Army Cadets Preview
July 12, 2007
By Jorge Gonzalez
Army will be hard pressed to match their win total of three games from last year. Playing as an independent always calls for a tough schedule. To make matters worse, head coach Bobby Ross retired after three years of helping get some depth and better execution out of the Cadets.
In comes Stan Brock, Army’s offensive line coach last season, to tackle his first job as a head coach. Brock will have some big shoes to fill with only 12 returning lettermen. However, there is some depth will 44 lettermen on the roster. Army lacks size along the trenches on both sides of the football and will have trouble keeping games close against physical teams.
The offense returns six starters, primarily at the skilled positions. There are problems along the offensive line that returns only one starter, and doesn’t have a single starter over 300lbs. There are two quarterbacks returning from last season that will see playing time. Senior David Prevatto has not been able to fill the big shoes of Zach Dahman, Army’s all-time leading passer.
When Prevatto stumbled last season, Sophomore Carson Williams would come in and try to get the offense going. To William’s credit, he played the whole way in the last game of the season against Navy and put up decent numbers. 5’5” junior Wesley McMahand returns as the leading rusher with 707 yards and four touchdowns. Both quarterbacks will have a reliable receiver in Senior Jeremy Trimble. Trimble has improved every seasons and returns for his last season after snatching 52 balls out the air in his junior year.
Six starters will also return on the defense. The Cadets will have an improved defensive line with two returning starters, one player returning from injury from two years ago and a rare transfer from Iowa in Ted Bentler. The linebackers will struggle as they need to replace the top two tacklers, Cason Shrode and Barrett Scruggs.
The Cadets return three starters in the secondary. The Safeties, Caleb Campbell and Jordan Murray, will vastly improve this unit if they stay on the field together. If all the pieces fall into place, this could be the best defensive unit in a decade for Army. Jeremy Tribble is a serious threat returning punts after averaging 18.1 yards and scoring two touchdowns as a junior.
If Army can chew some clock and move the chains on offense, they will give their improved defense an opportunity to keep games close. Bobby Ross did a great job with the talent he was able to recruit. Brock will have to be able to lead the troops like his predecessor if they are to have a better football season in 2007.