Army vs. Navy Game Preview
Check out the Army (6-5) vs. Navy (9-3) fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, Dec. 10
Game Time: 3:00 pm
Venue: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD
14 straight. That’s how many games in a row Navy has beaten Army, dominating the series since 2001. Ever since then, the Midshipmen have won in just about every way possible, but this might be the best chance in a while.
Army’s best team in years, it’s going off to the Heart of Dallas Bowl to face North Texas – so the pressure is off for this being the last game of the year, and for the seniors – and Navy is hurting, missing QB Will Worth after he suffered a season-ending foot injury in the American Athletic Conference loss to Temple.
But, of course, this game is more than just the last football game of the regular season.
With the pageantry, the setting, and even Donald Trump expected to be there, there’s plenty to make this another annual show.
And the game – three of the last four – should be good enough to watch because it’ll be a real, live, terrific football game.
What Does Each Team Need To Do?
It’s this simple – whose defense can stop the other team’s running game?
Army was hit-or-miss over the second half of the season, running up gaudy numbers on the two FCS teams on the schedule, but getting stoned by Air Force and failing way too often, even when the running game was working.
As has been the case over the last several years, Navy has a passing game, but Army doesn’t. With nothing to fall back on, the Black Knights have to dominate on the ground, or they need a whole bunch of help.
This year, Army is 5-1 when running for 320 yards or more, and 1-4 when it doesn’t.
Can Navy stop the attack? Absolutely, holding down the Tulane option offense in a win, stuffing the Air Force running game in a loss, and getting ripped apart in the shootout loss to South Florida. But the Midshipmen linebackers should be able to know how to shut down the Army attack that starts with the fullback and moves outside – few teams are able to practice for this O like Navy.
And Army’s defense doesn’t have to prepare for Worth.
Zach Abey is supposed to be the next Navy star quarterback, and he ran for 197 yards and two scores in his three appearances late in the year, but is he ready for the spotlight?
The Army linebacking tandem of Andrew King and Jeremy Timpf have been through all of this before, and they’re not going to be fazed.
King made 14 tackles over the last two years in the game, while Timpf has made 24. They’re going to be patient, and they’re not going to be fooled by any aspect of the Navy offense.
So far, the Army defense has been fantastic against the run, even when it was allowing 200 yards or more three times in a four-game stretch over the second half of the season. But that’s been the mark.
The Black Knights are 0-4 when allowing 145 yards or more, 6-0 when allowing fewer than two scores, and 0-5 when giving up two or more …
What’s Going To Happen?
Army will give up more than 145 yards on the ground and more than two scores.
The Black Knight defense will be inspired, but Navy won’t miss too much of a beat with Abey in. The passing game won’t be there, but the Midshipmen will grind out the ground game in a dogfight that’ll go deep into the fourth quarter.
After the embarrassment against Temple, Navy will rise up and make up for it, making it 15 in a row.
But, at least the Army uniforms will be cool.
Army vs. Navy Prediction
Navy 26, Army 16
Navy -6, o/u: 47.5
ATS Confidence: 5: Exxon – 1: S&P 500 … 3
Must See Rating: 5: The Right Stuff – 1: The NEW Celebrity Apprentice … 5