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Preview 2023: Army vs Boston College Football

Can the Eagles defend a diverse rushing attack?

Louisiana-Monroe v Army Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

Boston College football will wrap up their first half of the 2023 slate with a trip to New York to face the Army Black Knights. These teams have a long history with each other going back to 1917 all the way up to 2013. The Eagles have come out victorious in 25 of the last 29 match-ups, however, and will likely be favored again in this year’s contest.

When: Saturday October 7th at 12pm ET

Where: Michie Stadium, West Point, NY

Army Overview

Louisiana-Monroe v Army Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

Army has had quite a good run in the past nine seasons under head coach Jeff Monken, going .500 or better five times and winning as many as 10 or 11 games in 2017 & 2018. They cooled off a bit in 2022 with their 6-6 record and aren’t returning much production from that team. Leading rusher QB Tyhier Tyler is gone after being responsible for almost 1,000 yards of offense last season, something that is fairly rare at a place like Army, and another top offensive option Cade Ballard is also not returning. In the past, Army has struggled if they don’t have a truly dynamic top playmaker (like Ahmad Bradshaw or Kelvin Hopkins Jr.) and nobody on the existing roster jumps out as that type of star.

Due to their recruitment situation, the Black Knights typically run a triple-option offense that spreads the ball around and does not rely much on passing at all. It creates a fascinating kind of football ripped straight out of the early 20th century, something that is difficult to defend if the opposing team is unfamiliar with that style of play. But it was reported earlier this year that Army is modifying the triple-option into something that is run out of the shotgun instead. It will still have plenty of the usual lateral running that we’ve seen in years past, but with a bit more passing and less blocking around the edges. Boston College hasn’t faced a triple-option team in years since they played Georgia Tech when the Yellow Jackets used to run it.

The Army defense is just an average one, ranking poorly in statistics like yards per play. But their offensive time of possession is so high that they still manage to keep teams to fairly low scores, meaning that opposing offenses need to be efficient or else face an uphill battle against the clock. If the BC offense does manage to put up plenty of points, though, the Black Knights will struggle to keep up.

How Does BC Match Up?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 22 Boston College at Wake Forest Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There will be a talent gap between Army and BC. The Eagles regularly bring in a top-60 recruiting class each year while Army rarely ever breaks into the top-100. BC’s players are generally bigger and faster, and even their weaker position groups like the offensive line could look good against Army’s smaller players.

If you’re betting on BC to win, you’re betting on the talent of the Boston College players, plus Jeff Hafley and his coaching staff’s ability to gameplan and coach his players well enough to adapt to defend the modified triple-option. Many are able to do it, but there is a reason that Army had wins over teams like UConn and UMass last season.

Preseason Prediction

Louisville v Boston College Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images

I’m taking the Eagles in this one. Their receiving group is very talented and should be able to outpace Army, while the improved OL will look even better against a small Army defensive line. I do expect the BC defense to struggle a bit, though, as their linebacking corps is weak and their DL lacks speed outside of a couple key players, but not enough to lose the game.

Final Score: Boston College 28 Army 24