Army Black Knights
Preview 2008 - Offense
2008 CFN Army
2008 Army Offense
2008 Army Defense |
2008 Army Depth
2007 CFN Army Preview |
2006 CFN Army Preview
What you need to know: Alright, so what is the offense going to do?
The Army new attack was kept under top secret wraps throughout the
off-season before being leaked a bit that it's going to run some option
and move away from the balanced, pro-style attack. It might not be a
wishbone offense, but there will be a far greater emphasis on the ground
game. That might not be a bad thing considering the offensive line is
full of veterans the backfield has a slew of quick, experienced running
backs. The receiving corps is starting from scratch without Jeremy
Trimble to rely on, and it'll desperately need Mike Wright and Damion
Hunter to be playmakers. And then there's the quarterback situation.
Passer Carson Williams is supposedly taking to the new offense well, but
incoming plebe Paul McIntosh might be the better fit.
Passing: Carson Williams
151-287, 1,770 yds, 11 TD, 12 INT
Rushing: Tony Dace
97 carries, 330 yds, 1 TD
Receiving: Mike Wright
12 catches, 149 yds, 1 TD
Star of the offense: Junior QB Carson Williams
Player who has to step up and become a star: Senior WR
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore OG Mikel Weich
Best pro prospect: Senior OT Mike Lemming
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Lemming, 2) Weich, 3)
WR Damion Hunter
Strength of the offense: Running back, veteran line
Weakness of the offense:
Wide receiver, quarterbacks for the
Projected Starter: Can junior Carson Williams
handle the option? The 6-3, 212-pounder was brought in to be
a pro-style passer who'd take the offense to another level.
After throwing for 1,770 yards and 11 touchdowns, with 12
interceptions, the passing never came around, and now he's going
to have to run more. This isn't necessarily his type of offense,
but he's not going to have to run the wishbone. He needs to grow
into an even more consistent, accurate, and mistake-free passer
to keep his playing time. If he starts to struggle, the coaching
staff will quickly go to one of the other options better suited
for the attack.
Projected Top Reserve: 6-0, 218-pound sophomore
Chip Bowden got equal reps with Williams this spring and
will get every shot at seeing playing time. A more athletic
all-around quarterback than Williams, he's a bit better suited
for the option and should be more of a runner. While he's not
Michael Vick running the ball, he can move around well and has a
good enough arm to push the ball down the field.
On the way is true freshman Paul McIntosh, the future of
the Army offense and the right fit for an offense. The Indiana
high school spread offense wizard, named the state's Mr.
Football, will get a chance sooner than later to kick-start the
attack. Not only did he throw for 2,292 yards and 22 touchdowns
in his senior year, but he ran for 1,621 yards and 34
Watch Out For ... McIntosh. Williams will be the
guy who gets the work right away just to provide a veteran
presence, but if the offense really wants to run more, he's not
the right fit.
Strength: Williams' experience. Williams might not have been
that great in his first two seasons, but he started the last ten
games of the year and has been around long enough to know what
he's doing. Even with his struggles, he's still quickly turning
into one of the best statistical quarterbacks in Army history.
Weakness: The right quarterback. Bowden might be closer than
Williams if Army really does want to start running the ball, but
it's McIntosh who'll need to grow up right away for the
experiment to work.
Outlook: If Army really is going to switch up
offense, it needs the right quarterback to run things. There
might be a rotation system depending on the situation, and the
offense will be dictated by which quarterback is playing well.
Expect Williams to get the early start before getting phased
Projected Starters: Senior Tony Dace ended
up emerging from the pack as last season went on and lead the
team with 330 yards and a touchdown. A 5-10, 221-pound bolt of
lightning, he wasn't able to get in the clear enough to use his
excellent wheels to come up with big plays. While he only caught
ten passes for 47 yards, he can be used as a receiver as well as
an inside-outside rusher. He'll get even more work with the
offense tailored more towards his skills.
