2007 Army look ahead: Cent. Mich.

It's one of the toughest losses Army has suffered in the last five seasons. Think back to October of 2005. There were our proud Black Knights, standing on the rain-soaked turf at Michie Stadium, after an emotional 14-10 defeat to Central Michigan. Former Army coach Bobby Ross clenched his jaw as he listened to West Point's alma mater play.

He had to be consoled by Army athletic director Kevin Anderson on the cold day.

A 2-yard touchdown run by quarterback Kent Smith with 6:54 left sent Army to its 10th consecutive loss. The Black Knights had one last chance to win, taking over at Central Michigan's 38-yard line in the closing minutes. Army advanced to Central Michigan's 22, but a Zac Dahman pass intended for Jeremy Trimble on fourth-and-nine with 1:39 left fell just short.

The Black Knights get another shot at Central Michigan when they play the Chippewas on Oct. 13 in Mount Pleasant, Mich. Let's take a look at Central Michigan.

Mr. Jones: Butch Jones took over for head coach Brian Kelly in the offseason. Kelly took the job at Cincinnati after leading Central Michigan to the Mid-American Conference championship last year and its first bowl game since 1994. Jones coached at Central Michigan previously as an assistant from 1998-2004. He served as the Chippewas offensive coordinator from 2002-04. Jones was the wide receivers coach at West Virginia the past two seasons.

Air Dan: Central Michigan likes to air it out on defense and they have the perfect quarterback to let it fly.

Reshirt freshman Dan LeFevour took over the starting job after Brian Brunner sustained a concussion in the Chippewas' season-opener against Boston College. LeFevour set a single-season school record with 3,031 yards and he can run, too. LeFevour rushed fro 521.

Flashback: Running back Ontario Sneed played a part in Army's crushing loss to Central Michigan two years ago. He rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes fro 27 yards. Sneed is back. He ran for 764 yards and had 415 receiving yards last year and could have plenty of help in 2007 with the addition of Notre Dame transfer Justin Hoskins.

Big losses: First, on defense. The Chicago Bears drafted Dan Bazuin in the second round of April's NFL draft. He could be one of the best defensive players in Central Michigan history. Bazuin had 26.5 sacks over the last two years, an average of about 13 each season. To put that number in perspective, Army had just 11 as a team last season.

And on offense. It's clear that LeFevour has talent, but he will certainly miss Joe Staley, the superb left tackle who protected his blind side last year. San Francisco selected Staley in the first round of April's draft.

Central Michigan extra points: Linebacker Red Keith, who made 127 tackles last year, returns for the Chippewas ... Central Michigan opens the season on Sept. 1 at Kansas. The Chippewas play at Ball State the week before they host the Black Knights ...


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