Houston Cougars (8-4) vs Army Black Knights (10-2)
NCAA Football: Saturday December 22nd 2018 at 3:30 PM EDT (Amon G. Carter Stadium)
Line and Odds: Army Black Knights -3.5
FREE NCAA FOOTBALL PICK Army Black Knights vs Houston Cougars
Oh say can you see, the Armed Forces Bowl is here. This matchup features the American Athletic Conference Houston Cougars vs the Independent Conference Army Black Knights. Houston has been a part of a lot of high scoring wins and losses. They had a strong first half of the season, but they have lost three of their last four games coming into this bowl game. Meanwhile, Army has been showing off their guns all year. The Black Knights have won eight straight games and have had numerous amounts of lock down defensive performances. This bowl game should be a high scoring battle. Saturday’s quarterbacks are Clayton Tune vs Kelvin Hopkins Jr.
The Houston Cougars are part of the American West Division and they finished the year in second place, behind the Memphis Tigers. The Cougars have played a few different conference teams this season and some of those conferences ranged from average to slightly above average. Houston has had an incredible offense all season and has scored at least 31 points a game. The only problem is that half of the time, they give up 30 plus points on defense. During this little end of the season skid, the Cougars have given 45 plus points in their most recent losses.
In the final game of the season, they lost to Memphis 52-31, and gave up 35 points in the second half. The Cougars were up four points at the half and were just completely shut down by Memphis after that. Clayton Tune went 18/43, with 256 passing yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. Tune got some good yardage for his team, but had way too many incomplete passes. Their running back Patrick Carr had a good game, rushing for 83 yards on 12 carries. Now the usual starting quarterback D’Eriq King is out for the season after a knee injury against Tulane on November 15th. King made this offense flow and Tune will have to give it his all to get them going again. He will need big games from the rushers and receivers against Army’s strong defense.
The Army Black Knights are an interesting and awesome football team. The Knights score a lot like Houston, but there defense is way better. In eight of their 12 games this season, Army has given up 14 or less. Talk about Army Strong right there. Just like the Cougars did, the Black Knights played a few random conferences around the NCAA and Army flexed their muscles. This team almost beat #4 Oklahoma back on September 22nd. The game went to overtime and Oklahoma won 28-21. In that game, Army had three rushers, rush for over 70 plus yards. Quarterback Kelvin Hopkins led the rushers with 102 yards, for 25 carries, and one touchdown. What is interesting about this Army offense is that they don’t pass the ball, they rush most of the time, like back in the really old days of football. Hopkins Jr throws ten passes or less every game and pretty much realizes on his speed to get up the field. Army has shown its toughness all season and they will continue to be strong this weekend.
FREE NCAA FOOTBALL PARLAY Houston Cougars vs Army Black Knights
So, who will win the Armed Forces Bowl? The Houston Cougars were using Kings arm all season, but will Tune be able to bring the scoring mojo. He didn’t play well enough to win against Memphis and he will have to step up his game. At least Houston will have the edge in passing yards. Army will continue to have Hopkins Jr rush up the field and Darnell Woolfolk will be a part of the yardage as well. Houston likes to score a lot in the first half and Army has had a handful of shutout first half’s on defense. Black Knights win 27-17.
Pick: Army Black Knights -10