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2007 Army Preview - Offense

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 24, 2007


2007 Preview Army Black Knights Offense

Army Black Knights

Preview 2007 - Offense

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

What you need to know:
Last year, Army used a veteran offensive line to work the running game behind while the passing game struggled. Now it has to be the other way around. The backfield, while banged up in spring ball, is solid, the line will be a work in progress. The passing game needs to improve hoping for top-prospect Carson Williams to turn into the leader and playmaker everyone's expecting him to become, or else David Pevoto has to take over the reins and be consistent. No matter who's under center, the interceptions have to slow down. Jeremy Trimble leads a potentially strong receiving corps.

Returning Leaders
Passing: David Pevoto
106-193, 1,012 yds, 6 TD, 14 INT
Rushing: Wesley McMahand
150 carries, 654 ydds, 4 TD
Receiving: Jeremy Trimble
52 catches, 534 yds, 2 TD

Star of the offense: Senior WR Jeremy Trimble
Player that has to step up and become a star: Junior OT Mike Lemming
Unsung star on the rise:
Sophomore WR Damion Hunter
Best pro prospect: Trimble
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Trimble, 2) QB Carson Williams, 3) RB Wesley McMahand
Strength of the offense: Running back
Weakness of the offense:
Offensive line

Quarterbacks

Projected Starter: Sophomore Carson Williams might not have been consistent, he might have thrown interceptions in bunches, and he might not have led the team to any wins, but he showed off some of the skills that make him the program's most promising quarterback prospect in several years. He's 6-3 and 210 pounds with a live, accurate arm. He needs more time to see more situations and adjust to the speed of the game, but he'll be a good one as the future, and present, of the program. Now he needs to be better after completing 56 of 98 passes for 577 yards and four touchdowns with ten interceptions.

Projected Top Reserve: Williams is the potential star the team needs to build around, but senior David Pevoto is neck-and-neck in the race to start game one. At 6-4 and 213 pounds, he's bigger and more mobile than Williams with a tremendous arm. He was the team's only experienced quarterback going into last season, and wasn't bad completing 55% of his throw for 1,012 yards and six touchdowns. However, he threw 14 interceptions and struggled to consistently move the offense.

Senior walk-on Kevin Dunn has been around long enough to be the emergency option. He's mobile and has had time in the system, but he could quickly lose the number three job to either Kyle Stancombe or Chase Prasnicki, both sophomores.

Watch Out For ... the coaching staff to say all the right things about open competition, even if/when Pevoto outplays Williams, but Williams will end up being the full-time quarterback sooner than later. He needs more time develop.
Strength
:
Experience. Williams got his feet wet at the end of last year, while Pevoto has seen enough action to not be fazed if he has to come in off the bench. Either one can start at any time.
Weakness
:
Interceptions. Each quarterback has an accurate arm, but throwing picks has been a problem. The two combined to throw 24 with only ten touchdown passes.
Outlook: Both quarterbacks will see time to try to come up with some sort of consistent production, but eventually, the team will have to live through Williams' mistakes while hoping he'll grow into his potential.
Rating: 5


Running Backs

Projected Starters: Junior Wesley McMahand is a 5-5, 177-pound quick back who led the team with 654 yards and four touchdowns as the focal point of the offense early on. His carries dropped off over the second half of the year, but he was still a key cog in the attack. He has the hands and the moves to eventually be a key receiver, but he has to be used more after only making three grabs. After missing a bulk of spring ball with a shoulder injury, he should be back healthy by fall.

At fullback, Army might have the toughest player in college football in 5-10, 242-pound senior Mike Viti. Despite hurting his knee, and undergoing in-season surgery, he still played in every game and finished third on the team with 239 yards and a touchdown and fourth in receiving catching 13 passes fro 74 yards. He's also a tremendous blocker.

Projected Top Reserves: 6-0, 228-pound sophomore Tony Moore has decent speed, but his game is about power between the tackles. The second-leading rusher last season finished with 399 yards and a team-high five touchdowns as a nice compliment to McMahand. Like McMahand, Moore got hurt this spring getting knocked out with a hip injury.

5-6, 187-pound junior Tony Dace is a bolt of lightning when he gets a hole to run through, and he's tough for his size not afraid to pound the ball a bit. He only saw ten carries for 30 yards last year, and now he'll play more of a role.

Jamal Robinson
was all set to become a major factor in the offense, but he hurt his knee in spring ball and has to prove he can come back healthy and a steady part of the rotation.

236-pound junior Collin Mooney is another tough Army fullback who isn't going to run the ball as much as Viti, but will see plenty of action as a blocker.

