When Army met UTSA for the first time last season, the Knights gashed the Roadrunners to the tune of 340 yards rushing on 55 carries in their 31-13 victory. The Roadrunners are now getting an unexpected chance at redemption as they meet the Black Knights again Saturday in a game that was not scheduled until late August after both teams ended up with open dates on their schedules amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both teams are off to comparatively great starts in 2020 after they suffered through eight-loss campaigns in 2019. Army is 4-1 with its only loss coming against No. 8 Cincinnati, while UTSA is 3-2 with close losses against No. 15 BYU and a solid UAB team. It makes for what should be a competitive game as the Roadrunners look to prove they learned something in last season’s game about how to defend the triple option.
Army vs. UTSA: Army’s elite rushing attack hit a roadblock against The Citadel last week. The Knights won 14-9 and improved to 4-1, but they averaged just 3.1 yards on 50 rushing attempts against an FCS foe that also runs the triple option. Among the storylines to watch for Army this week is who lines up at quarterback. Senior starter Christian Anderson missed the game against The Citadel after suffering an injury the previous week against Abilene Christian. Jemel Jones played well in Anderson’s place, but now Jones is banged up, too. Both were expected to practice this week, and coach Jeff Monken could have to make a choice about who to start if both are cleared to play.
The Roadrunners have played four quarterbacks through five games, and it’s unclear who will start Saturday against Army. Frank Harris has played the most, but the redshirt junior continues to battle injuries. He left last week’s loss to BYU, and LSU transfer Lowell Narcisse entered and provided a spark by completing 17-of-20 passes for 229 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. The starter on this week’s depth chart is listed as Harris or Narcisse, meaning Army might not learn until UTSA’s first possession of the game who the opposing quarterback will be.
Marshall vs. Louisiana Tech: Marshall enters with a 3-0 record, while Louisiana Tech enters 3-1. Both teams are unbeaten in C-USA and will be looking to get a leg up on the race for a spot in the conference championship game. Marshall’s freshman quarterback Grant Wells is turning heads for his efficient handling of the offense through three games as the starter. But running back Brenden Knox and a stingy defense allowing just seven points per game are the reason why the Thundering Herd is on the cusp of being ranked again after it briefly cracked the AP Top 25 last month.
Louisiana Tech is riding an eight-game home winning streak, but that mark will be challenged as the Bulldogs host Marshall for the first time since joining Conference USA in 2013. Louisiana Tech’s two victories against FBS foes this season have come by a combined four points. A clutch offense is partly to thank for that, as the Bulldogs have scored touchdowns on 12-of-14 red-zone appearances and converted on 7-of-8 fourth-down attempts.
UTSA vs. Army: 1:30 p.m. ET
Alamodome — San Antonio, Texas
Louisiana Tech vs. Marshall: 6 p.m. ET
Joe Aillet Stadium — Ruston, Louisiana