As the Black Knights work through a short week and prepared for the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers, there are a few updates in personnel for Friday's game at Michie Stadium.
Several freshmen who should see their reps increase as Army host Rutgers, will be Fullback Brad Gallik who should see more playing time as he gets close to stepping onto the big stage. Frosh slot back Lonnie Liggins, who has had a good week of practice should get a chance to spell Patrick Mealy some at A-Back, which will obviously keep Mealy fresh throughout the contest. Liggins has been in there season, but should get more action on Friday.
Freshman Greg Cotton who has legitimate speed, has been brought over from the defense and could add some pop down the road to the offense, but he is really a spring ball away from figuring it all out offensively. Even if he does not make an impact at slot, he has both the size and speed to make it at wide receiver.
Another frosh is Malcolm Brown, who has the complete package and is now the starter at the other slot back, where has beaten our former starter Jameson Carter for the slot spot. However, the junior Carter is such a versatile player, the staff will make sure that he get on the field, because there are packages that best utilize his talents, especially his ability as a receiver and his speed.
CeDarius Williams is still recovering from his surgically repaired ankle and may be ready by the VMI or Air Force game, but even if he is given clearance, his time away may make the 2009 season a remote possibility.
Davyd Brooks, who was hurt in the Temple game, is doubtful against Rutgers. Brooks who has demonstrated the ability to add value with his YAC to the offense, would have presented a legitimate passing option for Steelman.
However, Wide receiver Austin Barr is back and although freshman receiver George Jordan still needs to rap his arms around the offense a little bit more, there is a chance he could see the field on Friday.
On the offensive line, expect to see the same starters from the Temple game. However, McDermott (Mike) could get back there at left tackle, Kyle Bates is a guy who will play
he's really emerging since his switch from the defensive line and will play at left guard and split time with Fritz Bentler.
Quarterback Trent Steelman is ready to go and will start. However Chip Bowden, who took a lot of reps this week is on standby, as Steelman recoveries from being just a little banged up from the Temple game.
The challenge for the offense is not moving the ball, but scoring in shorter field aspect of the game, especially the red-zone. Of course with the smaller offensive line that is not as physical, the ability to push people around down in that area of the field is a challenge for the Black Knights. One aspect of the game that has worked for the offense is utilizing the size of wide receiver Ali Villanueva, who continues to emerge as a legitimate target
both in the red zone, as well as anywhere else on the field.
The Rutgers' defense is as talented and as experienced as anyone that anyone that Army has played. It's a quality defense, with several players that have played high level football. They gave up 20 rushing yards to Maryland and minus 25 yards rushing to Texas Southern.
We have to be precise and if we do that, we should be able to move the ball forward if we execute.
- Army's offensive coordinator, Ian Shields
However, on a weekly basis they don't face anything like the tripe option and that's what the Black Knights run, and are beginning to run effectively. "We have to be precise and if we do that, we should be able to move the ball forward if we execute," shared Army's offensive coordinator, Ian Shields.
For the Black Knights, there probably won't be any long breakaway runs, but ball control, limited turnovers, that result in seven points versus looking for Alex Carlton plugging three points on fields goals may be enough against the Scarlet Knights on Friday.
For Army, Friday evening will serve as a great opportunity to play against a talented Rutgers team on national television at Michie Stadium.
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