When and Where: Kickoff is set for 2:40 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The game will be aired on CBS.
Series History: 54-49-7 in favor of the Midshipmen, including eight straight wins over the Black Knights entering this season.
Matchup: This group of Army seniors has made it a point to be different. They have pledged over and over again that this would be the group that turned around Army football.
So far they’ve done it.
After the surprising success the Black Knights experienced in their first season under Rich Ellerson, the encore performance has been even better. The progress this team has made is easy to recognize. A few plays in tight games kept this season from being among the best in Army’s storied history. Still, they do not dull the shining accomplishments of this group, the first Army team to be a part of the bowl picture since 1996.
Yet, the Army season will be decided this Saturday.
Ultimately every Army season is judged by this game, the final matchup of the regular season. Army-Navy. The purest rivalry in all of sports.
The past five graduating classes have left West Point without a win over Navy. The gap between the two programs has been lessened over the past two seasons. For the Black Knights to move forward, they had to look back.
The return of the triple option has been a huge success for Army, giving them an explosive offense for the first time in years. This Saturday, they will face a Navy team that also employs the triple option.
It’s the last Saturday of the regular season in college football, and there is only one game on. Turn on CBS this Saturday and return to the golden days of college football – power running games and players not concerned with going to the NFL. Players that suit up for the love of the game, and the love of competition. And young men who love their country and are willing to serve it with honor.
This game will not be a high-flying aerial display with scores in the 50-point range on each side. But it might just be the best game all year.
Player to Watch: FB Jared Hassin. Hassin is closing in on 1,000 yards rushing, and has been the rock of the Army offense all season. Army strayed from Hassin a few weeks ago against Notre Dame – with disastrous results. Army needs to pound Hassin into the teeth of the Navy defense and trust that he will pick up consistent yardage. Committing to him will be the key to eventually opening up the outside run game and opportunities through the air.
Potential X-Factor: WR Davyd Brooks. Brooks has been a bit quiet this season, but he still has the speed to make big plays. Expect Army to throw the ball 8-10 times on Saturday, and a shot downfield to brooks would not be surprising. Last season Army needed a big play to spark the offense against Navy. This season they have some playmakers who can do that.
Prediction: It’s time for Army to break through. This game has become a mental block for the Black Knights, and if they are to move forward as a program they need to get it out of the way. With all the great accomplishments this team has had so far, it would be a shame for them to have to wait another season to beat Navy. This group of seniors knows how much this game means to the program. Army pulls out a tight win.
Army 28, Navy 24
About the Author
Written by Donald Lappe
Senior at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Double Major in Media & Society and United States History. Also writing for TapouT Magazine and MMA Worldwide Magazine.