Let's take a look at our upcoming opponent, the Army Black Knights.
David Pevoto is a Texas native growing up in Colleyville, TX and is in his junior year at Army. He's been backing up for three years, and is just now getting his shot to succeed. It hasn't started out all that well so far. He has yet to throw a touchdown in his career, and he's thrown 7 interceptions this year. He is averaging 112 yards passing per game on just 14 completions per game.
Going up against our secondary, I almost feel sorry for the kid. He can count on one of two things:
1. Not throwing more than a couple passes, OR
2. Throwing multiple interceptions.
Let me put it this way, if A&M can pick this guy off three times, Baylor's secondary is just going to send him to a mental hospital. If he throws the ball more than 30 times, count on Baylor getting at least 3 and probably more than that.
In their last two game, Army is averaging over 175 yards rushing and averaged 4.2 yards per carry. But that's A&M and Kent State, two schools not exactly known for their defense. In their game against Arkansas State (a defense FAR better than either of those other teams), they only managed 69 yards on 2.6 yards per carry.
In their two games against D1 opponents, Baylor has allowed 98 yards rushing. Total. On 54 carries. That's 1.8 yards per carry. That is outstanding rush defense, and it is coming against teams that have very potent rushing attacks. Our linebackers are playing better and better every game. And Army is going to face this defense ready to make sure that the offense only has to score their average of 1 TD against a D1 opponent in order to win. Look for less than 60 yards rushing on the day.
Trimble is a talent, but he's not NFL caliber. He'll be matched up against one of two NFL caliber cornerbacks in Wilson and Arline, and he won't have anyone to take any attention away. Throw in the fact that Pevoto isn't doing a good job of getting the ball to his receivers and these guys are going to have to struggle with the fact that they are not going to be put in a good position to make plays, as well as the fact that they are going to be smothered by one of the better defenses in the nation.
Army has done an exceptional job protecting Pevoto as far as minimizing sacks. They have only given up two sacks on the year, and they have the fortune of the fact that Baylor has a couple defensive ends sitting out of practice with injuries. I'm not sure if Foreman or Hill will be playing this weekend, but if they are not able to, we will have a practice squad player in the DE rotation.
I'm expecting Baylor to win the battle in the trenches, but we'll have to count on Pevoto to beat himself, because I'm not foreseeing us getting a ton of pressure from our front four. We might see a few more blitzes in this game.
They are undersized, but they play structured, disciplined football. They don't have the athletes to get pressure on Bell and the size difference should give us our best opportunity to run the ball successfully. They are giving up more then 220 yards per game, and if Baylor ever needed a defense that will give up a ton of rushing yards, this is a great one to face.
There's nothing truly special here, and they are going to struggle to cover both the running game (if we decide to pack it), and the short crossing routes that Parks killed TCU with and Fenty did a good job of exploiting this same problem last week.
Look for the Army linebackers to be a little bit off balance by the confusion of what to focus on, and struggle in both areas.
By far the strength of the entire Army defense. Their best player is Campbell, a big, fast, hard-hitting safety. But they haven't faced a team that is really interested in throwing the ball. Their opponents have passed for 291 yards on 27 of 40 passing (67.5%), 1 TD, and 0 INTs. That means their average game is:
9/13 for 97 yards
Army is ready for a serious, serious wake-up call. Baylor is going to double the number of passes Army has seen this year in one game. They aren't used to the quantity, they aren't used to the scheming and they aren't used to the quality of the receivers that they are going to see in this game. It's going to be a mind-job.
Bell should (read: better) have his best game, possibly of his career, at least stat-wise.
Sepulveda is booming kicks, and we out-athlete Army on the coverage units. Throw in the fact that special teams have something to prove this week after some gaffs last week and we should expect a good effort this week from them. I hope that Havens gets the chance to kick a lot of extra points, and isn't forced to kick a lot of long field goals, not because he can't, but because it would mean that our offense is moving well.