Army Preview 2006 - Offense
Army Golden Knights
Posted Aug 7, 2006

Army Black Knights Preview 2006 - Army Offense

What you need to know ... Expect a bit of a shift to adapt to the personnel. Top runners Carlton Jones and Scott Wesley are gone along with longtime starting quarterback Zac Dahman, but all five starters return to the line and the receiving corps has the potential to be Army's best in years. David Pevoto should be an even better passer than Dahman, who holds several school records. The ground game will be an issue early with no reliable tailbacks emerging this spring.

Returning Leaders
Passing: David Pevoto
6-12, 68 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Mike Viti
4 carries, 1 yd
Receiving: Jeremy Trimble
42 catches, 535 yds, 4 TD

Star of the offense: Junior WR Jeremy Trimble
Player that has to step up and become a star: Senior RB Ricky Lay
Unsung star on the rise:
Junior QB David Pevoto
Best pro prospect: Junior WR Corey Anderson
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Trimble, 2) C Pete Bier, 3) WR Walter Hill
Strength of the offense: Wide receiver, offensive line
Weakness of the offense:

Zac Dahman is gone, and that might not be a horrible thing even though he threw for a school-record 6,904 career yards and 36 touchdowns. He added no rushing skills and threw 48 interceptions, so the emergence of big bomber David Pevoto should bring a more explosive element to the attack. The backups aren't close to being ready for primetime with Pat McDonald and Kevin Dunn each needing more time. McDonald is the best runner of the three while Dunn has a good enough arm to grow into a competent passer.
The key to the unit: David Pevato has to be more efficient than Zac Dahman was, and the backups have to be more game ready. 
Quarterback Rating: 4.5

Projected Starter
- David Pevoto, Jr. - 6-12, 68 yds, 1 INT
The only returning quarterback with any experience, the rock-solid 6-5, 229-pound junior has improved enough to potentially be more a more efficient passer than Zac Dahman was. He has a better arm the Dahman and should allow the coaching staff to run more passing plays. He's not a runner, but he can throw on the move.

Top Backups
- Pat McDonald, Jr.
McDonald is a small, gutty option with good speed. He isn't a threat to win the starting job so he'll look to add another dimension to the offense than David Pevoto.

- Kevin Dunn, Jr.
The walk-on might not be big at only 6-1 and 189 pounds, but he has a live arm and good mobility. He'll spend the year pushing for the number two job as he becomes more familiar with the offense.

Running Backs
This isn't going to be pretty early on after losing Carlton Jones, Scott Wesley and Seth Gulsby, who combined for 1,660 net rushing yards and all 16 rushing touchdowns. The depth chart will change wildly before the start of the season with 6-4 Ricky Lay just as likely to start the year at wide receiver as he is at tailback. Jerry Jones is a 220-pound pounder, but the rest of the tailbacks are very small and very quick. Bringing some stability is fullback Mike Viti, who needs to be a an even better blocking back considering all the inexperience in the backfield.
The key to the unit: Find someone, anyone, who can be a reliable tailback and/or develop a strong rotation.
Running Back Rating: 4

Projected Starters
- Ricky Lay, Sr.
The 6-4, 215-pound senior has spent most of his time on special teams after starting out his career at quarterback. He move to receiver, and then to running back where he'll be a tall, speedy back with home0run hitting ability. What he doesn't have is a lick of experience with the ball in his hands and might end up moving back to receiver if some other prospects step up.

- Fullback Mike Viti, Jr. - 4 carries, 1 yard, 6 catches, 55 yds
The 242-pound junior is the team's biggest fullback and could start seeing more carries after spending last season opening holes for the tailbacks. He has good hands as a receiver and he has been a good runner in practice. Now he has to be used as a power runner as well as one of the offense's top blockers.

Top Backups
- Jamal Robinson, Soph.
The small, quick sophomore also packs a little bit of power even though he's only 5-8 and 178 pounds. He'll be a speedy option in the rotation behind Ricky Lay.
- Wesley McMahand, Soph.
At only 5-5 and 171 pounds, McMahand isn't going to be a workhorse. Even so, he strong and extremely tough for his size with great quickness. He could be a dangerous 5-7 carry a game option.
- Fullback Tim Frye, Soph. - 2 carries, 7 yds
A good special teamer last season and a solid backup, the 225-pound sophomore could also emerge as a reliable runner. He won't be the blocker Mike Viti is but could be used more as a receiver.

