If there was one team in New York that we could play each and every year I’d want it to be Army. Not some FCS squad, not Syracuse, but a perpetual 1:1 with the Black Knights.
In terms of quality of play Army and UB have been pretty evenly matched over the years.
It’s also a great commute for fans that want to travel, just a 5 hour drive down the highway.
And, because it’s Army, they tend to draw really well on the years UB hosts the games.
For a while, back in the last decade, Army got it in it’s head to (1) be in a conference and (2) run a more contemporary offense rather than the traditional option.
Both things worked out extremely badly for the Black Knights.
Jeff Monken was hired in 2014 and has really turned things around. After two building seasons Monken, who was already very experienced coaching the option, has made Army into a force.
They are 18-11 in their last two seasons and are 2-0 against Navy after a 14 year drought.
Aside from a 37-0 beating UB took back in 1960 every game has been decided by one score or less with UB having a slight 3-2 edge. So every game has been fun to watch and competitive.
The most recent game saw Army come back and down UB after a strong start, and that loss kept the Bulls out of the Bowl picture.
This Years Team
They are definitely going to be a challenge. Their defense return most everyone of note. That defense, after initially being shelled, shut Buffalo down hard during the second half.
The offense has some big losses. Their star quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw, three linemen, and the teams top receivers, who may not have had eye catching numbers but were good down field blockers.
The strength of Army is their option and without Bradshaw there is maybe a chance that they will slow down a bit. But Monken has been coaching the option forever and he will likely adjust well.