The Black Knights, who run the triple-option, lead the nation in rushing yards per game at 355.9. Last season they rushed for a school-record 4,438 yards. They are as committed to the running game as any team in the country.
The Owls, who have struggled to put up points early, would love to score early and often against them and try to force them into passing the ball. Army averages only 67.4 passing yards per game.
"We got off to a good start in our last game, put up some points early," said freshman quarterback P.J. Walker, who made his first career start Friday in the loss to Cincinnati. "That's going to be important for us again this week. That might help to force them to do something they don't want to."
It won't be easy. On Saturday, Army running back Terry Baggett rushed for 304 yards on 18 carries in a 50-25 victory over Eastern Michigan. The Black Knights have stuck with their running game in all of their games. They ran for 284 yards in a 34-20 loss to Stanford in which they got behind early.
Walker, who tossed a pair of touchdown passes in Friday's game to receivers Jalen Fitzpatrick and Clinton Granger, is crucial to this plan. The freshman had a decent debut against Cincinnati, completing 12 of 22 passes for two touchdowns with an interception.
Walker said that the butterflies he experienced in his first start - which was carried nationally on ESPN - won't be there Saturday.
"I had some, but they are gone now," Walker said. "I have just been focusing on doing what I have to do to get better. The one thing I can't do, in this game or any game, is turn the ball over. You can't win games if you are turning the ball over."