WEST POINT – If you thought the 2022 Army football calendar was challenging, the 2023 version is certainly on par.
In an officially released schedule on Thursday, the Black Knights relive regional rivalries with Syracuse, Boston College and Holy Cross, head to Louisiana twice, including a showdown with the eternal Top 25 LSU, and face off against their service academy enemies. in two NFL stadiums.
The Army will travel to Louisiana Monroe (September 2), Texas San Antonio (September 16), Syracuse (September 23) and Louisiana State (October 21). Delaware State (September 9), Boston College (October 7), Troy (October 14), Massachusetts (October 28), Holy Cross (November 11) and Coastal Carolina (November 18) will visit Michie Stadium . Army plays Air Force (November 4) at the home of the Denver Broncos and Navy (December 9) at the home of the New England Patriots.
There are still important deals on hand for this season.
The Army faces Troy Saturday in Alabama (3:30 pm ET, NFL Network, WBNR 1260-AM, WGHQ 920-AM, 92.5-FM, WLNA 1420-AM), the first of six scheduled meetings with the Trojans. The Army will host in 2023, 2030 and 2032 and Troy will host in 2031 and 2034.
Troy (7-2) have won their last six games, take first place in Sun Belt Group B, and have picked up enough points to take 35th place in the country. The Trojans, already in the bowl, are coming off wins against Marshall, Western Kentucky, Southern Miss, Texas State, South Alabama and Louisiana.
The Army (3-5) recorded a 13-7 home defeat to the Air Force last Saturday, handing over the Commander-in-Chief Trophy in the process. The Black Knights must win their final four games (including Connecticut, Massachusetts, and the Navy) to qualify for the contracted Independence Bowl on December 23.
“It was a disappointing defeat last weekend,” said Army coach Jeff Monken. “We regret not finding a way to come out with a win.”
The Army was held to a pitiful and uncharacteristic 78 yards rushing against the Falcons. That could be a problem again, as Troy – ranked 15th defensively – has kept six of his last eight opponents below 100 yards on the ground.
Army quarterbacks Tyson Riley and Jakobi Buchanan have not been healthy for weeks but remain at the top of the depth chart. Jemel Jones has started the last three games at quarterback, though previous starters Tyhier Tyler and Cade Ballard will wait on the wing – Tyler has seen some action at the slot back and a series on the QB against the Air Force. The return of All-American defensive end Andre Carter was well-received and he managed a handful of tackles against the Air Force. Leo Lowin emerged as a reliable linebacker. The status of defensive back Marquel Broughton, who was injured Saturday, was undetermined until midweek.
Troy has a very dynamic offense, says Army defensive coordinator Nate Woody. Junior Gunnar Watson threw for 1,973 yards and eight touchdowns, completing 64% of his passes. Kimani Vidal rushed for 484 yards and DK Billingsley 497.
Troy is favored by 8 or 9 points (depending on the spread), with an over-under of 45.5 points.
Big-name foes return to the slate next season. The Army has faced Syracuse 21 times and Boston College 37 times, but it has been a while since the enemies from the east have met: BC in 2013 and Syracuse in 1996. On the other hand, the Army and LSU have met only once, in 1931, just in the eighth season of the venerable Michie Stadium.
Army and Air Force meet in an NFL stadium for the first time since 1965, at Chicago’s Soldiers Field. The Black Knights and Falcons played the last two seasons at the Texas Rangers baseball field in Arlington, Texas. The Army and Navy meet regularly at NFL facilities but will use Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts for the first time.
Army will open on the road for the third year in a row. Army won their previous two games at San Antonio’s AlamoDome, but lost to the Roadrunners in Michie in September.
The Black Knights have two opponents from the Football League Subdivision in the State of Delaware (meeting for the first time) and Santa Cruz (the first match since 2002, after the two teams met almost annually from 1970 to 1994).