The Army Black Knights bring their triple-option rushing attack to Columbus on Saturday following a win last week over MAC opponent Buffalo.
Running behind a veteran offensive line that has combined for 77 starts, the Black Knights have already rushed for 835 yards, averaging 7.4 yards per rushing attempt. Last season, Army finished 2nd in the nation in rushing yards with 4,415 (60.8 attempts per game), compared to 13th-ranked Ohio State, who finished last season with 3,188 rushing yards (44.9 attempts per game).
Army will look to slow the game down to limit Ohio State’s possessions in order to keep the score within reach. Below, we take a closer look at the improved Army Black Knights and some players to focus on in this week’s edition of the No Huddle Breakdown.
Ahmad Bradshaw #17
A prototypical option quarterback with below-average size and good overall athleticism, Ahmad Bradshaw has the experience needed to lead a team into The Shoe. With 20 starts under his belt, Bradshaw has masterful control over the Army offense and shows very good decision-making ability and pitch/keep discipline. Bradshaw has good speed and solid agility in open the open field. While he is not asked to throw often he does throw a catchable ball, but lacks deep accuracy when asked to throw to intermediate or deep levels.
25 Carries, 149 yards, 1 TD
Darnell Woolfolk #33
Woolfolk enters 2017 as the featured fullback for the Black Knights. After rushing for 600 yards in 2016 on only 109 carries, Woolfolk has already carried the ball 31 times in 2017. He runs with very good pad level and two arms securing the football. Darnell is a straight-line runner, making only small lateral adjustments as he hits the hole and will not make many people miss in the open field. He has good balance and can run through contact and will move the pile between the tackles. Woolfolk will require gang tackling or good form tackling in space as he will break arm tackles and hurt the defense with yards after contact.
21 Carries, 91 yards, 2 TD
Kenneth Brinson #56
Junior Rush OLB
With 18 career starts, Kenneth Brinson is a versatile piece to the Army defense. Brinson has a lean, strong frame and plays the game with tremendous effort on every snap. He can generate pressure with a bull rush as well as drop into coverage with surprising success. He will align on either edge to create a favorable matchup. Brinson has good ability to shed blockers to leverage the outside run and is a dependable tackler when he gets his hands on the ball carrier because of very good functional strength.
Alex Aukerman #21
Senior SAM LB
The emotional leader of the defense, Alex Aukerman will need to be accounted for on Saturday afternoon. Aukerman, who has 17 starts to his credit, tallied 15 tackles for loss last season with 7.5 sacks. With good size and a thick, strong frame, the senior has good overall athletic ability and plays with a high level of effort. He is good in run support as he utilizes his athleticism and strength to fill gaps and bring down the ball carrier. Aukerman will struggle in coverage as he lacks the long speed to cover running backs down the field.
5 Tackles, 1 Sack, 1.5 TFL
Andy Davidson (#40) 6’2” 235 Junior Fullback – Another bulldozer at fullback, Davidson is a converted linebacker who rushed for 961 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. He does well to push the pile and protects the ball with both arms as he attacks the A Gaps.
Jordan Asberry (#3) 5’9” 195 Running Back (Cincinnati Colerain) – A change of pace back who plays on the wing. Can catch out of the backfield and provides speed to the outside as a pitchman.
John Voit (#59) 6’3” 265 Senior Defensive End – An active defender on the edge, Voit chases every play to the whistle. Has good strength but lacks the quickness to consistently strain the pass protection. Has 27 starts to his credit. Expect him to leave his bite marks all over this game.