Navy Midshipmen (3-9) vs. Army Black Knights (9-2)
- Start Time: 3:00 PM EST
- Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
- TV: CBS
- Line: Army -7
- O/U: 41
- FPI: Army 77.9%
- Series: Navy 60-51-7, Army two straight
This isn’t your typical Navy squad. The Mids started the season 2-1 with wins over Lehigh and AAC runner-up Memphis; after that, they went 1-8 with a seven-game losing streak.
They have had their fair share of quarterback changes as well. The Midshipmen have seen three different quarterbacks start a game for them, they started with former slotback Malcolm Perry (who is now back at slotback), then went to Garrett Lewis, then they settled on last years starter (who they made a wide receiver), Zach Abey.
While Abey leads the team with 14 rushing touchdowns, this offense has been Malcolm Perry or bust all year. He has 1035 rushing yards on the year, no one else has over 405. Perry gets them inside the five and then Abey will punch it in, that’s how it’s gone all year-long.
There is one play the Black Knights defense needs to watch out for, Navy ran it in their game against Tulane two weeks ago. I couldn’t find the video so enjoy my breakdown:
-Abey was under center, Perry went into motion at slotback
-Abey pitched to Perry
-Abey sprinted downfield
-Perry sold the run and pulled up to pass
-Perry hit Abey for an easy touchdown
Navy has two “quarterbacks” on the field when Perry is in a slotback (which is 99% of the time), the Army defense definitely needs to keep an eye on plays like that one.
The defense might have been even more of a struggle than the offense was this year for the Mids. They gave up 34.9 points and 438.3 yards per game. They were outscored by 8.6 and outgained by 77.2 each week.
That is not the recipe for success.
Army Black Knights
Army is #22 in the AP poll, which is their highest ranking since the year Pete Dawkins won the Heisman Trophy in 1958.
Riding a seven-game win streak, the Black Knights will be looking to make some history.
A win would:
- Be the first time Army has ever won back to back CIC’s
- Be Army’s first three-game win streak over Navy since they won five straight from 1992-96
- Army’s first 10 win regular season since 1996
- Set up a chance to tie the academy (all three of them) for most wins in a season in their bowl game against Houston (11, Navy 2015)
Could this be the best Army team in the modern era of Army football? Yes. Even better than the 1996 team. A win on Saturday creates an interesting argument.
This year’s offense is led by QB Kelvin Hopkins, he has 895 passing yards and another 783 on the ground with a grand total of 16 combined touchdowns.
Hopkins leads an offense that puts up 30.8 points and 384.4 total yards of offense per game.
The b-back dive will be key to this Army offense, if Darrell Woolfolk, Andy Davidson, Connor Slomka, and Calen Holt get going, Navy is in for a world of hurt because that opens up the rest of the offense.
The Black Knights might be able to have a field day against this weak defense.
On the defensive side of the ball, Army is the definition of “bend but don’t break”, allowing 301.3 yards per game but only 18.7 points per game. They are great at stopping the run though, on the year they give up just over 100 rushing yards per game.
Led by linebackers Cole Christiansen and James “Hammersticks” Nachtigal, the Black Knights will look to extend their streak of giving up less than 20 points for four.
Everyone knows this game always has great uniform matchups, this year is no different.
Navy is breaking out an all-white look and they top it off with a navy blue chrome lid with Bill The Goat on it.
— Navy Football (@NavyFB) December 3, 2018
The Fighting First #BigRedOne
— Army Football (@ArmyWP_Football) December 3, 2018
This is going to be a fun game. This is the best rivalry in all of sports, the tradition, pageantry, and the Brotherhood are just of a few examples of what makes this game so great.
Folks, there is going to be a three-game winning streak for the Black Knights and I don’t think the game will be close either. This Navy team isn’t like past Navy teams, they just aren’t that good. Army’s offense should be able to do whatever they want to this Midshipmen defense and their offense can’t hang with Army’s defense.
Army 28-Navy 3