Army opened and is still a 2.5-point home underdog against Tulane Saturday in light of a 15-game winning streak at Michie Stadium.
Army and Tulane enter the noon kickoff at 3-1 after bye weeks. Both teams are receiving votes in the Associated Press and Coaches polls (Army 44 points, Tulane 1 in AP, Army 47, Tulane 16 in Coaches).
Tulane is seeking its first 4-1 start since 1998.
This is by far Army’s toughest challenge at Michie Stadium and a weak, to be kind, home schedule. Tulane defeated Florida International and Missouri State by a combined 100-20 and is coming off a thrilling, last second 38-31 victory over Houston. The Green Wave’s only setback was 24-6 at Auburn, which looks like one of the nation’s top teams.
Army is still looking to reach stride heading into its fifth game of the season. The lasting impression of the Black Knights’ 52-21 win over Morgan State its last time out was Jeff Monken lashing into his entire team in the first quarter after falling behind 14-7.
The Black Knights are expected to have quarterback Kelvin Hopkins and safety Jaylon McClinton back as starters for the first time since a double-overtime loss at Michigan on Sept. 7.
Sal Interdonato: Army 28, Tulane 24: Like most games during Army’s home winning streak, this one will be decided in the fourth quarter. Having Hopkins and McClinton returning will help the Black Knights pull this one out.
Predictions from across the college football universe
Nicholas Ian Allen (Athlon Sports): Tulane 29, Army 24
David Kenyon (Bleacher Report): Army 28, Tulane 21. Kenyon says on Bleacher Report, “The last time we saw Tulane, the Green Wave pulled off a miraculous win over Houston with a go-ahead touchdown in the final seconds. This contest should be just as tight. Army has repeatedly proved it’s capable of shutting down rushing attacks (no matter the competition level), so Tulane must be able to throw effectively. We’re not expecting it.”
The Power Rank: Army has 43 percent chance of winning
Joel Odom (The Oregonian): Army 28, Tulane 24
Kevin Goe (The Oregonian): Army 26, Tulane 24
Sean Meagher (The Oregonian): Army 31, Tulane 24