5-10, 247-pound senior Collin Mooney will get a few
carries here and there, and will be used a bit more as a
receiver, but his job will be to block. While he has made his
biggest impact on special teams, he's an athletic veteran who
can be extremely physical in the short running game.
Projected Top Reserves: Sophomore Patrick
Mealey is neck-and-neck with Tony Dace for the starting
tailback job. It took him a while to get involved as a plebe,
but he eventually became a key part of the ground game,
especially in the middle of the season to finish second on the
team with 302 yards. At 5-8 and 203 pounds, he's a quick,
darting runner who can also catch the ball well.
5-5, 177-pound senior Wesley McMahand led the team with 654 yards
and four touchdowns in 2006 but saw his role diminish last
season as he finished third on the team with 213 yards and two
touchdowns. He has the skills to be a decent receiver, but he
almost never got the ball in his hands in any way late in the
year. At his size, durability is always an issue.
5-8, 198-pound junior Ian Smith
became a big part of the offense late in the year rushing
for 157 yards including a 14-play, 48-yard day against Tulsa.
Now he'll be used far more with a greater emphasis on the ground
game; he can be used to get to the outside.
6-0, 228-pound junior
Tony Moore has decent speed and can pound the ball, too.
He's back after missing all of last year hurt with a hip problem
after being expected to become a huge part of the offense. With
his combination of size and speed, and with his experience from
2006 when he ran for 399 yards and five touchdowns, he has the
ability to be a featured back.
Collin Mooney is the starting fullback, but 221-pound sophomore
Kingsley Ehle should see a few short yardage carries here
and there. He's not going to block like Mooney, but he can run.
Watch Out For ... several running backs seeing
time. The Black Knights have a slew of experienced runners, but
no workhorses. Depending on what the team actually decides to do
with the offense, the players might be in place to run a
wishbone, a spread, or any other type of option needed.
Strength: Quickness and experience. There isn't one really,
really good back in the bunch, but there are several promising
quick ones who have seen enough playing time to fill in when
needed. There could be a different leading rusher every other
Weakness: A workhorse. Does Army actually have a back it can
rely on? It didn't really want to go to the running back by
committee approach last season, but it didn't have much of a
choice. Until one emerges from the pack, possibly Mealy,
everyone will get a turn.
Outlook: The backfield didn't get any help from
the line as all the backs struggled to find any room to move.
Not getting much production from the passing game didn't help
the cause. Now there are five runners ready to see time, and if
the offense wants to start using more option, or if it wants to
use a little wishbone, it can. There isn't talent in place like
Army has had, but there are some good runners ready to get a
Projected Starters: 6-2, 218-pound senior Mike
Wright is the team's most experienced returning
receiver catching 12 passes for 160 yards with a touchdown last
season, and while he hasn't exploded over the course of his
career, he has the athleticism and the motor to always be
working to get open and always find a way to make a catch ...
when he gets work his way.
5-11, 187-pound sophomore Jameson Carter has the talent
to quickly become one of the team's best offensive weapons.
He'll be pushed hard for playing time with the emergence of
Damion Hunter, but he a speedy threat with as much upside as
anyone in the corps.
It'll be a combination at tight end with senior Mike Evans
and junior Ernie Bernal combining for the job. The
6-2, 238-pound Evans was a decent receiver with 11 catches for
126 yards, but most of his work came early on. The former
fullback is a decent blocker who got over a knee injury to catch
three passes in the opener, but he was an afterthought the rest
of the way.
The 6-3, 248-pound Bernal was a key special teamer who saw time
in two tight end sets. He only made two catches, both against
Army, with a touchdown, and now he'll see even more time as a
blocker and a complement to Evans.
Projected Top Reserves: Carter and Wright might be
the starters coming out of spring ball, but junior Damion
Hunter could turn into the No. 1 target. The 5-10,
173-pounder is one of the team's fastest players and a potential
kick returner. He was never healthy last season, hurt mostly by
a hamstring injury, playing in only four games and finishing
with six catches for 58 yards. He was named the team's most
improved player this spring, and could break out if he can
finally stay healthy.
