Army offense hopes to rebound

Here's a scary statistic for Army fans: The Black Knights have scored just 68 points over their last five games. That includes garbage-time touchdowns against Air Force and Notre Dame. Do the math: That's an average of 13.5 points per game. Here's where things become even more troubling. Navy has scored 143 points over its last five games for an average of 28 points.

That includes a 14-point effort against Notre Dame and a shutout loss to Rutgers.

Navy's offense is starting to click under young quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, putting up 129 points in consecutive wins over Temple, Eastern Michigan and Duke.

OK, enough crunching numbers. It's time to get to the one question Army fans hope the Black Knights figure out: How to stop Navy?

The way Army's offense has sputtered, Navy can score 14 points in Philadelphia on Saturday, and walk out of Lincoln Financial Field with a win. As far as stopping Navy, the Black Knights' no-show offense needs to get their act together and quick.

Because Army's offense must lead the way with a ball control offense not seen since the Black Knights' gritty 27-20 overtime win over Baylor on in Waco, Texas on Sept. 23. So running backs Wesley McMahand and Tony Moore must eat up yards. Fullback Mike Viti has to pick up tough yards (he doesn't have a problem with that). But whether Army wins or loses comes down to two quarterbacks that have experienced meltdowns in recent weeks. Freshman Carson Williams has slumped since his starting debut against Tulane on Oct. 28. David Pevoto has struggled since Baylor.

Our gut tells us that Pevoto will get the start against Navy. At this point, it doesn't seem like a bad call. Pevoto's actually seemed to learn, as Army coach Bobby Ross had hoped, by spending time on the sideline. Pevoto doesn't have to pull off a heroic Ronnie McAda effort. Actually, he can't, Pevoto just has to play within himself.

If Army runs the ball unsuccessfully, that's less pressure on him. All we need Pevoto to do is convert a few third downs, make a few plays. But if he doesn't and if Army can't run, watch out. Navy is as loaded as ever. Keep in mind, the Midshipmen have beaten Army by a combined score of 176-54 the past four years.

Army's defense is good, but it has trouble with Navy's triple option offense that leads the nation in rushing yards. Kaheaku-Enhada is blessed with a ton of talent around him, which includes fullback Adam Ballard, and slotbacks Reggie Campbell, Trey Hines and Shun White. If they get rolling, the Navy stats could be scary. Army fans have seen enough of that.

Extra Points: Army strong safety Caleb Campbell is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee on Dec. 5. He sustained the injury against Tulane ... Indeed, Army has road games scheduled at top 25 schools Wake Forest, Boston College and Georgia Tech next year. The 2007 schedule is expected to be released in the coming weeks ...


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