#35 Army Football 2021 Preview

Army Black Knights
Overall Rank: #35
#2 FBS Independent
Army Logo
Army has been to four bowls in the last five years and that success should continue into 2021. The Black Knights finished last season 9-3, including wins over Navy and Air Force. Heading into 2021, Coach Jeff Monken has more experience than usual and that could lead to another great season at West Point.
2020 Record: 9-3
2020 Bowl: Liberty Bowl vs. West Virginia (L 21-24)
Coach: Jeff Monken (49-39 at Army, 87-55 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Brent Davis
Defensive Coordinator: Nate Woody
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Tyhier Tyler, QB, 578 yards
Passing: Christian Anderson, QB, 215 yards
Receiving: Tyrell Robinson, RB, 117 yards
Tackles: Arik Smith, LB, 78
Sacks: Arik Smith, LB, 3.5
Interceptions: Jabari Moore, CB, 3
Other Key Returnees: RB Jakobi Buchanan, RB Anthony Adkins, DB Cedrick Cunningham Jr, DB Marquel Broughton, DL Nolan Cockrill, CB Julian McDuffie, DL Ryan Duran III
Key Losses: LB Jon Rhattigan
As usual, Army had one of the best rushing offenses in the nation last year. Quarterback Tyhier Tyler only played in the last seven games of the season, but led the team with 578 yards on the ground. Like Tyler, Tyrell Robinson is a speedy back. Jakobi Buchanan and Anthony Adkins are tough, bruising backs who will get plenty of looks in short yardage situations. Christian Anderson is the better passing quarterback, but with Tyler’s playmaking ability, it will be tough to keep him off the field. There are some experienced receiving options, but they will mostly be blocking.
Army led the nation in total defense, allowing just 275.3 yards per game. Only a few teams had much luck against the Black Knights defense. Linebacker Jon Rhattigan will be missed, but much of the defense returns so this group should still put up some eye popping numbers. Tackle Nolan Cockrill and end Ryan Duran III lead an experienced defensive front. Linebacker Arik Smith is the team’s top returning tackler and tallied 3.5 sacks. Jabari Moore, who intercepted three passes in 2020, Julian McDuffie and Cedrick Cunningham return to an experienced secondary. 
The Bottom Line:
Army has a tougher schedule in 2021 than the one they ended up with in 2020. A trip to Wisconsin and a home date with Wake Forest highlight the slate. As always, this Army team will dominate the time of possession and keep the ball on the ground. Even against tougher teams, as long as the Black Knights can stay close, they will put themselves into a position to pull off an upset.
Projected Bowl:  Armed Forces Bowl
2020 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 273.0 (4th in nation, 1st independent)
Passing Offense: 44.8 (127, 4)
Total Offense: 317.8 (116, 3)
Scoring Offense: 26.8 (77, 3)
Rushing Defense: 114.6 (18, 1)
Pass Defense: 160.8 (2, 1)
Total Defense: 275.3 (1, 1)
Scoring Defense: 14.8 (2, 1)
Turnover Margin: 0.50 (30, 2)
Sacks: 1.50 (104, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 0.75 (6, 1)