Jamison Maehler is a tight-end sized 6-4, 211-pound
option who didn't make a catch last season after making three
grabs as a sophomore. He'll start out behind Wright, but he'll
have a hard time holding off several young prospects. He was a
major yardage machine as a Nevada prep, but it hasn't translated
to the next level.
Watch Out For ... Hunter. For an offense in
desperate need of a playmaking receiver, Hunter is it if he can
stay on the field. He has the explosion and the pop to be the
deep threat that's missing with the loss of Jeremy Trimble.
Strength: Um, uh, hmmmmm. Wright is a dependable target and
Hunter has the potential to be terrific, even though he's not
reliable to stay healthy.
Weakness: Talent. Wright works his tail off and tries hard and
Hunter has D-I speed, but that's about it. There aren't enough
dangerous playmakers to get the passing game going.
Outlook: There's no replacing Trimble, the
school's all-time leading receiver and the main weapon in the
passing game with 62 catches for 912 yards and seven touchdowns.
There's little returning experience and not a lot to get fired
up about considering the offense is looking to run more. The
receivers' job will be to make the key catches to keep drives
going, and to block. Everything else will be gravy.
The star of the veteran line is senior Mike Lemming, a 6-3,
298-pound right tackle who who was one of the few constants up front
starting all 12 games. Able to play guard if needed, he's been a find on
the outside where he's been the team's best blocker. He's not a rock in
pass protection, but he's as good as Army has.
Next to Lemming on the right side will be 6-3, 281-pound sophomore
Mikel Weich, the only plebe to see starting time getting the wall
three times in the middle of the season. A talented athlete who could
play tackle at times, he should emerge over the next few seasons as one
of the team's steadiest, smartest blockers.
Senior Tyson Quink got a start at left guard against Temple and
now will take over in the middle for Trey Miranne, one of two players to
start every game in the same spot up front. The 6-3, 281-pounder is
versatile enough to move around where ever needed one the inside.
6-3, 260-pound junior Jason Johnson might not be all that big,
but he's an athletic left tackle who got five starts. He missed half the
season with an elbow injury, but now he'll be expected to use his
quickness to do more on the move for the new running game. While he
might not be a mauler of a run blocker, he can run.
Senior Brandon Cox was the regular starter at left guard but also
saw time at left tackle late in the year. The 6-3, 294-pounder needed
time to develop as a sophomore after suffering a foot injury, and then
he started to come into his own as a junior. Very smart and very
versatile, he's a good pass blocker from the guard spot but struggles a
bit on the outside. With his size, he's needed on the inside.
Projected Top Reserves: Junior Ali Villanueva
began his career on the defensive line making a tackle at end as a
plebe before moving over to the offensive side. An interesting prospect,
he's an athletic 6-10, 302-pound tackle who'll play behind Jason Johnson
adding more size on the left side.
While the guard spots are set, there's decent depth and experience in
senior John Keller on the left side and junior Richard Miller
on the right. The 6-3, 295-pound Keller has a little experience and
can play either guard spot, while the 6-2, 296-pound Miller is a pure
guard playing behind Mikel Weich.
Watch Out For ... Weich. The line has a slew of
veterans to hope for a little bit of a turnaround, but the rising star
is Weich. He's the one the line will build around for the next few
Strength: Experience. The problems of last year with injuries
and inconsistencies will turn into a plus with an experienced line with
several decent players returning. All the veterans should be able to
come together in a hurry.
Weakness: Production. Yeah, there's good size and a lot of
experience, but the line didn't do anything last year and now needs to
jell in a new system. The line didn't protect the quarterback and didn't
do anything in the running game. Now it has to find something it can do
Outlook: The line had to rotate in several players
thanks to a variety of injuries. Now there's more depth and more
experience than head coach Stan Brock has ever enjoyed. Lemming and
Weich form a strong right side of the line, while the left side won't be
too bad if Villanueva can rotate in with Johnson at left tackle and
shine. The key will be to handle the new responsibilities for the running
game. All the experience won't mean much if the front five doesn't block