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Opponent breakdown: ARMY

By mrasor Published: June 13, 2007

Head coach: Stan Brock
Last season: Army finished a weak schedule (by Independent team standards) with a 3-9 record. The Black Knights led the nation with 37 turnovers. Carson Williams took over at quarterback midway through his true freshman season and showed he could be effective. He also reminded fans he's just a freshman by throwing four picks in a blowout loss at home to Air Force. Army ran the ball fairly well, but also gave up almost 200 yards per game on the ground. The Zips will play Army in the inaugural Patriot Bowl Sept. 1 at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Best player: Junior running back Wesley McMahond
Offense: Twenty-four interceptions is pretty bad. They weren't all Williams fault, and he should come back as a smarter passer. Brock said Williams doesn't quite have the job locked down, but he'll probably start the opener. Just like when Army blew out Akron two years ago, the Black Knights will be a running team. They weren't last year, but they need to rethink that because the entire backfield will return. McMahond averaged 4.4 yards per carry and did not fumble once. He might not be so effective, however, behind an offensive line that Brock said was one of the spring's question marks.
Defense: The top defensive players were seniors in 2006, and the defense still stunk. They surrendered 4.8 yards per carry and only forced four interceptions and 11 sacks. To be blunt, the talent isn't there, says. The top returning tackler, strong safety Caleb Campbell, is coming off an injury. Brock thinks his defensive line will be "rock solid."
How the Zips match up: Dennis Kennedy should begin his season with 100-yard day in Cleveland. The new Akron quarterback (whoever that is) will wait until next week for his first test at the Horseshoe. But we will see whether the Zips defensive front can hold up against a solid runner.
Way-too-early prediction: Akron 24, Army 6

    Here's two new scholarship offers...
    Marques Ivory, quarterback, Warner Robins, Ga. Offers: Akron and Coastal Carolina Height: 6-foot-2 Weight: 240 Speed: 4.7 Notes: Other teams in Ivory's vision are Auburn, Clemson, Georgia and Georgia Tech. Likelihood: A strong senior season could garner offers from Western Michigan and Middle Tennessee State, who also have been watching Ivory. Akron making this offer says to me that the coaches are not too confident about the other three quarterback targets, two of whom are top 30 in the nation.
    Kenny Veal, cornerback, Hamilton, Ohio Offers: Akron, West Virginia, Western Michigan and Ohio Height: 5-10 Weight: 180 Speed: Not listed Notes: Veal's 40-yard dash time must be in the 4.4 to 4.5 range to earn a scholarship offer from West Virginia. On offense, he rushed for more than 700 yards his junior season. Likelihood: believes Veal will make an early commitment. I assume that would be with the Mountaineers.
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