• Erin Summers

Can Army's Powerful Offense Break Through Wisconsin's Staunch Defense?

by Erin Summers

Army had last week off after losing their first game of the season: a 28-16 loss to Ball State. Now sitting at 4-1, the Black Knights have a tall task ahead of them in Wisconsin -- but will their week of rest be enough?

Army Head Coach Jeff Monken said several players are still nursing injuries, but he expects his team to be fresh heading into Camp Randall for what is likely to be a defensive battle. While Army junior linebacker Andre Carter leads all of college football with 7.5 sacks this season, Coach Monken knows that his offense will be facing a stubborn foe.

"They are really, really good on defense," Monken said about the Wisconsin team, "and it doesn't matter who they play, it doesn't matter what offense it is or how talented the players are that they're playing against. They're just really, really good and it's going to be a tremendous challenge for us to be able to run the ball effectively."

At 2-3 Wisconsin has played some stout competition, facing three teams in the top 25. Even with three losses -- to Notre Dame, Michigan and Penn State -- the Badgers have the number one rushing defense in the country and are ranked second in total defense.

Army Black Knights' Head Football Coach Jeff Monken

Army's defense is right there with them, ranking ninth in total defense and third against the run. However, it's the Black Knights' reliance on the run that could prove the biggest challenge. The Black Knights are averaging 318 yards on the ground per game, but the Badgers are allowing only 41 yards of rushing per game.

"They're hard to block, hard to keep blocked," Monken said, "and it's just going to take a tremendous effort on the part of our players to be able to move them and create seams and make plays and break tackles and all those things that it takes to be successful on offense."

Coach Monken hasn't hinted at who will start under center for the Black Knights against Wisconsin this weekend. Junior quarterback Christian Anderson leads the nation's QBs in rushing yards with 108 per game. We'll see if he's healthy enough to go on Saturday night.

Army tops the nation in time of possession, controlling the ball an average of 40 minutes per game. They also lead the FBS in fewest penalties and fewest penalty yards against per game.

edited for web by Joe Harman