Amy Black Nights (5-7) vs #23 Navy Midshipmen (9-2)
Coverage: CBS 12/14 2:00 pm CT— Lincoln Financial Field
According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, Navy has a 75.6% chance to win
Navy is favored -10.5 with an Over/Under of 45
Money Line: Army +335 Navy -415
The Army-Navy Game, also known as America’s game, is an American college football rivalry game between the Army Black Knights of the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York, and the Navy Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy (USNA) at Annapolis, Maryland. The game marks the end of the college football regular season and the third and final game of the season’s Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy series, which also includes the Air Force Falcons of the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) near Colorado Springs, Colorado.
All time, these two teams have meet 119 times with Navy leading the all-time series 60-52-7.
The ARMY-NAVY game is one of the most traditional and enduring rivalries in college football. It has been frequently attended by sitting U.S. Presidents. The game has been nationally televised each year since 1945 on either ABC, CBS, or NBC. CBS has televised the game since 1996 and has the rights to the broadcast through 2028. Instant replay made its American debut in the 1963 ARMY-NAVY game. Since 2009 the game has been held on Saturday following FBS conference championship weekend.
The 120th installment of the Army-Navy Game is Saturday, which is the last college football game that takes place after the Conference Championship games and before bowl games start. The one game a year that everyone loves to watch. This year Army aims for fourth straight win over Navy.
Navy (9-2) earned a bowl spot on Sunday in the Liberty Bowl, that puts them against Big 12 opponent Kansas State. Kansas State handed College Football Playoffs semifinalist Oklahoma its only loss of the regular season, so the Midshipmen have a chance to make some noise at a national level in Memphis come bowl season.
First, Coach Niumatalolo as noted in his Liberty Bowl press conference that Navy has more pressing concerns ahead of it this weekend in Philadelphia. “Going to a bowl game is always one of our top goals, but right now our only focus is to get goad number one and that is to beat Army and win back the Commander-In-Chiefs Trophy.”
From 2002 through 2015, Navy owned a 14-game winning streak against the historic rivalry, the longest streak dating back to the 1890. Army ended the streak in 2016 and has won all three matchups against Navy since.
The Army Black Knights (5-7) have also claimed each of the past two Commander-In-Chief’s Trophies, which is awarded to the service academy that comes out on top in the season’s round-robin between Air Force, Army, and Navy. Navy claimed 10 of them from 2003 through 2015.
Prospects of a third straight Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy were taken away when Army lost to Air Force on Nov. 2. The 17-13 decision was the sixth game the Black Knights lost by single digits this season, which says a lot due to their triple option game they run on offense. The Black Knights close losses also include a double-overtime thrilling loss to Michigan in week 2.
Army’s hopes for a bowl bid slipped away on Nov. 30 in a 52-21 loss at Hawaii. None the less the Black Knights have plenty at stake: the rivalry winning streak, the historic bragging rights, and sending out its current class of seniors undefeated in their college careers against rival Navy. This Senior group that elevated a long struggling Army program to bowl games in three straight seasons, and in 2018, a final Top 25 ranking.
“It’s hard to believe that those guys already getting ready to graduate and be commissioned as offices in the United States Army. But, they are a class that’s really developed,” Army coach Jeff Monken said following the team’s 47-6 win against VMI on Nov. 16. “A lot of these guys have played a ton of football for us and that led to a lot of the success we’ve had here over the last few years.”
One reason for the close contests has been the programs’ similar playing styles. This year is no exception, with Navy Ranking No.1 nationally in rushing offense at 360.8 yards per game, and Army ranked second at 311.7.
Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry has been great this season, rushing for 1500-yards and 10 TDs. A late push to get Perry into the Heisman Trophy conversation proved unsuccessful, but Navy will take the Heisman influence when it takes the field Saturday in Philadelphia.
The Midshipmen will wear alternate uniforms pattered after their 1960s attire, when Joe Bellino (1960) and Roger Staubach (1963) won the Heisman Trophy.
Army is wearing a uniform honoring the 1st Cavalry Division.
No need for a prediction for this game, in the end this game ends the regular season and is a game for the players and Seniors about to start their career protecting out country. Thank you for the men and women who serve in out United States Military all over the world. We are free because of what you do. From one Veteran to all active duty and Veterans all over the world, Thank you all.
Football Sports Writer for Natural State Sports
Co-Host of Thursday night live show “The Sports Junkies” along side Steve Hinson