#94 Army Football 2014 Preview

Army Black Knights

Overall Rank: #94
#4 FBS Independent

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Coach Jeff Monken has brought new life to the Army program. He has had great success at Georgia Southern running the triple option and will try for the same with the Black Knights. The schedule is tougher, but the system is solid and Coach Monken will bring a few new wrinkles to both sides of the ball and that could be enough for Army to at least show progress even if the win total does not increase from the three wins they totaled last season.

2013 Record: (3-9)
2013 Bowl: None
Coach: Jeff Monken (0-0 at Army, 0-0 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Brent Davis
Defensive Coordinator: Jay Bateman

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Terry Baggett, RB, 1,113 yards
Passing: Angel Santiago, QB, 597 yards
Receiving: Xavier Moss, WR, 468 yards
Tackles: Geoffery Bacon, DB, 63
Sacks: Robert Kough, DL, 3.0
Interceptions: Josh Jenkins, DB, 2

Other Key Returnees: RB Larry Dixon, LB Julian Holloway, OL Steve Shumaker, OL Ryan Powis, DL Mike Ugenyi

Key Losses: WR Chevaughn Lawrence, CB Thomas Holloway, S Shaquille Tolbert, LB Jarrett Mackey, OL Michael Kime

The Black Knights do return most of their skill players on offense. Senior quarterback Angel Santiago knows how to run the offense and rushed for 598 yards and ten touchdowns. He has a decent enough arm to heave a deep ball every once in a while too. And he has his favorite target, Xavier Moss, back too. Moss caught 35 passes for 468 yards and a score. Coach Monken does prefer to throw the ball a little more than Army did last season and that is certainly doable with Santiago and Moss. But the most prolific players in the backfield will be Terry Baggett and Larry Dixon. Baggett rushed for 1,141 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior and Dixon added 715 yards and six scores. The depth behind them is plentiful so the Black Knights can mix things up on the ground and keep Baggett and Dixon fresh.

Baggett and Dixon could each rush for over 1,000 yards this year if the offensive line can hold. The undersized unit is undergoing some reshuffling, but at least Ryan Powis, Stephen Shumaker and Justin Gilbert are back to provide a decent group to work around. The lack of size is also a concern on defense. The starting front four, led by Robert Kough, Mike Ugenyi and Richard Glover, return. However, they are a very small group that really does not have the quickness to make up for their lack of size. The Cadets are young and inexperienced at linebacker outside of Julian Holloway. The secondary has more potential. Geoffrey Bacon is a proven tackler at the strong safety spot and cornerback Josh Jenkins is coming off of a superb freshman campaign. Jenkins could be the playmaker this defense so desperately needs, but that will not happen if the front seven fails to get any pressure on the opposing quarterback.

The Bottom Line:
The Black Knights have some winnable games on the schedule, most notably FCS members Yale and Fordham. They will not beat Navy, but Buffalo, Kent State and Air Force are not sporting particularly strong teams this year. Three or four wins is the reasonable goal. Yet, showing progress during Coach Monken’s first year on the job is the important thing for the program.

Projected Bowl: None

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 309.8 (3rd in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 77.6 (123, 6)
Total Offense: 387.3 (79, 4)
Scoring Offense: 24.4 (92, 4)
Rushing Defense: 213.3 (103, 4)
Pass Defense: 197.5 (14, 1)
Total Defense: 410.8 (71, 4)
Scoring Defense: 31.6 (91, 4)
Turnover Margin: -0.1 (70, 4)
Sacks:  1.33 (107, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 1.42 (32, 3)


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