Offensive Line: A
The Black Knights led the nation in rushing for the second consecutive year. The 2012 team set school records as they averaged over 369 rushing yards per game and ran for an impressive 4,438 yards. For the second year in a row the team exceeded four thousand rushing yards in a single season. That all starts up front where this unit has been well coached by the most experienced members of the staff, Gene McKeehan and Bill Tripp. The offensive line has easily been the most productive, deepest and best performing area of the team the last two years.
Senior left guard Frank Allen had the best season of his career and was the best performer on the offensive line this year. He will be missed. Allen started 36 of his last 37 games. The physical Allen was named first team All-Independent by Phil Steele. Right tackle Michael "MoMo" Kime was very consistent and is an excellent option tackle with terrific mobility. Kime started the first eleven games before missing the Navy contest after suffering an ACL injury to his knee against Temple.
Sophomore center Ryan Powis was named to the preseason Remington Trophy watch list for the best centers in the nation after emerging last year. Powis struggled this year with injuries and probably was never 100 percent. He missed the opener with a hand injury suffered during summer camp. Ryan played well the next two games before injuring his groin in the fourth quarter of the Wake Forest game. Powis sat out the next two contests before returning to start the final seven games. He is one of the most talented athletes on the team but the injuries did limit him. The athletic Powis lacked some of his normal explosiveness after suffering the groin injury but the numbers don't lie about his performance. In the nine games Powis started Army averaged 27.4 point per game. In the three games he missed the Black Knights averaged only 14.7 points a game. Twice Army was held to a touchdown or less without Powis at center.
Sophomore right guard Stephen Shumaker earned second team All Independent honors from Phil Steele. Shumaker, who has a short, fire hydrant type build, did a solid job in his first year as starter. Shumaker is a good technician but at times tends to over analyze his blocking responsibility on the second level. He needs to be more aggressive off the ball and make better use his quickness. This was
Shumaker's first year as a starter and he should improve with experience.
Senior Ben Jebb started the first eight games at left tackle this fall. Initially, the athletic Jebb played very well in his first year as a starter. Jebb began to battle ankle and an Achilles foot injury as the season wore on. It limited his mobility and effectiveness. He was replaced by Derek Bisgard as starter for the Air Force game but he did see limited snaps. That was the final appearance of his career as he did not play in the last three games.
Senior Derek Bisgard's comeback was as impressive as it was unexpected. Bisgard was one of Stan Brock's prized recruits after he was named the 2007 Arizona defensive lineman of the year. After a year at the prep school and because he was not making an impact on defense he was moved to offensive tackle by Rich Ellerson in 2010. Bisgard opened the 2011 season as the starting right tackle but injured his knee, causing him to miss time and played in only six games as a backup the rest of the way. Derek was expected to compete for the right tackle spot again this past spring but once again experienced knee problems. It looked like Bisgard's chronic knee issues would end his Black Knight career. He persevered and played through the pain. After an appearance against Eastern Michigan he started at left tackle over Ben Jebb against Air Force and played well. Bisgard ended his career with four consecutive starts, three at left tackle, and the finale against Navy at his old right tackle spot.
Junior Zach Reichert appeared in five games and made his first career start, against Navy, at left tackle. He was involved in the much discussed third-and-2 play near the goal line where he moved early and the officials didn't call it. Reichert really improved this year and blocked well against Navy. He looks to be the heir apparent at left tackle next year. Versatile senior Will Wilson played in all twelve games and started three games at center when Powis was injured. Wilson had trouble with the center-quarterback exchange in the opener. He played his best game in the upset win over Boston College when the team ran for 516 yards and scored four rushing touchdowns. Junior linemen Jon Szott and Dan Whitaker appeared in all twelve games mostly on special teams. There are a number of talented freshman linemen that may challenge the upperclassmen for the vacant job this spring.
2012 Army Report Card: Offensive Line
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