Quarterback play key for Army

Not again. Not another Army season down the tubes. There is still time to right this black and gold ship, but if the Black Knights don't get it together quick it will be bye, bye 2007.

For the most part, Army's defense has answered the call all fall. The special teams have been truly special. However, the Black Knights' struggling offense is a dead unit walking. The running game isn't clicking. The offensive line is so-so. But the face of any offense is the quarterback.

And, quite frankly, quarterback Carson Williams isn't getting it done. In his defense, he does deserve some slack, he's only a sophomore. Still, his development has been slow.

Army is 3-5 after Saturday's 34-10 loss at Georgia Tech. Another losing season is on the horizon, another year without a bowl. If the offense, led by, presumably Williams, doesn't get it together it could be 2006 all over again. Six straight losses to end the year.

The scary part for Army now is that the defense is beginning to slip, giving up 81 points over the last two weeks. It hasn't helped that the offense has left it on the field way too much. The defense needs a shot in the arm, a breath of fresh air. Sure, the bye week will help some. But when Army takes the field at Air Force the best anecdote for all the woes will be an impressive outing by Williams.

He's been up and down this year. Lately, it's been more down than up.

Williams completed just 9-of-23 passes for 124 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions against Georgia Tech. He put up 201 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions at Central Michigan. For the year, Williams is 94-of-179 with 1,117 yards with seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Put simply, that ain't gonna cut it. What's sad is that Army quarterbacks haven't cut since 1996 when Ronnie McAda, running the option under center, helped the Black Knights to a 10-2 record.

Since then, there have been a steady line of mediocre quarterbacks rotating the snaps: Curtis Zervic, Chad Jenkins, Reggie Nevels, Pevoto. Maybe, right now, Williams isn't the answer. Maybe Kevin Dunn, with his scrambling ability, is the answer. He led Army to the Miracle at Michie Stadium against Tulane, but he had nothing to lose. Starting the game, with everything on the line, is a much different scenario.

Army has two weeks to licks its wounds before it travels to Air Force. Williams threw five picks against the Falcons last year. Maybe this is the game that gets him going.

Schools like Vanderbilt, Arkansas and N.C State recruited Williams out of Cullman (Ala.) High. That doesn't by accident. Army's season might be slipping away, but Williams can help save. Here's to hoping the young man does.

Extra points: Air Force ran its record to 6-2 with a 20-12 win against Wyoming on Saturday. Most publications had the Falcons pegged as a sub .500 team this season ... Chad Hall rushed for 167 yards for Air Force, marking the third straight 100-yard rushing game for him. Hall plays a position called the hybrid z wide receiver position in which he runs more than catches the ball. Last week, Hall rushed for 256 yards and four touchdowns against Colorado State, earning AT&T All-America Player of the Week honors. Hey, at least Army has two weeks to prepare for Hall ... Air Force plays at New Mexico

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