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Preview 2011 Key Games - Army vs. Navy
Army FB Jared Hassin & Navy RB Gee Gee Greene
Army FB Jared Hassin & Navy RB Gee Gee Greene
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jul 4, 2011


Happy 4th of July. Tired of all the college football scandals? Sick of story after story about cheating programs? Army should be terrific with a veteran-loaded team, including fullback Jared Hassin, while Navy's running game, led by Gee Gee Greene, should be as good as ever. Check out the previews on each team, along with an early look at the December 10th matchup.


Preview 2011 - Key Games

Dec. 10 - Army vs. Navy


- 2011 Army Preview | 2011 Army Offense
- 2011 Army Defense | 2011 Army Depth Chart

- 2011 Navy Preview | 2011 Navy Offense
- 2011 Navy Defense | 2011 Navy Depth Chart

Army


Offense: The offense started to hum last season with a veteran line paving the way for a good group of skill players. Now the attack should blow up if, and it’s a big if, the line can jell right away with four new starters. QB Trent Steelman has 25 games of experience under his belt and is a terrific conductor for the triple option, while FB Jared Hassin is one of the nation’s most effective inside runners and a pounder who’ll be everyone’s top option to key on. As expected, there’s speed on the outside, but the offense has to produce more big running plays. The nation’s least-productive passing game in college football has two big, veteran targets to work with in Davyd Brooks and Austin Barr, and now they need the ball more and have to start hitting a few more home runs when they get their opportunities.

Defense: The Double-Eagle Flex scheme has worked over the last two years and takes advantage of having undersized, athletic players who try hard. The problem is that there really, REALLY isn’t any size to count on this year with a linebacker-sized defensive front that will get beaten on more than usual. The biggest overall problem is turnover with so many new starters to the mix, especially up front. The strength is at corner with several options led by good ball-hawkers in Josh Jackson and Richard King. Steven Erzinger is a veteran linebacker who’ll move to the middle after spending the last two years on the outside, while Jarett Mackey is a good pass rusher who has to be the star of an emerging line. The problem, again, is that there simply isn’t any bulk up front. The biggest player is 266-pound A.J. Mackey, and the other big linemen are around 235 pounds.

Best offensive player: Senior FB Jared Hassin. The 6-3, 235-pound thumper was the tone-setter for the Army attack after transferring over from Air Force. He was a factor right away with three touchdown runs against Eastern Michigan, and while is workload was limited early on, everything kicked in midway through the season with 144 yards and two scores against Tulane. With four 100-yard games in a row, and after closing out with 1,013 yards and nine scores, he became the back to work the entire offense around.

Best defensive player: Senior LB Steven Erzinger. Stephen Anderson was the star of the defense last year and turned out to be the tone-setter for the front seven with 108 tackles. Now it’ll be up to Erzinger to take over in the middle, and he should be able to handle the workload after making 76 stops. While he’s not all that big at 6-1 and 222 pounds, he’s tough, has tremendous speed, and has the guided-missile hitting ability to crank out well over 100 tackles.

Navy

Offense: Could this be the year the running game gets back to being the best in America? After leading the nation for a record-setting four straight seasons, the Midshipmen finished fourth in 2009 and sixth in 2010. That could change with even more of an emphasis on the ground game than usual with Kriss Proctor taking over at quarterback for Ricky Dobbs. The line returns four starters and the running backs are solid, led by fullback Alexander Teich, and Proctor is a veteran who knows what he’s doing. The key to the attack, again, will be hitting on the deep ball on a regular basis. Proctor isn’t Dobbs throwing the ball, and it’s asking a lot for Navy to finish ninth in the nation in passing efficiency.

Defense: Defensive coordinator Buddy Green’s 3-4 style doesn’t generate any production into the backfield, and it doesn’t hit the quarterback, but it’s effective enough to get by … usually. Last year’s defense was a disappointment considering the experience and the talent level compared to previous Midshipmen teams, and while there might be a little bit of panic considering all the turnover, the results shouldn’t be so bad. End Jabaree Tuani might go down as one of the greatest defensive linemen in school history, but he needs help. The D needs inside linebackers Matt Warrick and Max Blue to stay healthy and shine, and strong safety Tra’ves Bush needs to come up with a huge year. The secondary has to come up with more big plays, the linebackers have to be more disruptive, and the line has to prove it can hold up against the better running teams. More than anything else, the defense needs the offense to control the ball.

Best offensive player: Senior FB Alexander Teich. Just call him the tone-setter. At 6-0 and 217 pounds he’s not all that big, but he’s physical when he has to be and fast when he gets through the hole. It took the first part of last year to step into the starting role, and then he took off with a 210-yard day against Notre Dame, a 157-yard day against East Carolina, and with ten carries or more in eight of the last nine games. Navy went 7-1 when he ran for 43 yards or more, but he has to show he can get into the end zone more after scoring just five touchdown runs in three games.

Best defensive player: Senior DE Jabaree Tuani. If he’s not one of the best all-around defensive linemen in Navy history, he’s close. Ultra-consistent, he’s strong against the run and has a good burst and first step when asked to get to the quarterback. He finished the year with just 5.5 sacks, but he required everyone’s full attention and was great when he got a little room to move. Now he has to get into the backfield on a regular basis while acting like a smallish, 6-1, 265-pound defender against the stronger running teams. Wanted by several big-name schools, he could’ve played a prominent role on a far bigger stage. Instead he’s the star of the Midshipmen defensive front.

- 2011 Army Preview | 2011 Army Offense
- 2011 Army Defense | 2011 Army Depth Chart

- 2011 Navy Preview | 2011 Navy Offense
- 2011 Navy Defense | 2011 Navy Depth Chart