The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Army Black Knights.
No. 82: Army Black Knights
Spring Practice Starts: March 20
Spring Game: April 13
Army Black Knights Spring Status
Army took the breakthrough 8-5 2017 season to another level, coming up with ten wins, another victory over Navy, and a second straight season that finished off with a bowl win.
There might be no margin for error, and there were a few tough losses to mediocre Tulane and North Texas teams, but other than the blowout loss to Ohio State, Army was seven points away from being 12-1.
There are a few big losses offensively, but the system is sound enough to overcome the departure of QB Ahmad Bradshaw, three linemen, and the top receivers, whose job was mainly to block.
The fantastic defense only loses three starters, but coming up with the right rotation will be the focus this spring. It’s about keeping everyone fresh, and that starts with the O keeping the ball for almost 35 minutes a game.
Army Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Offensive lineman. Rick Kurz should hold down one of the tackle spots, but losing Brett Toth at right tackle hurts. He was one of the few 300-pounders up front, as was starting right guard Mike Houghton – he has to be replaced, too. Also gone is center Bryce Holland, meaning there should be some shuffling up front for the team’s key unit.
Army Biggest Issue
Getting into the backfield a bit more. Of course, having a more efficient passing game is always going to be a thing with Army, but the offense has been more than fine without one.
The defense did its part throughout last season allowing just 350 yards per game, and by design it didn’t set its hair on fire to get behind the line. However, it would be nice to come up with more 51 tackles for loss with just 25 sacks.
Army Biggest Positive
Running backs. Losing Bradshaw is a problem – he was the leading rusher with 1,746 yards and 14 scores – putting the pressure on Luke Langdon to be the one to keep the show running. However, the running backs are there to help the cause, with the top seven from last season returning, including fullback Andy Davidson and 812-yard, 14 score back Darnell Woolfolk.
Really, Why Are The Army Black Knights Ranked Here?
Expect more of the same. As long as the quarterback situation is set, everything else should be fine with the experience back on defense, the talent returning in the offensive backfield, and Jeff Monken and the coaching staff hitting their stride. Another ten-win season is the goal now.