Friday, August 04, 2006

2006 Spring Opponent Preview - Army (West Point) Black Knights

Top player: Caleb Campbell, SS
Make-or-break player: David Pevoto, QB
Biggest offensive strength: Wide Receiver
Biggest offensive weakness: Size
Biggest defensive strength: Safety
Biggest defensive weakness: Speed
Spring Depth Chart

I have great respect for Army. I think they are a high-integrity program that does things the right way - just like Notre Dame.

Problem is, Army sucks at football.

They are getting better under head coach Bobby Ross. They won four games last year, against Air Force, Arkansas State, Akron and Massachussets. Problem is, Army just doesn't have the talent to be competitive in Division I football. And this pains me. I used to love reading about the Notre Dame - Army game in whcih Knute Rockne and Gus Dorais revolutionized the use of the forward pass. The Notre Dame - Army battles during World War II were epic clashes of the titans.

But, alas, no more. Army may be more competitive this year under Bobby Ross, but they probably still will not make a bowl game, despite a weak schedule, and (more important to Army fans) will not beat Navy.

That said, Army returns an experienced, if undersized, squad this year. Their junior quarterback can make the throws, and they have a talented receiver in Jeremy Trimble, Jr.

Their defense will be solid with an experienced veteran linebacking corps, and an All-American talent at safety in Caleb Campbell.

However, Army just doesn't have the horses to hang with the big boys, and this game should be over by halftime, giving the Irish plenty of opportunity to play all their seniors on Senior Day. In fact, the Irish could probably play with only their seniors against Army, and still win handily.

9/2at Arkansas StateW
9/9Kent StateW
9/16at Texas A&ML
9/23at BaylorL
10/7Virginia Military InstituteW
10/14at ConnecticutL
10/21Texas ChristianL
10/28at TulaneW
11/3Air ForceW
11/18at Notre DameL
12/2vs. NavyL

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