Everything you need to know about the 2021 Army Black Knights

The Wisconsin Badgers will face off against the Army Black Knights on Saturday night for the first time in program history.

Army enters the contest with a 4-1 record on the season thanks to wins against Georgia State, Western Kentucky, UConn and Miami (Ohio). They do so scoring more than 34 points per game…but only throwing the ball 5-7 times.

The matchup between these two teams presents a captivating case study for those who love old-school football. Wisconsin relies heavily on the run game and time of possession, while Army runs the triple-option and only throws six passes per game.

Related: The most important and unbelievable stats heading into Wisconsin’s matchup with Army

Here is a complete team preview for the 2021 Army Black Knights:

Coaching staff

Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Head coach: Jeff Monken

Offensive coordinator: Brent Davis

Defensive coordinator: Nate Woody

Key players

Sep 25, 2021; West Point, New York, USA; Army Black Knights quarterback Christian Anderson (4) throws a pass against the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks during the second half at Michie Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports


Quarterback Christian Anderson

Running back Tyrell Robinson

Running back Jakobi Buchanan


Scouting report: Offense

Oct 2, 2021; Muncie, Indiana, USA; Army Black Knights running back Tyrell Robinson (21) runs with the ball against the Ball State Cardinals during the second half at Scheumann Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

2021 statistics:

34.4 points-per-game

49.32% on third down

69.6 passing yards-per-game, 4 passing touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 1 sack allowed

1591 rushing yards, 4.9 yards-per-carry, 318.2 rushing yards-per-game, 19 touchdowns

Army is one of the only programs in the country that runs the triple-option offense.

Story continues

Each play sees a halfback dive option, some sort of toss or a quarterback keeper. The Black Knights then give other looks out of the same package that are designed to catch the defense off guard after spending much of the game in the same set. It’s an offensive attack that requires intense focus, discipline and stamina to stop.

As I outlined in the contest’s most interesting and important statistics, the unit is one of the best in the country at converting third downs. However, it also ranks as one of the lowest in early-down efficiency.

Jim Leonhard’s defense should be well-equipped to stop the Army attack. It’s been a successful unit thus far, though, so it won’t be close to a pushover.

Scouting report: Defense

Sep 18, 2021; West Point, New York, USA; Army Black Knights outside linebacker Andre Carter (34) lines up during the first half against the UConn Huskies at Michie Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

2021 statistics:

20.8 points allowed-per-game

276 yards allowed-per-game

4 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 22 tackles-for-loss, 12 sacks

The Army defense has been stout against the run all season—allowing only 54 yards per game and 2.4 yards per carry. They have yet to play at Power Five opponent, though, so some of that success could just be the strength of schedule.

The Black Knights only throw the ball an average of six times per game.

Out-of-context stat of the day? The team still has more touchdown passes than the Badgers.

Anyway, Army has some defenders to be concerned about. Linebacker Andre Carter II has 7 tackles for loss and 6 sacks this season, safety Marquel Broughton has 2 interceptions and linebacker Arik Smith is the team’s leading tackler with 26.

The matchup is a good one for Graham Mertz and the Wisconsin passing offense. If the unit blocks up front and holds onto the football, Wisconsin shouldn’t have much trouble coming away with a victory.

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