This could quickly be the strength of the offense if tight ends Tim Dunn and Justin Larson progress as expected. Replacing reliable target Jared Ulekowski won't be easy, but Larson appears to be on the verge of big things as a receiver while Dunn will remain the top blocker. The top two receivers, Jeremy Trimble and Walter Hill, should have even bigger seasons with a passer like David Pevoto under center. Corey Anderson is a dangerous deep threat who needs to be used more.
The key to the unit: Get more wide receivers in the mix to help out the top trio of Jeremy Trimble, Walter Hill and Cory Anderson and make more deep plays.
Receiver Rating: 5

Projected Starters
- Jeremy Trimble, Jr. - 42 catches, 535 yds, 12.7 ypc, 4 TD
The team's most explosive receiver also became the team's most consistent target. He's a strong 214 pounds who can hit the home run and also make the tough catch across the middle. He's one of Army's few big-play weapons and he needs the ball in his hands a several times a game.

- Walter Hill, Sr. - 34 catches, 410 yds, 12.1 ypc, 2 TD
Hill stepped in when Jacob Murphy got hurt and became the team's second leading receiver and a top target over the second half of the season catching eight passes against TCU and seven against Air Force. He's great at catching the ball in traffic and is a great downfield blocker.

- Tight end Tim Dunn, Sr. - 4 catches, 31 yds, 7.8 ypc
Dunn has more than enough starting experience after seeing time in the two-tight end sets along with Jared Ulekowski. Now he has to fill the role of outlet receiver like Ulekowski was to go along with his impressive blocking ability. He's 6-4, 238 pounds and can hit.

Top Backups
- Corey Anderson, Jr. - 19 catches, 193 yds, 10.2 ypc, 2 TD
Used a bit as a runner as well as a receiver, Anderson has the speed to become a dangerous deep threat behind Jeremy Tribble. He might only be 5-8 and 165 pounds, but he's the team's top kick returner and one of the fastest players.

- Mike Castelli, Sr.
The 6-2, 190-pound senior is limited in his all-around skills, but he's a strong blocker. Now he has to start making more plays as a possession receiver playing behind Walter Hill after stepping up his play this spring.
- Tight end Justin Larson, Jr.
While Tim Dunn will be the team's top blocking tight end, Larson should quickly become the top receiver. He has soft hands with great size at 6-5 and 236 pounds

Offensive Linemen
All five starters return with a few good backups to potentially make this the best line yet under head coach Bobby Ross. The pieces appear to be in place after plenty of shuffling last season with Pete Bier the rock at center and steady guards Dan Evans and Matt Wesiner looking better after a year of experience. The big question is left tackle where undersized veteran Ray Zelenak will have to be part of a rotation meaning big Brandon Cox has to be ready right away.

The key to the unit: It has to play like the veteran group that it is with few mistakes. Staying healthy will be a big plus considering the way things started to come together over the second half of last season.
Offensive Line Rating: 5

Projected Starters
- OT Ray Zelenak, Jr.
A fantastic athlete, Zelenak overcomes his lack of size with good speed and toughness. He's only 6-3 and 262 pounds at left tackle and will need to be part of a rotation when going against the bigger ends.
- OG Dan Evans, Sr.
The former defensive lineman proved to be better on the offensive side. The 297-pound guard is one of the team's biggest blockers and is aggressive against the run. He's no longer a defensive tackle playing offense; he's an emerging star on the left side.
- C Pete Bier, Sr.
Back for his fourth year on the line, the 282-pound senior made the successful switch over from guard to center and became the anchor of the veteran line. He'll once again be the quarterback up front and the team's most reliable all-around blocker.
- OG Matt Wesiner, Sr.
Wesiner started off at left guard and moved over to the right side once Dan Evans emerged as a starter. He's a tough 6-3 and 289 pounds with good quickness and technique.
- OT Jonathan Connon, Sr.
At 6-6 and 293 pounds, Connon has the big frame to be tough pass blocker to get around and has grown into a strong run blocker. He looked even better this spring and should be more consistent.

Top Backups
- OG Miles Murray, Sr.
Murray started off the season as the starting right guard before giving way to Matt Wesiner. He's experienced enough to be a reliable reserve for either guard spot, and big enough to be a tough run blocker when needed.
- OT Brandon Cox, Soph.
The 282-pound sophomore has to be an instant factor playing behind the 262-pound Ray Zelenak. Along with being groomed for the starting position in 2007, he'll see time against the bigger linemen.

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