Army Preview 2006
Army Golden Knights
Posted Aug 7, 2006

Just when it appeared Army was about to fall further into the abyss of an 11-game losing streak, out came a shocking run of four wins to show that things really might be turning around under head coach Bobby Ross.

Offense | Defense | Depth Chart | Further Analysis

The Black Knights don't run a precision option attack like Navy or Air Force, and it won't get the top recruits needed to ever be a superpower, but they showed they can jump up and bite teams in the butt and, at the very least, be very competitive. 

While the 2005 season came to a crashing thud with yet another loss to Navy, Army is still feeding off the energy of the second half of last season with hopes of a big start in its second year as an independent.

Head coach: Bobby Ross
3rd season: 6-16
18th year overall: 100-92-2
Returning Lettermen
Off 19, Def 26, ST 3
Lettermen Lost: 22
Ten Best Army Players
1. SS Caleb Campbell, Jr.
2. WR Jeremy Trimble, Jr.
3. LB Barrett Scruggs, Sr.
4. C Pete Bier, Sr.
5. LB Cason Shrode, Sr.
6. P Owen Tolson, Jr.
7. WR Walter Hill, Sr.
8. WR/KR Corey Anderson, Jr.
9. DT Tony Fusco, Jr.
10. LB Charlie Rockwood, Jr.

2006 Schedule
CFN Prediction: coming

9/2 at Arkansas State
9/9 Kent State
9/16 at Texas A&M
9/23 at Baylor
9/30 Rice
10/7 VMI
10/14 at Connecticut
10/21 TCU
10/28 at Tulane
11/3 Air Force
11/18 at Notre Dame
12/2 vs. Navy

2005 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2005 Record:
Preview 2005 predicted wins

9/10 at Boston College L 44-7
9/17 Baylor L 20-10
9/24 Iowa State L 28-21
10/1 Connecticut L 47-13
10/8 Central Mich L 14-10
10/15 at TCU L 38-17
10/22 at Akron W 20-0
11/5 at Air Force W 27-24
11/12 Massachusetts W 34-27
11/19 Arkansas St  W 38-10
12/3 Navy L 42-23

Unburdened by the shackles of playing in a conference, Army can schedule more teams its own size and keep improving and gaining confidence. There's no question Ross can coach, and there's no denying the heart and intensity the team plays with, but it's going to be a constant work in progress to keep filling in the holes and come up with wins.

This year's team has some fantastic pieces to build around with the potential for its strongest, most efficient passing attack in years. All five starters return to the offensive line and everyone is back in the linebacking corps. The kicking game is sound, the receiving corps could be the strength of the team, and safety Caleb Campbell will once again be among the nation's most productive safeties. And then things get interesting.

Long-time starting quarterback Zac Dahman is gone, but things should be even better with big bomber David Pevoto looking ready to become a top passer. The running back situation is shaky at best after losing Carlton Jones and Scott Wesley, there's no proven pass rush, and the cornerbacks have little to no experience to rely on.

It's still about baby steps for a program that hasn't come up with a winning season since 1996. Winning four games was a positive move forward, and now Ross has to fill in the gaps and come up with a few more wins. It's possible because of ...

The Schedule: Ah, the life of an independent. Forget about beating teams like Texas A&M, TCU or Notre Dame unless all the planets align correctly and a few minor miracles kick in, but there isn't another game on the slate that's a sure-thing, mark-it-down loss. Sure, games at Baylor and Connecticut aren't going to be easy and Navy owns the Black Knights over the last few years, but there are enough games against teams like Arkansas State, VMI and Kent State to hope for a six-win season.

Best Offensive Player: Junior WR Jeremy Trimble. The game-breaking receiver should flourish with Davis Pevoto throwing to him. He's tough across the middle and is a proven deep threat. The number one offensive weapon has to get the ball in his hands at least six times a game.

Best Defensive Player: Junior SS Caleb Campbell. He showed potential as a freshman linebacker, and then he blew up when he got his shot in the defensive backfield leading the team in both tackles and interceptions. He makes plays all over the field and should be in the hunt for All-America honors.

Key player to a successful season: Junior QB David Pevoto. He had better be good. Really, really good. The 6-5, 229-pound passer looks the part and can make all the throws. If he isn't a star, the offense will go into the tank with no reliable backups and even fewer reliable runners to get the ground game going.

The season will be a success if ... Army wins six games and beats Navy. It'll take at least a big upset or two and at least a 4-1 home record to get in range. And then there's the Navy game. It's obviously the big rivalry game, but the service academies measure themselves by how good they are against each other; it's a really big deal. Army tagged Air Force last season, and now it needs to come up with the win it really wants.

Key game: December 2nd vs. Navy. Army hasn't just lost four straight to its hated rival, it has been crushed by a score of 176 to 63. That's an average score of around 44 to 16. While they all might be brothers in arms, this could start getting nasty on the field if the trend continues.

2005 Fun Stats: 
- Punt return average: Opponents 10.6 yards per return - Army 6.8 yards per return
- Time of possession: Army 31:54 - Opponents 28:06
- Sacks: Opponents 22 for 176 yards - Army 13 for 67 yards

The Last Time Army…
…played in a bowl game…1996 (Independence Bowl vs. Auburn)
…missed a bowl game…2005
…pitched a shutout…2005 (Akron)
…was shutout…2003 (TCU)
…scored 50 points…1999 (Louisville)
…went undefeated…1958
…won a conference title…never
…had a 3,000-yard passer…never
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2005 (Carlton Jones)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…never
…had a first-round draft choice…1947 (RB Glenn Davis and T Tex Coulter)

Related Stories
Army Preview 2006 - Offense
 -by  Aug 7, 2006
Army Preview 2006 - Further Analysis
 -by  Aug 7, 2006
Army Preview 2006 - Depth Chart
 -by  Aug 7, 2006

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