Army has earned bowl trips in five out of the last six years under coach Jeff Monken, and with 11 returning starters and a favorable schedule on tap, 2022 should be another successful year for the Black Knights. Quarterback Tyhier Tyler pilots one of the nation's top ground games, with slotback Tyrell Robinson and fullback Jakobi Buchanan anchoring the rest of the backfield. Linebacker Andre Carter II recorded 15.5 sacks last season and leads a defense that held teams to 22.3 points a game last fall.
Previewing Army's Offense for 2022
Though quarterback and leading rusher Christian Anderson graduated, the Black Knights return their next five leading rushers from a ground attack that averaged 281 yards per game to rank second nationally. Slotback Tyrell Robinson (609 yards) and fullback Jakobi Buchanan (504 yards, 12 TDs) should keep the chains moving once again.
Senior Tyhier Tyler is ready to take over at quarterback for Anderson after starting four games each of the past two seasons. The primary backup is senior Jemel Jones, who has seen action each of the past three seasons. Junior Cade Ballard, who has battled injuries during his career and who head coach Jeff Monken says is a "great leader," will vie for snaps. Receiver Isaiah Alston withdrew his name from the portal, so the rangy (6'4") target returns after averaging 20.4 yards per catch. Joshua Lingenfelter started several games at tight end last season.
The Black Knights must replace a couple of starters on the line and build depth. The unit, which is a work in progress that will continue into fall camp, is anchored by center Connor Bishop. The senior was slowed by injuries last season and was limited during the spring, but Monken expects him to have a "huge impact" in 2022. Jordyn Law emerged as a solid left tackle last season.
Previewing Army's Defense for 2022
Arik Smith and Andre Carter II were a terrorizing duo at linebacker last season while combining for 27.5 tackles for a loss. Smith is gone, so the centerpiece of a unit that ranked 15th nationally in total defense is the 6'7" Carter, who piled up 15.5 sacks, good for second nationally to Alabama's Will Anderson Jr. Carter, who earned third-team All-America honors, also forced four fumbles. Not only does Smith need to be replaced, but two other linebackers do as well. It represents an opportunity for younger players such as Tyler Rafferty.
Senior safety Marquel Broughton, the Black Knights' leading returning tackler (80) from a year ago, is the leader of a largely veteran secondary. Junior corner Jabari Moore broke up a team-high seven passes last season. Up front, a pair of starting tackles return in senior in Kwabena Bonsu and junior Chris Frey.
Previewing Army's Specialists for 2022
Robinson was a special teams threat last season, averaging 12.8 yards on 11 punt returns. Cole Talley took over the placekicking and was 8-for-11 on field goals, including drilling 7-of-8 from inside 40. Junior Billy Boehlke is among those seeking to take over the punting chores for Zach Harding, who averaged 44.1 yards per punt last season.
Now in his ninth season in West Point, Monken has led the Black Knights to at least nine wins in four of the past five seasons. To maintain that pace, Army needs the offensive line to jell and for a couple of new linebackers to step up. Though there is a tough season opener at Coastal Carolina, the schedule is very manageable. Even with a few question marks in key spots, the Black Knights should go bowling for a fifth time in six seasons.