The #23 Navy Midshipmen will collide with the Army Black Knights in their annual rivalry showdown Saturday afternoon from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The Black Knights are coming off a 52-31 road loss to Hawaii in their previous action, and the Midshipmen registered a 56-41 home win against Houston in their latest game. Army has won the last three meetings which included a 17-10 victory against Navy last season.
Army Misses Out on Bowl Game
The Army Black Knights can reach the six-win mark with a victory in this game but it won’t be enough for bowl eligibility due to their loss to Hawaii on November 30th. The Black Knights will still be motivated against their biggest rival. Army utilizes a unique triple-option offense that consists primarily of running plays. They use multiple quarterbacks per game with Kelvin Hopkins Jr. logging the most playing time. The senior QB only has 570 passing yards with a 4:5 TD to INT ratio, although he leads the team with 706 rushing yards.
Watch for Connor Slomka in this one. The senior running back has attempted 142 rushes this season which is the most on the team. Slomka collected 65 rushing yards against Hawaii and he has tallied 637 rushing yards on the season. Sandy McCoy is coming off a season-high 91 rushing yards and he is third in team rushing with 555 yards.
Jabari Laws is technically a quarterback but he has only attempted five passes in his last two games while rushing for 237 yards in that span. The Army offense was inconsistent this season but they really found a groove over their final three games.
The Black Knights’ defense is a strength. They were tremendous against the pass this season but that won’t matter in this one. They are mediocre on the ground with a rush defense that ranks 51st in the FBS. Army is averaging 30.3 points, placing them 60th in the country. They are allowing an average of 22.3 points, positioning them 35th overall.
#23 Navy Looks to Avoid Fourth Straight Loss to Army
The #23 Navy Midshipmen will be playing in a bowl in late December. First, they will look to defeat their rivals on Saturday after Army has handed them a loss in each of the last three meetings. Navy is targeting its third straight win. They started the winning streak with a win against #25 SMU, followed by a 56-41 road win against Houston in their latest game on November 30th.
Navy uses a similar offensive approach as Army with a triple-option offense. They will run on most plays and do so with great success. QB Malcolm Perry has accrued over 100 passing yards in two straight games. The senior QB usually attempts less than 10 passes and runs the ball on most plays. Perry is having a spectacular season, accumulating 1500 rushing yards along with 19 rushing touchdowns. Army’s offensive approach differs slightly than Army due to their use of fullbacks. Jamale Carothers is a force, accumulating 637 rushing yards on the season. The sophomore fullback rushed for 188 yards against Houston in their latest contest. Nelson Smith is another dangerous fullback who has 557 rushing yards.
Mychal Cooper leads all receivers with 355 yards on an average of 23.7 yards per reception. The Navy offense has piled on the points all season with the exception of their only two losses against Memphis and Notre Dame. Cooper did not play in Navy's latest game due to an undisclosed injury and is questionable for this one.
The Midshipmen’s defense has trouble against the pass which will be a non-factor in this one and they stand 17th overall against the run. Navy is scoring an average of 39.3 points, good for 10th in the country. They are allowing an average of 24.2 points, placing them 46th in the FBS. Navy went 7-1 in AAC play this season.
The Army Black Knights are:
- 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games against Navy.
- 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 December games.
- 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.
The top supporting trends found on covers.com are: The Navy Midshipmen are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games as a favorite.
- 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a bye week.
- 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games against teams that play INDEP.