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Ohio State vs Army 2017: Game preview, prediction, and how to watch

The Black Knights' chances of leaving Columbus with a win are slim.

Ahmad Bradshaw (17) celebrates with teammates.
Danny Wild

Okay, you tell me: Should we really be trying to beat our men in uniform into submission on Saturday? Because that’s exactly what Urban Meyer wants to do.

I mean, that’s low, even for Ohio State.

Whatever, man. Fight the power. And before I write any serious words about this weekend’s matchup, let’s get hyped.

That was fun, wasn’t it? Now we can get started.

Coming off their first loss of the season, OSU (1-1) will play host to Army (2-0) in Columbus.

On paper, this looks like a textbook bounce back game for Meyer’s squad. The hard-nosed Black Knights and their gimmicky wishbone offense can’t possibly challenge the Buckeyes.

Or can they?

Well, the truth is Army’s going to get blown out. It’s inevitable. I love what coach Jeff Monken has done with the football program, but it’s just not happening.

While Monken’s team opened as 30.5-point underdogs, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark, he knows his guys will be ready to go come kickoff.

"Nobody outside of this room is running around saying, 'Man, Army is going to beat the heck out of Ohio State,'" Monken said. "Everyone is saying we're going to get our butts whipped. I'm not walking in here telling the guys to start preparing for Tulane because we're going to get our butts whipped. That's not the way we're wired, and I don't know a team or a coach in the country that would prepare that way. We've got to look at their team and find the things we can do to be successful on offense, defense and special teams, practice them and try to go execute."

Although the odds are stacked against them, Army presents a unique test for OSU.

Indiana threw for 420 yards versus the Buckeyes. Oklahoma tallied 386 yards on the arm of Baker Mayfield. OSU’s defense is ranked 130th among the 130 FBS teams in passing yards allowed per game.

The Black Knights bread and butter is their ground game. They’re second in the nation in rushing offense and dead last in passing offense. Quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw has only attempted 10 passes on the season, completing two of them.

Despite having to face one of the best defensive fronts in the country, Monken believes running the ball is the key to pulling off an upset.

"We've got to run the ball if we're going to be successful," Monken said. "We're not going to win a bunch of games if we chunk it all over the place. We've got to pick our spots. We tried to pick them on Saturday, but we had a couple of opportunities that we missed. No one feels worse about it than Ahmad (Bradshaw) does. But we're going to hit some of those too sometimes. We'll keep taking our shots every once in a while."

The Cadets are undefeated this year and it’s the first time they’ve ever squared off with the Buckeyes. Army downed Fordham 64-6 in their opener and rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to stun Buffalo 21-17 last week.

It was a comeback win that wouldn’t have been possible without the improbable.

That punter might take home the Heisman, I tell ya.

In any case, Army is facing an incredibly steep uphill battle with OSU on the docket.


F/+ Projection: Ohio State 44, Army 11

Win Probability: Ohio State 96.9%

Monken and Co. are catching the Buckeyes in a bad mood, and they’ll be looking for somebody to beat up on. Regardless of OSU’s considerable advantage in the trenches, Army still can't even throw the ball.

If the triple option-running, fake-punting Black Knights struggle to air it out against the worst secondary in the FBS, a blowout loss will surely follow.

Chalk this one up as another ‘W’ for the team in Scarlet and Gray.

How to watch, stream, listen to Army v. Ohio State:

Game time: Saturday September 16th, 4:30 p.m. ET

TV: Fox

Streaming: FOX Sports Go

Radio: 97.1 WBNS-FM

Know your enemy: Underdog Dynasty