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Prediction time: Louisiana-Monroe

Chris Frey may play with an extra chip on his shoulder in Saturday’s season opener.

Nothing against Louisiana-Monroe, Army’s road opponent. But, Frey, a senior defensive end, wants the Black Knights to start off strong in his final season.

Army’s 2022 6-6 season included three losses by six points or less.

“I think that we left a lot of games on the field last year,” Frey said. “As a leader, I take a lot of responsibility for that.”

One of Army’s comeback wins was a 48-24 victory over ULM in a game it trailed 17-14 at the half at Michie Stadium last season.

Army is a 9.5-point favorite against the Warhawks this time. The Black Knights opened as 7-point favorite and the line reached as high as 10 points.

“I think we should take each week, week by week,” Frey said.  “ In order to build a strong house, you have to start at the foundation and that’s ULM right now. I’m not really focused on the entirety of the season but rather this game.”

Prediction time

Sal Interdonato: Army 34, Louisiana-Monroe 20. Don’t know if Louisiana-Monroe defense is ready for Army’s shotgun offense. If the Black Knights can play mistake-free, this offense can be explosive with Bryson Daily, Ay’Jaun Marshall, Isaiah Alston, Hayden Reed and converted fullbacks Jakobi Buchanan and Tyson Riley. Army has won six of its nine season openers under Jeff Monken

Seth Mendelson: Army 24, Louisiana Monroe 17. The Black Knights new offense start slow but it’s big offensive line and good defensive play carry the day

Brendan in Jersey: Army 21 ULM 20. Army’s defense should be fairly solid, but ULM has a QB that can run, and, historically, that’s a problem, no matter how talented Army may be. Army’s offense is, to this point, an unknown quantity. Negative plays have always been their doom, and a shotgun offense brings more inherent risk. I think Army ultimately wins the day, but in a nail-biter.

Steve Kriepe (Crawdad’s Countdown to Kickoff): Army 35, ULM 21. “While acknowledging there are quite a few unknowns heading into Saturday’s matchup with ULM, I’m feeling pretty good about where #ArmyFootball is as they suit up for Game One. Yes, Bryson Dailey doesn’t have a significant number of game reps, but he arrived at West Point as a fairly polished and experienced signal caller. I believe this will be both an effective and efficient offense. If they avoid costly penalties – especially the 15-yard varieties – and turnovers, we could see them put up as many points as they did when we hosted ULM at Michie Stadium last year! On the other side of the ball, I expect to see Nate Woody’s experienced defense close to mid-season form.

“ULM is coming off a 2022 season in which it was one of the worst teams in college football. The Warhawks are trying to find both stability and an identity as a program; however, a fairly significant churn in their starting line-up, may make that a challenge. Yes, they picked-up a couple of RBs from Power 5 schools via the transfer portal, but I believe it will take more than that to get their program headed in the right direction.”

Predictions from across the college football universe

College Football News: Army 28, ULM 17

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