Watch Out For ... running back by committee. It'll be done out of necessity more than anything else to keep everyone healthy. At least four players will get the ball on a regular basis.
Strength
:
A combination of quickness and toughness. McMahand and Dace can cut on a dime, while Viti and Moore can power the ball. There's a nice blend of options.
Weakness
:
Health. Viti has to be dragged off the field, but he wasn't nearly as effective as he should've been with his knee problems. With McMahand, Moore and Robinson all getting hurt in spring ball, keep everyone in one piece is going to be a problem all year long.
Outlook: The running backs are going to be the offensive strength, but they need help from a consistent passing game to take the pressure off. If everyone is healthy, the Black Knights have a nice blend of backs to do a little of everything, but they can't start dropping like flies like they did in spring ball.
Rating: 5


Receivers


Projected Starters: The team's leading receiver, senior Jeremy Trimble, is back after catching 52 passes for 534 yards and two touchdowns. While he's not necessarily explosive, he's consistent good for 3-to-5 catches a game. He has the speed and the ability to crank out big plays, he's a superstar punt returner, but he needs more opportunities and more consistency from the quarterbacks.

On the other side will be sophomore Damion Hunter, one of the team's faster players who'll start on the outside and will also serve as the team's top kickoff returner. He was tremendous this spring after struggling last year in practices.

6-5, 228-pound senior Justin Larson has mostly played on special teams, but he's a good receiver who caught five passes for 29 yards and a touchdown in a limited role. Now he'll be a key target in the passing game.

Projected Top Reserves: 6-3, 198-pound senior Elliott Emerich brings much needed size to the receiving corps. He didn't do anything last year, but he'll be expected to grow into a backup role behind Hunter on the outside.

6-2, 204-pound junior Mike Wright also brings some good size as well as a little bit of experience catching nine passes for 65 yards being used primarily as a possession receiver. The quick Corey Anderson made eight catches for 85 yards and a touchdown last season and now will play behind Trimble and Wright on the inside while also getting work as a runner.

Former fullback Mike Evans, a junior, will start out behind Larson at tight end being used mostly as a blocker. Struggling through a knee injury, he wasn't able to make a push for the starting job this spring.

Watch Out For ... the production of the corps to rise and fall with the development of the quarterbacks. This isn't a good enough group to make Williams and Pevoto look great, but they'll good enough to help the passers by being in the right place every time. 
Strength
:
Experience. This is a veteran group with a solid number one target in Trimble to rely on. This might not be the most dangerous receiving corps but it knows what it's doing.
Weakness
:
Second and third receivers. Hunter needs to prove he can become a steady playmaker on the other side of Trimble, while Emerich and Wright have to start making more big plays.
Outlook: As long as Trimble is getting the ball in his hands on a regular basis, the passing game will be fine. This isn't the type of corps that'll make a boatload of plays on its own, but if the ball is delivered in the right places and on the move, they have the burst to do big things with it.
Rating: 4

Offensive Linemen

Projected Starters: Senior center Trey Miranne has to be fantastic as one of the only starters returning to a line that wasn't all that bad thanks to a slew of veterans. He's a strong 273 pounds and started to become steady as the season wore down. While he's not going to blow anyone away, he'll be a good, smart leader.

6-3, 297-pound junior Brandon Cox was all set to be a key contributor at tackle before braking his foot before last season began. He came back late with mixed results, and now he'll move inside to take over at left guard.

6-3, 284-pound senior Connor Wicklund got a start at left guard against Arkansas State to open the year and was then relegated to a backup role. He'll end up rotating in and out, but he's got enough experience to end up starting a bulk of the time somewhere. Better suited for guard, he can also play tackle if needed.

6-2, 256-pound senior Ray Zelenak is a tough, athletic veteran left tackle who started for most of last year and showed enough improvement this spring to allow Cox to move over to guard. Great on the move, he gets by on his quickness and tenacity.

6-3, 281-pound junior Mike Lemming stepped up his play enough this off-season to get the starting nod at
Jonathan Connon's right tackle spot. He has as much talent as anyone on the line and now needs to come through after spending time rotating between guard and tackle.

Projected Top Reserves: 6-1, 294-pound junior Seth Fabin should be the team's most important backup able to play center or guard. He'll mostly be needed in the rotation in the middle behind Miranne, but he'll play where needed.

At 6-6 and 282 pounds, sophomore Joe Muldoon is one of the team's biggest linemen and needs to become a regular in the rotation behind Lemming on the right side. 6-2, 301-pound junior John Keller is the only 300-pounder up front playing behind Cox at left guard. He could potentially step in if Cox moves back to tackle.

Watch Out For ... this to be a work in progress all season long. The coaching staff needs everyone to shine in their starting roles as much as possible without needing to be moved around, but that won't likely happen. It'll take a while to find the right combination to get the running game going.
Strength
:
The size is there up and down the line. Outside of Zelenak at left tackle, this is a good-sized line with enough bulk to eventually form a strong wall. There's not going to be a lot of pushing around of this group.
Weakness
:
Depth. Finding a starting five is hard enough without trying to come up with steady backups to count on. The last thing the new coaching staff needs it a major problem with injuries early on.
Outlook: This could be a bigger problem than expected. Last year's line was a strength with a senior-laden group that did a good job in pass protection and wasn't bad for the running game. The starting five will turn out fine, but once there needs to be a little bit of a rotation, there'll be problems.
Rating: 4

 

Related Stories
2007 Army Preview
 -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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