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2007 Army Preview

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 24, 2007


2007 Preview Army Black Knights Preview

Army Black Knights

Preview 200
7

By Pete Fiutak

- 2007 Army Offense Preview | 2007 Army Defense Preview
- 2007 Army Depth Chart | 2006 CFN Army Preview
 


Army is undergoing a change at the top with Stan Brock stepping in for Bobby Ross, who retired following an unremarkable three seasons that ended with a six-game losing streak. If nothing else, Brock has made things interesting from the start by showing that this is his program.

Ross recommended Brock, the former offensive line coach, for the job with the understanding that Kevin Ross, Bobby’s son, would stay on as the offensive coordinator. Brock, on the day he was hired, canned the younger Ross, citing the desire to go in a “different direction.” Considering Army hasn’t had a winning season since 1996, won 14 games in the last six years, and hasn’t beaten Navy since 2001, a new direction is exactly what the program needs. 

Head coach: Stan Brock
1st season
Returning Lettermen
Off 18, Def 25, ST 3
Lettermen Lost: 28
Ten Best Army Players
1. SS Caleb Campbell, Sr.
2. WR Jeremy Trimble, Sr.
3. QB Carson Williams, Soph.
4. LB Charlie Rockwood, Sr.
5. DT Tony Fusco, Sr.
6. CB John Laird, Sr.
7. RB Wesley McMahand, Jr.
8. FB Mike Viti, Sr.
9. QB David Pevoto, Sr.
10. P Owen Tolson, Sr.

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2-10

Sept. 1

at Akron

Sept. 8

Rhode Island

Sept. 15

at Wake Forest

Sept. 22

at Boston College

Sept. 29

Temple

Oct. 6

Tulane

Oct. 13

at Central Michigan

Oct. 20

at Georgia Tech

Nov. 3

at Air Force

Nov. 9

Rutgers

Nov. 17

Tulsa

Dec. 1

at Navy

2006 Schedule
2006 Record: 2-10

9/2 at Arkansas St L 14-6
9/9 Kent State W 17-14 OT
9/16 at Texas A&M L 28-24
9/23 at Baylor W 27-20 OT
9/30 Rice L 48-14
10/7 VMI W 62-7
10/14 at Connecticut L 21-7
10/21 TCU L 31-17
10/28 at Tulane L 42-28
11/3 Air Force L 43-9
11/18 at Notre Dame L 41-9
12/2 vs. Navy L 26-14

However, Brock isn’t an outsider who’ll drastically change the team overnight. He knows the players, he knows the system and he’s been around West Point long enough to be comfortable. While he’s said all the right things about Ross setting the foundation, Brock has to quickly find a way to get some wins by doing things a tad differently, especially on offense.

The Black Knights have a promising quarterback prospect in Carson Williams, who’s arguably the most talented passer the program has had in over a decade. He’s big, strong, and is good enough to be the player the offense builds around for the next few years. The running game needs to be more effective, and three starters have to be replaced on the line. Considering Brock’s specialty is the line, opening up holes and protecting the quarterback shouldn’t be a problem. Getting the skill players to put consistent points on the board will be.

Defensively, end Cameron Craig and the top three tacklers have to be replaced.
The run defense got bowled over, there was no pass rush, and there weren’t nearly enough big plays to change games around. More importantly over the next few years, the talent, somehow, has to match the effort.

Brock has his work cut out for him, and it’s not going to be easy. Fortunately for Army fans, he’s going to do whatever he feels is necessary to win.

What to watch for on offense: Williams. The Black Knights were 116th in the nation in passing efficiency and averaged a mere 133.4 yards per game through the air. While the offense will always come up with a good rushing effort here and there, it needs a prospect like Williams to become the real deal to be more competitive with the better teams. No pressure, but the program can’t progress unless he shines.

What to watch for on defense: An effort to do anything possible to get to the quarterback. The coaching staff did its best with what it had last season, despite no pass rush whatsoever. Unfortunately, there’s still no pass rush whatsoever. Army registered only 11 sacks and didn’t do nearly enough to make plays behind the line against the run. Goal one is to at least apply a little bit of pressure from the front four.

The team will be far better if … it stops giving the ball away. Williams didn’t find an interception he couldn’t throw once he got his chance in the lineup in the second half of the season, but he was only part of the problem. Army tied Louisiana Tech for the most turnovers in the nation with 37, while the defense didn’t do enough to get the ball back, hurt mostly by a nation-low four pickoffs. Army can’t win if it doesn’t own the turnover battle.

The Schedule: Three years ago this would look like one of the easiest schedules ever. Now, teams like Wake Forest, Central Michigan, Rutgers and Tulsa are all likely losses unless the Black Knights are far better than last year. Fortunately, independent life allows for games against teams like Rhode Island, Temple, and Tulane, but there are some sure-thing losses along the way in road games against Boston College and Georgia Tech.

Best Offensive Player: Sophomore QB Carson Williams. While no one will mistake him for Carson Palmer, Williams is one of the few Black Knights who likely could’ve played for several other D-I teams. While he still needs developing, he has the size, arm and skills to give Army a real live passing attack over the next few seasons.

Best Defensive Player: Senior SS Caleb Campbell. He has to come back healthy from a knee injury that knocked him out of the final three games of the year, but he’s expected to be back to normal by fall. When he’s right, he’s a terrific all-around defender able to hit, cover and lead the defense.

Key player to a successful season: Again, Williams. David Pevoto is a capable quarterback who could find his way on the field if things start to go sour, but for Army to start to win and finally turn some sort of a corner, it needs Williams to be the type of quarterback who makes everyone around him better. It also would be nice if a dangerous pass rusher would emerge. The pressure will be on ends Brandon Thompson and John Wright to produce.

The season will be a success if ... the team gets better week after week. For a program that hasn’t been within sniffing distance of a winning season in a decade, anything close to seven wins would be nice. Realistically, the goal should be to build for next year and start to find something on both sides of the ball to rely on. Oh yeah, and come up with a win on …

Key game: Dec. 1 vs. Navy. Step one on the road to respectability is a win over Navy. No matter how the team does over the course of the year, the goal will be to rebuild. By the end, against Navy, Army has to show that things are pointed in the right direction. The Midshipmen have won five straight, by a total score of 202 to 68.

2006 Fun Stats: 
- Second quarter scoring: Army 40; Opponents 128
- Interceptions thrown: Army 24; Opponents 4
- Kickoff return average: Army 19.3 yards; Opponents 15.9 yards

 

Related Stories
2007 Army Preview - Offense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Apr 23, 2007
2007 Army Preview - Defense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Apr 23, 2007
2007 Army Preview - Depth Chart
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Apr 23, 2007








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