College Football Preview: The 2015 Army Black Knights
Army Black Knights Preview
2014 Record: 2-10
Jeff Monken begins his second season on the sidelines of the Army Black Knights.
Overview: Most teams have a goal of reaching a Bowl game year after year but for Army the goal is beating Air Force and Navy and forget about a Bowl because all would be good. Is this the year the Black Knights upset their service academy brethren?
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Offense: Army is known for their option as are all three service academies but their aversion to throwing the ball when it’s 3rd and long on their own 30 when trailing by three in the final minute always surprises me. Granted Angel Santiago threw for just 488 yards and was just at 50% but sometimes you need to throw and they wouldn’t. I don’t expect things to change with AJ Schurr under center as his 12-28 passing didn’t set the world on fire in 2014 but he has shown some stretch the field ability. The big problem facing Army is their run first option is their top three runners are gone leaving Schurr (340 yards), Matt Giachinta (152 yards) and Aaron Kemper (158 yards) as the top producers. Ten players return on the line with starting experience and I know somebody will produce on the ground but I don’t know who.
Defense: Let me say the Black Knights defense was a weakness with teams able to move the chains consistently. A smallish line was in trouble against bigger and stronger players and it showed in the numbers. The problem in 2015 is the three top defensive lineman are gone and size and experience are an even bigger issue. The good news is at linebacker where Jeremy Timpf and Andrew King combined for 22.5 TFL and six sacks with Timpf recording three interceptions. The secondary has their version of King and Timpf in corners Josh Jenkins and Chris Carnegie who combined for seven interceptions and 15 passes defensed.
Special Teams: Alex Tardieu is back at punter and seldom had a punt returned while Daniel Grochowski was 2-4 on FG less then 40 yards and 5-9 at 40+ yards. Josh Jenkins will likely handle all return duties.
Outlook: I don’t think the defense will be able to hold up their end of the bargain when looking at this team although the rushing attack will be okay even though I say this blindly. I can see another four win campaign unless the Black Knights pull off an upset or two.