Go ahead, take your shots at Army coach Stan Brock. But his life would be a lot easier with a running back. Make wisecracks about new offensive coordinator Tim Walsh. His job is easier with a stud running back.
There is talk of Pat Mealy coming in from prep school this fall and making an impact. We wish him the best, but it's asking a lot for a freshman to pick up the slack at West Point. Sophomore Tony Moore is promising and fullback Mike Viti is tough as hell. Don't forget Wesley McMahand.
But Army ranked 70th in the nation last season in rushing yards per game (127.58). That's not even in the middle of the pack, mediocre for a service academy. Service academies need to control the clock with yard-eating, run driven drives.
Or they don't have a chance. Navy ranked first in the nation last season (327) yards on its way to a fourth consecutive Commander-in-Chief's Trophy and Air Force was third (303). That really puts Army's 127.58 yards per game in perspective.
The last glimmer of hope for Army came in 2005 when the Black Knights put together a four-game winning streak during a 4-7 season. It's no coincidence that Army had a solid running game. Carlton Jones put up his second straight 1,000-yard season and Scott Wesley came out of nowhere to put up 528 yards and a team-high 10 touchdowns.
Jones and Wesley both graduated after that year, although former coach Bobby Ross tried to get Wesley another year of eligibility. Ross couldn't and Army's running game was often inconsistent last year.
The Black Knights better be able to get it together on the ground this fall.