Middle Tennessee has had a lot of success in season-opening games through the years and will look to keep that going when it meets host Army on Saturday. WATCH LIVE HERE
The Blue Raiders are 61-42-2 in season-opening games and have won 22 of the last 38, including four of the last seven. Last season, MTSU hung tough at Michigan early before dropping a 40-21 decision at Ann Arbor. Army defeated Rice 14-7 in its 2019 opener before falling at Michigan 24-21 in Week 2.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 5 | Time: 1:30 p.m. ET
Location: Michie Stadium — West Point, New York
The game is slated to start at 1:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network from West Point, N.Y. Army opened the 2019 season winning three of its first four, before dropping seven of its final nine, while MTSU dropped five of its last seven last year. The Black Knights are favored by 3.5 points in the latest Middle Tennessee vs.
Army odds from William Hill, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 55. Before making any Army vs. Middle Tennessee picks, be sure to see the college football predictions from SportsLine’s proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past four years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of over $3,500 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread.
It also went a sizzling 8-2 on all picks against the spread during Championship Week last season. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.Now, the model has set its sights on Army vs. MTSU. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the college football odds from William Hill and trends for MTSU vs. Army:
Why Army can cover
The Black Knights have a unique style of offense under coach Jeff Monken, who is entering his seventh season at the school. Army runs the ball most of the time in its flexbone triple option.
In fact, the Black Knights were 129th in the country in passing, averaging just 82 yards per game through the air last year. Despite a 5-8 record a year ago, Monken has had a lot of success at Army, posting a 35-28 mark at the school. He is 76-52 in his 11-year career.
Defensively, Army excelled in 2019, finishing 33rd in the nation, allowing 342.3 yards per game. One of the big reasons for the Black Knights’ success was the play of junior linebacker Arik Smith, who finished second on the team with 83 tackles, including 39 solo. Smith also had 2.5 sacks,
one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Smith also saw action in 11 of Army’s 13 games in 2018, making four tackles, including two solo, in his first collegiate game against Liberty.
Why MTSU can cover
Despite that, the Black Knights are not a lock to cover the Middle Tennessee vs. Army spread. That’s because MTSU has moved the ball well in the past, finishing 62nd nationally in total offense at 407.
2 yards per game in 2019. O’Hara, a redshirt junior quarterback, had a solid season a year ago, completing 210 of 335 passes for 2,616 yards and 20 touchdowns. He threw eight interceptions.
O’Hara also rushed 199 times for 1,058 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 88.17 yards rushing per game.
The Blue Raiders also return senior wide receiver Jarrin Pierce, who played in all 12 games and earned 10 starts. A year ago, he caught 42 passes for 562 yards (13.38 average) and four touchdowns.
He had six receptions for 43 yards against Iowa and caught three passes for 26 yards and a TD vs. Michigan last season. Pierce also had a five-catch game against Texas State for 74 yards and a touchdown.