Army-Navy Game 2018: Start Time and Predictions for Rivalry Game

Jake RillContributor IDecember 8, 2018

WEST POINT, NY - NOVEMBER 17: Camden Harrison #88 of the Army Black Knights during a game against the Colgate Raiders at Michie Stadium on November 17, 2018 in West Point, New York. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

For the 119th time, Army and Navy will play one of the biggest rivalry matchups in college football. The Black Knights and Midshipmen are set to play the only FBS game on Saturday's schedule at 3 p.m. ET at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, with the game airing live on CBS.

Army (9-2) is looking to win its third straight matchup against Navy, while also vying for its second consecutive 10-win season.

The Black Knights have had another strong year. Their only losses so far were to Duke and Oklahoma, which is one of the four teams that were selected to play in the College Football Playoff. The Black Knights took the Sooners to overtime before falling, 28-21, on Sept. 22.

Army has won seven straight games since its loss to Oklahoma, which helped earn the Black Knights a selection to the Armed Forces Bowl. They will play Houston on Dec. 22.

Meanwhile, Navy has struggled this season. After beginning the year 1-2, the Midshipmen have lost eight of their last nine games. It is their first losing season since they went 5-7 in 2011, and it's only their second losing season since Ken Niumatalolo took over as head coach before the 2008 campaign.

Navy dominated the series against Army from 2002 to 2015, winning 14 straight meetings between the two teams. While 2018 has been a tough year for the Midshipmen, an upset win over their biggest rival would be a positive way to end their season.

Although Army has won the past two years, Navy still leads the all-time series, 60-51-7.

                                  

ORLANDO, FL - NOVEMBER 10:  Head coach Ken Niumatalolo of the Navy Midshipmen is seen on the sideline during a game between the Navy Midshipmen and the UCF Knights at Spectrum Stadium on November 10, 2018 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty
Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Predictions

One thing is certain—there will be a lot of running plays from both teams, as Army and Navy both utilize option offenses. In last year's game between the two teams, there was only a total of three pass attempts.

But the Black Knights have had more offensive success this season, and that shouldn't change. Led by senior running back Darnell Woolfolk (823 rushing yards, 14 touchdowns) and junior quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. (783 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground), Army will likely continue to thrive against Navy's defense.

The Midshipmen are allowing 6.7 yards per play, which ranks 122nd out of 130 FBS teams.

Meanwhile, Navy could have trouble moving the ball against Army's defense, which is allowing only 19 points per game.

Army should continue its strong season with another win over its biggest rival, while Navy's tough year will end on a disappointing note.

Score: Army 27, Navy 17

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