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2008 CFN Army Preview
Army QB Carson Williams
Army QB Carson Williams
Posted Apr 11, 2008 2008 Preview - Army Black Knights

Army Black Knights

Preview 20

By Pete Fiutak

- 2008 CFN Army Preview | 2008 Army Offense
- 2008 Army Defense |
2008 Army Depth Chart
2007 CFN Army Preview | 2006 CFN Army Preview 

Yes, there was a time when Army football was relevant an successful, and it wasn't even as far back as the 1940s.

Army went 10-2 in 1996, mostly due to a ridiculously weak schedule, but also because of an impressive offense that ran the ball effectively. The program has gone back to the same blueprint by easing back on the slate, there are only two games against BCS programs, and running the ball again.

Head coach: Stan Brock
2nd season: 3-9
Returning Lettermen
Off 16, Def 19, ST 3
Lettermen Lost: 40
Ten Best Army Players
1. LB Frank Scappaticci, Sr.
2. DT Ted Bentler, Jr.
3. OT Mike Lemming, Sr.
4. DT Mike Gann, Jr.
5. LB John Plumstead, Sr.
6. QB Carson Williams, Jr.
7. CB Jordan Trimble, Soph.
8. CB Josh Mitchell, Sr.
9. DE Nicholas Emmons, Jr.
10. OG Mikel Weich, Soph.

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction:

Aug. 29 Temple
Sept. 6 New Hampshire
Sept. 13 OPEN DATE
Sept. 20 Akron
Sept. 27 at Texas A&M
Oct. 4 at Tulane
Oct. 11 Eastern Michigan
Oct. 18 at Buffalo
Oct. 25 Louisiana Tech
Nov. 1 Air Force
Nov. 8 at Rice
Nov. 22 at Rutgers
Dec. 6 Navy (in Phil.)

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2007 Record: 3-8

Sept. 1 at Akron L 22-14
Sept. 8
R. Island W 14-7 OT
Sept. 15 at Wake Forest L 21-10
Sept. 22 at Boston Coll L 37-17
Sept. 29
Temple W 37-21
Oct. 6 Tulane W 20-17 OT
Oct. 13 at Central Mich
L 47-23
Oct. 20 at Ga Tech L 34-10
Nov. 3 at Air Force L 30-10
Nov. 9
Rutgers L 41-6
Nov. 17 Tulsa L 49-39
Dec. 1 at Navy L 38-3

After trying to turn things around with passing attack, and then a balanced offense, and then with a combination of styles revolving around the personnel, and winning 21 games against D-I teams in the last 11 years, there was a cloud of secrecy surrounding the offense going into this off-season.

Would head coach Stan Brock run the spread? Would he go with a more wide open passing game? Was it going to be a return to the wishbone? It's going to be an option attack that might eventually morph into a Navy-like wishbone once the players are in place to run it. That day might not be as far off as it appears.

No, Carson Williams isn't an option runner, but he's just mobile enough to be thrown out there until the right quarterback can be found. The running backs might be in place with several small, quick backs that could shine with the right opportunities and the right coaching. Could Army be Navy? Maybe in a few years, but that's the goal; become a regular in the bowl scene.

It's going to take a few more steps and a lot of seasoning, but after not coming up with a winning season since that big 1996 campaign, one more year to improve might not seem that bad as long there's a positive step forward. There hasn't been one around the program for a while.

What to watch for on offense: The new offense. Will the coaching staff be able to stay with Williams if it wants to run the option, or will it make the switch to Chip Bowden, a bit more of a runner, or will it take its lumps with plebe Paul McIntosh, the team's top recruit. Indiana's Mr. Football is the running quarterback the offense needs.

What to watch for on defense: The middle of the defensive front. With Frank Scappaticci making the successful transition from outside linebacker to the middle, and with tackles Ted Bentler and Mike Gann a strong tandem on the inside, the heart of the Army defense should be decent. However, there depth at tackle falls off the map with 224-pound David Kava and 262-pound Mark Faldowski good role players, but hardly starters.

The team will be far better if … there's some semblance of a pass rush. There hasn't been one in years, but there's just enough quickness and experience at all four spots on the defensive front to start generating a little bit more pressure on the quarterback. With a new secondary being broken in, opposing quarterbacks can't be allowed to have ten days to throw. Someone has to emerge as a dangerous pass rushing threat.

The Schedule: Army isn't exactly extending itself as it goes from playing four BCS teams to two, Texas A&M and Rutgers, while dealing with just two other teams, Air Force and Navy, that went bowling. Any team with a pulse would roll to a ten-win season against this slate facing teams like Tulane, Temple, Eastern Michigan, Buffalo and Rice, and while Army might not have the talent level to be great, it should be feisty enough to come up with its best season in years thanks to this schedule.

Best Offensive Player: Senior OT Mike Lemming. Williams might have the most talent of anyone on the offense, but his skills aren't being developed and now he's a square peg in a round hole. Lemming is a big, experienced lineman to revolve the rest of the offense around, and with the emergence of guard Mikel Weich, the right side of the line should be a strength.

Best Defensive Player: Senior LB Frank Scappaticci. The best player could turn out to be Bentler, but it's Scappaticci who should emerge as the team's top all-around defensive playmaker now that he has more responsibility in the middle. He's an undersized 224 pounds, but he's quick, tough, and knows what he's doing.

Key player to a successful season: The starting quarterback. If the offense really is going to the option, Williams will be a role player in passing situations only. While he was fine in spring ball and is said to have his starting job all but wrapped up, he'll have to fight off Bowden and McIntosh. Williams has to lead the team to wins; plain and simple.

The season will be a success if ... the Black Knights flirt with a winning season. Even though Army battled Texas A&M in a heartbreaking loss two years ago, the date with the Aggies is still an almost certain loss, as is the trip to Rutgers. Every other game is winnable if the offense comes together quickly and if the defense isn't the pushover it was throughout last season. Army might not be all that good, but anything less than four wins with this schedule is unacceptable.

Key game: August 29th vs. Temple. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's really all about the Navy game after losing six straight in the series, but the Black Knights have to prove from day one that things are different by beating an improved Temple. No, the Owls aren't a threat to go to the BCS, but they're better than they've been in several years and will also be looking to get off to a hot start.

2007 Fun Stats: 
- First quarter scoring: Opponents 100 - Army 46
- Penalties: Opponents 83 for 711 yards - Army 48 for 375 yards
- Rushing yards per game: Opponents 233.5 - Army 87.5


Related Stories
2008 Army Preview - Offense
 -by  Apr 11, 2008
2008 Army Preview - Defense
 -by  Apr 11, 2008
2008 Army Preview – Depth Chart
 -by  Apr 11, 2008

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