of a homecoming as he played his high school football at Trinity-Pawling High School just up the road from West Point. Look for him to have a massive day for the Cardinal defense. Also, expect Stanford to force some turnovers and continue their 25-straight games of doing so, which should see the Stanford offense get to work early and often.
Although Stanford QB Kevin Hogan doesn’t mind handing off the ball behind an experienced line to Tyler Gaffney and Anthony Wilkerson, he still poses a big-time threat when he puts the ball in the air. Both Ty Montgomery and Devon Cajuste are highly-skilled wide receivers who don’t mind looking over their shoulders for a bomb thrown by Hogan while they bust down the field. Both the run and the pass coming from Stanford’s offense will make it very hard for Army’s already exhausted defense to come on strong, especially since they will most likely be on the field for most of the game. Ball security has been an absolute nightmare for the Black Knights, seeing as they are coming off of a game against Ball State where they managed to cough up the ball three times. That was on the road in Muncie, Ind. Army looks to perform a miracle on home soil when they welcome one of the best from the west Saturday afternoon.
Michie Stadium proves to be a very intimidating place for an opposing football team to play, especially since 2013 marks the 90th season of Army football being played there. History has been on the side of the Army Black Knights when they have gone head-to-head against Stanford. But in the end, although the Cadet Parade will run, and “On Brave Old Army Team” will be sung, Stanford will reign supreme in a very big way on Saturday afternoon in West Point.