One of the most storied rivalries in all of sports, Army-Navy, renews its annual hatred for one another, but love for America tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 8. The 7-4 Navy Midshipmen are already bowl bound, receiving a bid to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on Dec. 29 where they will face off against Arizona State, while Army has suffered a down year at 2-9. However, as they say, the records don’t matter in this game, as a win here usually equals a successful season.
It may not seem that way for the Black Knights with their record, especially coming off a 7-6 winning season from a year ago, but a win in this heated rivalry would give them their first Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy in 16 years. It would also snap the current 10-game winning streak that Navy is lording over them.
It will be tough going for the Knights against the Midshipmen though. Navy boasts one of the nation’s best run offenses, rushing for nearly 300 yards per game and the Army defense has struggled defending not only the run, but simply defending in general, as the Knights are allowing 37 points per game.
Despite their defensive struggles, the Knights, surprisingly enough, have an even better ground game than Navy. In fact, it’s the best in the country, accounting for nearly 370 yards per contest. However, what they do on the ground more than takes away from what they do through the air. The Black Knights are one of the worst passing offenses, putting up fewer than 70 yards per game.
So with these teams, we know what they are going to do, which is run the football. The question becomes who will be able to win the war in the trenches and stop the opposition’s powerful rushing attack? Navy certainly seems more equipped to do it, as the Midshipmen are allowing just 23.5 points per game and now we see where the difference in their records comes from.
After looking at the numbers and considering the win streak that Navy is still riding, it seems unlikely that this is Army’s year to turn things around. I like Navy to cover the -7 point spread in this one.