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2003 PREVIEW: Army Black Knights

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In year four of the Todd Berry era, this is when things have to start turning around. Berry has never used any of the number of understandable excuses as to why Army hasn't been better, preferring to keep saying that the young players are progressing nicely. This has to be the year those hopes come to fruition as Berry's first couple of recruiting classes are now mature enough to round out into solid and productive players. The key will be to get over the miserable way last season ended. Things started to turn around for the hard-luck Cadets pushing Houston, UAB and Air Force before beating Tulane. Unable to build on the strong four game stretch, Army got blasted by Memphis and Navy to close out the year. This season, there's no excuse for the players to not know the system and there's no reason for the coaching staff to not fully understand what each player can do. The Black Knights aren't going to be in the hunt for the Conference USA title, but they at least have to win a couple of league games.

Army Black Knights
Team Information
Head coach: Todd Berry
4th year at Army: 5-29
8th year overall: 29-53
Returning O Lettermen: 16
Returning D Lettermen: 20
Returning ST Lettermen: 2
Ten Best Army Players
1. RB Carlton Jones, Soph.
2. LB Ryan Kent, Sr.
3. FS Lucius Weaver, Jr.
4. WR William White, Jr.
5. CB Jonathan Lewis, Jr.
6. WR Aaron Alexander, Soph.
7. DE Keenan Beasley, Jr.
8. OT Joel Glover, Jr.
9. RB La'Berrick Williams, Jr.
10. DE Odene Brathwaite, Jr.
2003 Schedule
9/6 Connecticut
9/13 Rutgers
9/20 Tulane
9/27 South Florida
10/4 at TCU
10/11 at Louisville
10/18 East Carolina
10/25 at Cincinnati
11/1 at UAB
11/8 at Air Force
11/15 Houston
11/22 at Hawaii
12/6 Navy
The Schedule: If Army is going to turn things around, it'll have to do it right away with four home games. Rutgers still isn't all that great, but Connecticut and South Florida are going to be relatively decent. Tulane is much better than Army and won't take the Black Knights lightly after getting beaten the last few years. Then things get difficult as Army goes to TCU, Louisville, Cincinnati, UAB and Air Force over the following six games. Missing Southern Miss is a major break. Best Offensive Player: Sophomore RB Carlton Jones. Jones became a star over the second half of the season as the team's best runner and a decent receiver out of the backfield. Best Defensive Player: Senior LB Ryan Kent. The emotional and tackling leader of the defense, Kent sets the tone for the team and is the one that'll get the team riled up. He led the team with 99 tackles last season on the outside. Key player to a successful season: The entire offensive line. Joel Glover is the only returning starter to an offensive line that had a strong 2002 season. This is a bigger and more athletic group missing the experience necessary to succeed early on. The season will be a success if: Army finishes with four wins. The Cadets have to win at least two of the first four games and has to beat Navy. There isn't a game on the slate that will be a layup, so the team will have to play hard week in and week out and get a couple of breaks. Key game: December 6th vs. Navy. The season went completely in the tank at the end of the year with a 58-12 loss to the Midshipmen. On straight talent, Army was better yet was blasted from the word go. The Berry era might not be able to survive another end of the year performance like that. 2002 Fun Stats:
  • Total touchdown: Opponents 61 - Army 29
  • Second half scoring: Opponents 252 - Army 89
  • Fumbles: Opponents 33 (lost 14) - Army 18 (lost 13)
  • Tagged: Rutgers, Florida, Hawaii, Navy, Connecticut, Tulane, East Carolina, Cincinnati, Army, Houston, UAB, Memphis, Air Force, South Florida

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