The Army Black Knights look to end a nine-game losing streak against the Navy Midshipmen on Saturday.
This annual rivalry game is one of the greatest in college football, and evidence of this is the fact that the sport dedicates a whole day to it. There are no other games slated for this weekend.
While it's always an intense matchup, lately Navy has been absolutely dominating. Army hasn't had a good shot to win in years, having been outscored 120-23 in the last four years.
This year is different though, as Navy isn't as strong as it used to be. At 4-7, the Midshipmen enter the game against the Black Knights with their worse record in quite some time, which means Army has it's best chance ever to finally end the losing streak.
With that said, let's take a look at some specifics of this huge rivalry.
When: Saturday, Dec. 10 at 2:30 p.m. ET
Where: Fed Ex Field, Landover, MD
Listen: WABC 770 AM in New York, WBAL 1090 AM in Baltimore
Betting Line: Navy (-7)
Army Injury Report
According to USA Today, QB Trent Steelman (ankle) is probable, but LB Zach Watts (undisclosed), RB Terry Baggett (leg) and LS Parker Whitten (leg) are all questionable for Saturday's game.
Navy Injury Report
According to USA Today, WR Matt Shibata (knee) and CB David Wright (heel) are both questionable for Saturday's contest.
Neither team is good enough to reach the top 25 this year. Army is 3-8, and will be playing to avoid extending the losing streak against Navy to 10 games.
The Midshipmen will miss out on a bowl game for the first time in almost a decade. They've been solid the past few years, but this season has been a tough one. Eight straight years of playing is a bowl game is now over for Navy.
What They're Saying
Army head coach Rich Ellerson told Terry Mosher of Kitsap Sun of the challenges he faces in recruiting. Ellerson went on to discuss what the goal is of the football players he recruits and how things are different at Army.
We are recruiting first to the institution and to the destination. The destination is being a commissioned officer upon graduation...It will demand much from you at every turn and challenge you every day so we want to make sure they come in here with their eyes wide open.
West Point is here to build young officers. Football is certainly one of those developments, too. That's why we play. We don't play for the people in the stands or TV. It's a development team-building laboratory. Football is leadership and a team-building laboratory.
Football isn't the focal point for the Black Knights, but it doesn't mean they're a terrible team.
They have good talent, but everybody knows they're not going to score the big-time recruits because it's a military school first.
Still, we thank all those who attend, and playing football definitely helps guide some of these young guys into full grown men.
Jabaree Tuani spoke with Sal Interdonato of the Times Herald-Record, and the defensive end talked about how intense this rivalry can get.
This game, you got to know the emotions are going to be high and know guys are going to be very intense and go out there and try to rip your head off.
Army hasn't won this game in nine years. I really don't like to look at anything like that, but I just know they are going to be willing to do whatever they need to do to win and how bad that they want it.
I try to express to all the guys on the team and let them know how serious this is. This is more than a game. From an academy aspect, this is what we live for while we still have it. This will be my last game.
Now a senior captain, Tuani certainly doesn't want to end his career with a loss to his arch rival.
Having never lost to the Black Knights, he will certainly hype up his team to make sure this is their win streak continues.
The Midshipmen may be having a down year, but there's nothing like a heated rivalry game to get a team playing at its highest level.
Army Player to Watch
Trent Steelman should end up playing, and the Black Knights him to be on his A-game. The junior quarterback is second on the team in rushing, and his team needs him to play smart football, as well as make big plays.
With a strong performance from Steelman, Army will be in this game for all four quarters, giving Navy quite a scare.
Navy Player to Watch
Kriss Proctor's first and only year as a starter hasn't resulted in a ton of wins, but he has a chance to right the ship by beating Army.
The senior quarterback also leads the team in rushing, and he'll have to make sure he doesn't commit any turnovers. Breaking open a big run will also help Navy pull ahead.
Since both teams are so run heavy, the matchup to watch is how each defense stacks up against the run.
Army has the best run game in the country, and Navy isn't to far behind at No. 4 in the nation. Expect few pass plays, although, if one team can catch the other off guard it could result in a huge play. Neither team can forget about the pass, but they must also make sure they aren't burned by the option attack.
Will Army finally beat Navy? It's been almost a decade, but this is the Black Knights' year to do it.
However, Navy isn't going to lay down and just give the game away. Army has to step its game up to new heights, and if the Black Knights fail to do that their losing streak will continue.
The clock will be moving fast for these run-first teams. A big pass play in the first half will be a huge game changer for Navy, and the Midshipmen's defense will be the difference maker as Navy pulls away in the second half.
Navy 28, Army 17
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