Army Preview 2006 - Further Analysis
Army Golden Knights
Posted Aug 7, 2006

Army Black Knights Preview 2006 - Further Analysis

1st and Ten – Options and Consequences – When Bobby Ross took over at West Point, QB Zac Dahman had already spent two years as the starter and Ross never could get the young man out of the lineup for the next two years.  But, eventually four years passed and Dahman graduated, leaving what would seem like a gaping hole at the QB position.  David Pevoto wants to put any fears to rest.  The 6’5”, 230 pound Texan didn’t get much time on the field behind Dahman, but got a chance this spring to show that he’s ready to take this offense to another dimension.  Although Pevoto looks more like Dan Marino, he might be asked to be a little more like Jamelle Holieway in the Army offense this season.  Ross wants to get some of the option game, the offense that Navy has made work so well in Annapolis, back into the game plan.  But, this spring, the hulking QB won over his head coach with the way that he ran the option and controlled the offense, but he’ll need to show that consistency throughout the season.  The irony is that the Cadets actually have two solid receiving threats – Walter Hill and Jeremy Trimble – who combined for 76 receptions and 6 touchdowns.  Ross won’t totally get away from a balanced game plan, but he’s seen the pressure that Navy has put on any defense that it faces and knows if he can get his offense to incorporate some option ‘pressure’ into the gameplan, they’ll be that much more lethal.  Of course, this offense will need to find a running back after losing Carlton Jones, who was a thousand yard rusher for the past two seasons (you do need someone to pitch it to, huh?), but the focal point of the offense will be Pevoto, playing pitch and catch with both his receivers and running backs.

2nd and Seven – Caleb’s Place – After playing his freshman year at the ‘whip’ linebacker position, Caleb Campbell moved to the strong safety spot for 2005.  Uh, good move, guys.  Real good move.  The 6’3, 225 pound Texan (dang, another one – that’s right, don’t mess with Texas, brother) was physical and nasty, registering 97 tackles to lead the team, including the 21 he had against the Falcons from Air Force.  With a guy this big playing safety after having played linebacker, you’d think that he’d be a liability against the pass, but not Campbell.  He also had five picks on the season to lead the team.  With another year like that one Campbell had last year he might get some national publicity, but this is a guy who wants to continue to get better and make this Army defense even more improved.  This defense was leaps and bounds beyond what they were the year before, and Campbell is, figuratively and literally, a big reason why.

3rd and Three – Shrode and Scruggs have some help – Opponents that continue to believe they can run the football right at this West Point defense are going to pay for their stubborn approach.  Although linebackers Cason Shrode and Barrett Scruggs are solid, they won’t do much without the much improved defensive front four, featuring DE Cameron Craig, in front of them.  Last year, the Cadets went from being last in the nation against the run to 37th, a monumental leap for a team that wishes to embody the spirit and toughness of their head coach.  Craig is the most active of the bunch, and creates a ton of problems for offenses with his effort and motor.  Two other starters return as well – Brandon Thompson and Tony Fusco, so don’t expect another 119th run defense ranking that’s for sure.  They’ll still be tested with games against Texas A&M, TCU, Notre Dame and Navy, but they’re not bringing a knife to a gun fight, that’s for sure.

4th and One – Wisconsin’s best Bier – The state of Wisconsin is known for its dairy products, but that state also is known for one other thing – offensive linemen (and you thought it was beer).  Well, one good one who escaped the state is the centerpiece for the Cadet offensive line is Pete Bier.  The three year starter isn’t a huge guy at all, well, if you don’t think that 282 bills are all that big.  But, no matter how big or small he is, there’s no questioning how experienced this unit is and how talented the offensive line is, led by Bier and tackle Jonathan Connon.  They’ll need a running back behind them to really show how good they are and how well they work together.  Consequently, they’ll need to be even more physical at the point of attack this year, but this is a group who should know how to do it.  All they have to do is follow the guy from Wisconsin, the Bier Man.

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