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Blue Gold Sports Staff Predictions: AutoZone Liberty Bowl vs Army

West Virginia plays in its 2020 season finale game in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on New Year’s Eve. The game takes place in Memphis, Tennessee and kicks off at 4:00 ET on ESPN.

Let’s take a look at what our staff thinks will take place:

Ashley O’Brien: Ah, New Year’s Eve on Beale Street sure would be sweeter (or barbecue tangier) with a win over Army. The Mountaineers haven’t seen a live snap of football since Iowa State and many would like to see the Mountaineers step up in Memphis to erase those memories from their minds. This is Darius Stills’ career finale in the Old Gold and Blue and he will be looking to go out singing. literally. The Mountaineers narrowly shock the country in this one, with a late game field goal for the win.

West Virginia 24, Army 21

Shanna Rose: This should be a fun game. It’s a different opponent and Army is a good football team. WVU’s defense has been solid minus the Iowa State game but the loss of Tony Fields is big. Army kills its opponents on the ground. The ground game isn’t what it has been in years past but they average 281 yards per game. Plus they are good at managing the clock. The Stills brothers will challenge Army’s ground game which is why I think it will be a low scoring contest. However, the Mountaineers offense continues to struggle and I’m not sure they can put up enough points against a tough defense.

West Virginia 14, Army 17

Ethan Bock: The first thing to be worried about with WVU is playing one game in 45 days (loss @ Iowa State, 42-6). They will also not have Tony Fields on New Year’s Eve against Army. This will definitely be a low-scoring game as both defenses play pretty well. Army’s two losses come to No. 8-ranked Cincinnati (24-10) and Tulane (38-12). If the Mountaineers can show up and perform like they haven’t played one game in almost two months, they should be celebrating in Memphis.

West Virginia 17, Army 14

Will Aldrich: Look for Army’s defense to come strong out of the gate, as West Virginia has only played twice in past seven weeks. Army runs an interesting, clock controlling defense that grinds teams out late in the game. They also however don’t have much experience playing teams with an effective passing game. Eventually, the Mountaineer passing game will break through and find soft spots in the Black Knights secondary and pull away in the second half to cover the -8 spread.

West Virginia 27, Army 17

Matt Thornsbury: It’s time to go bowling! This time against 9-2 Army. A run-heavy team, and things are no different this year. I don’t know what to expect. We didn’t play too well after a long wait before playing Iowa State. Will Neal Brown have these guys ready to play against a team who relies heavily on running it down teams throats? Absolutely. I lied. I expect the Mountaineer defense to wreak havoc on them. Army will have a tough time slowing down our offense, and I don’t think their offense is good enough to outscore us, especially with our stout defense. Maybe so. We’ll see. 

West Virginia 38, Army 21

Tom Berdel: This Thursday, West Virginia University football is going up against another high caliber team. The United States Army, currently 9-3. The Black Knights have been on their A-game this year. From blowing out the Navy. To just playing overall good football. Something the Mountaineers have struggled with on occasion. If West Virginia wants to take this bowl game home, their also gonna have to bring their A-game against a hungry Army defense and offense.

West Virginia 7, Army 28

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