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The Liberty Bowl was supposed to be a matchup between West Virginia and Tennessee, but as we know nothing is set until 2020 until the game officially begins. Tennessee had to pull out of the bowl game due to COVID-19 issues, and Army, looking for an extra game, was happy to cast the Vols.
The Black Knights now have the opportunity to win their 10th. Game to be won for the third time in the last four seasons and for the fourth time overall in program history. Coach Jeff Monken is still doing an excellent job at West Point and should be on the shortlist for further Power Five coaching appearances.
The climbers are more likely to be in recovery mode. In year 2 – or in practice in year 0. 5 – Trainer Neal Brown himself did a good job of bringing this program up to at least the middle tier of the Big 12 rating. West Virginia is led by a strong defense that was the Big 12’s best unit for most of the year. But the offense was hit or missed, mostly due to sketchy offensive play of lines and wide receiver drops.
These two programs have actually played three times in their history, but the last game was in 1961 when West Virginia won 7-3. We could be competing in a similar competition almost 60 years later, all about the type of defense. Who will win this showdown? Let’s take a closer look at the storylines and matchups before we do some expert picks both directly and against the spread below.
West Virginia: As with any team facing the Army, stopping the triple option is of the utmost importance. Usually, you can quickly tell whether or not a defense is up to the challenge. Triple Option teams will do one thing, and there’s not much in the way of making adjustments in the game. While the climbers’ run defense was good – they only allowed eight rushing scores throughout the year – defending the option requires eye discipline and good angles. Dante and Darius Stills are forces along the D-Line and the linebacker unit is solid too. If West Virginia can win in early losses, it should be able to win the game.
Army: Sticking to the ball has been a key factor in the Army’s success this year. The Black Knights have a return on sales of 8 on nine wins and -3 on two losses. It’s not always fiddling that turns out to be costly, either, which one would think of a team that plays the ball as well as the army. Two interceptions played a role in the Army’s worst performance of the year: a 38-12 loss to Tulane. Three mistakes proved almost too costly in a 1-point win over Georgia Southern. When the army turns 10. If she wants to win victory of the year, she has to be able to handle ball safety well.
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Game: Liberty Bowl Date: Thursday, Dec.. . 31 | Time: 4 p. m. ETLocation: Liberty Bowl Stadium – Memphis, TennesseeTV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (test for free)
The line for this game started in West Virginia -7. 5 and has now dropped to -7. A catch would give Army supporters some breathing space if they want to go with the spread. However, the score may be the better game. At 41. 5, the total is low, but the Army was solid in the sub and West Virginia offense is unreliable. You can sweat it a bit, but going with the sub here feels like a solid game. Selection: Under 41. 5 | West Virginia 24, Army 16
So who wins Army vs.. . West Virginia? And which side of the spread hits 70 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of West Virginia vs.. . The army sprawled backwards, all from the advanced model on a 56-36 run with its top-rated college football picks this season.
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