The Independents in Week 4

On the Independent scene, Army and Notre Dame both have games this week. Both come in as underdogs this week. I believe one team will come out victorious.

Army vs. Duke

The Black Knights move in to hostile territory on Saturday afternoon when they face a Duke team looking to recover from the trouncing they received courtesy of the #1 team in the nation.

Army brings a rushing attack that has all but abandoned the passing game. Last week they managed to rush for 292 yards while shutting out bottom feeders of the entire FBS, North Texas. This would seem to be a small accomplishment, but Army has rushed for at least 250 yards in its prior 2 games against Hawaii and Eastern Michigan.

Duke will rely heavily on 1st year starter Sean Renfree to continue to air it out. Renfree is a legitimate passing talent, but lacks a go-to receiver. Each of his 3 starts had a different receiver reach the century mark, only to be a minor footnote the subsequent week.

Army lost to Duke 35-19 last year. I am expecting the rushing attack of Army to control the clock and keep the young Duke quarterback from catching his rhythm. In a minor upset, I will pick the Black Knights over Duke.

Stanford (16) vs. Notre Dame
In the shadow of Touchdown Jesus, Notre Dame fights to keep its losing streak from reaching 3 in a row. The Kelly era looked hopeful after an easy win against Purdue, but two heartbreaking losses in a row against the state of Michigan have many of the faithful recalibrating their expectations.

Andrew Luck makes his first case to the Heisman Voters that he belongs in the Gang of Five in New York City. I expect the offense to be hitting all cylinders this week as Stanford takes advantage of the Fighting Irish’s national exposure (and television contract with NBC).

I expect the Notre Dame defense will continue its slide. In South Bend, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Notre Dame continues its march to 6-6 with another loss at home. This time, I expect a 2 touchdown win by Stanford.

The Cardinal may take a step forward in this game, but Oregon and USC are ready to strike in the following two weeks.

Going forward I will also be covering the best of Division I-AA as well. If any of you have recommendations of players to follow outside the scope of the Top 25, let me know. I can be found on Twitter @prttimesouthpaw.


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