College football is back on Saturday with 13 games from a variety of conferences. The ACC will begin their schedule on the second weekend of September. We’re still awaiting the SEC, which will begin on September 26, with LSU and Mississippi State headlining. The Big 12 will be in action today as well, though only out of conference games are on the docket.
We won’t be talking Big Ten or Pac-12 football anytime soon unfortunately. That said, the Big Ten continues to iron out details regarding a return to play. They want to salvage the season for the potential to put a team in the College Football Playoff, but there are still a lot of hurdles.
There are some schools that have already played games last week. It was a quiet opening to the season. With none of the Power Five schools in action, college football last week didn’t get much attention. The biggest game of the week was BYU-Navy and that turned out to be a joke of a game.
Navy didn’t show up to play and they got pushed around for a 55-3 loss. The Cougars aren’t as good as that score indicates, but when the Midshipmen had no interest in playing, that made it really easy on BYU. Army already has a game under their belt after a 42-0 win over Middle Tennessee last Saturday.
It’s important not to confuse the Midshipmen and Black Knights. The Black Knights were well prepared and took it to their opponent, while Navy flat out embarrassed themselves in primetime. Much is made of the triple-option, but it was the defense that propelled Army last week. It was an impressive showing, as the Black Knights gave up no room for the Blue Raiders’ offense to operate.
Louisiana-Monroe will take the field for the first time in 2020 on Saturday. They went 5-7 last season with several highs and lows. Their best effort was probably a 45-44 loss in overtime versus the Florida State Seminoles. A week later, UL Monroe was smoked by Iowa State in a 72-20 game on the road.
Other notable losses included a 52-7 loss against Appalachian State. There was some good and bad to take from their season in 2019. We’ll see how the Warhawks decide to start their 2020 campaign. This certainly isn’t the easiest opener that UL Monroe could have been dealt. They’ll be on the road in West Point at Michie Stadium against a confident Black Knights team. Head below for our free UL Monroe vs. Army pick for September 12, 2020.
UL Monroe Warhawks vs. Army Black Knights NCAAF Week 2 Betting Odds:
UL Monroe vs. Army Prediction:
The Army defense put on a clinic in their showing of 2020. They held Asher O’Hara to 46 passing yards on 9 for 14 passing. He was under pressure often and the Black Knights were able to force O’Hara into 2 interceptions. That prompted him getting benched and backup Chase Cunningham played a quarter and a half. Cunningham did what he could and finished with 63 yards on 7 for 10 passing. He was unable to break up the shutout, though, and Army romped for a 42-0 victory.
This wasn’t too surprising considering how well Army played last year defensively. Their ability to defend the pass was their strong suit, as Army surrendered just 178.9 yards per game through the air. The Black Knights lost linebacker Cole Christiansen and cornerback Elijah Riley in the offseason. That hurts their defense, but there was still depth to like on that unit in 2019. Good players that didn’t get a chance to start will likely step up this season for Army, and we saw it on full display in their season opener versus Middle Tennessee.
UL Monroe will be going with a sophomore as their starting quarterback to open the season. Colby Suits will be making his first start at the collegiate level on Saturday against the Black Knights on the road. He appeared in some games last season in relief and it didn’t go well. Suits threw 2 interceptions with no touchdowns on 6 for 19 passing. He concluded the season with a 31.6% pass completion rate. In a year that hasn’t left much time to prepare, going on the road to play Army seems like a recipe for bad results.
The Warhawks had their defensive coordinator step down just a week ago, leaving their defense in a tough position heading into West Point. They were awful at defending the run in 2019, with 252.7 yards allowed per game. Only New Mexico State and UMass were worse against the run in the FBS. Expect Christian Anderson and the Army offense to move the ball effectively, while limiting Suits and the UL Monroe offense on Saturday afternoon. Army is likely going to give up some points, but not enough for the Warhawks to stick around. Look for the Black Knights to win by four touchdowns or thereabouts.