The 120th edition of the Army-Navy game closes out the college football regular season Saturday.
The Navy Midshipmen come into Lincoln Financial Field in better form than the Army Black Knights, as they are 9-2 and earned a berth in the Liberty Bowl.
Since the start of October, Navy has a single defeat, which occurred on the road at the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Army has experienced a different fate at 5-7, with only two victories coming since October 5.
The Black Knights have a three-game winning streak in the rivalry, and if they finish the season with a victory, they will earn the program's longest triumphant run over the Midshipmen since the mid 1990s.
Army-Navy Game Information
Start Time: 3 p.m. ET
Live Stream: CBSSports.com or CBS Sports app
Odds (via Caesars): Navy -10; Over/Under: 40.5
For the first time in four years, Army goes into the second weekend of December without a bowl berth.
Jeff Monken's team had an opportunity to become bowl-eligible in Week 14, but it fell by 21 points at Hawai'i. The double-digit loss was an outlier in the Black Knights' season, as they suffered their six other losses by fewer than 10 points.
Army's highest-profile loss was in overtime to the Michigan Wolverines September 7. Since then, the independent program has only racked up wins over UTSA, Morgan State, UMass and VMI.
UTSA and UMass went a combined 5-19 in the FBS, while FCS programs Morgan State and VMI were 8-16. Army's other win was over 3-9 Rice in its opener. Those results suggest the Black Knights can play their rival close but may not be able to come out on top.
Quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr., who has 706 rushing yards and 570 passing yards, will likely be the reason Army hangs in the contest. A year ago, the senior was his team's leading rusher in a 17-10 victory to extend the winning run to three.
In 2018, Navy used 10 fourth-quarter points to pull the final score to within one possession. In fact, the Midshipmen have fallen by 12 combined points in the past three years, and four of their past five wins in the rivalry were by a maximum of seven points.
If that trend continues Saturday, Navy would not be able to cover the 10-point spread. However, the explosiveness of Ken Niumatalolo's offense could buck the recent run of close games and hand the senior class its first triumph in the event.
In 10 of its 11 contests, the American Athletic Conference side has had at least one 100-yard rusher, with quarterback Malcolm Perry being the top gainer on seven occasions.
For the first time in his career, Perry has 1,000 rushing and passing yards, which is rare for a signal-caller in the option. In three of his past four outings, the senior has more than 100 yards through the air and on the ground, and he has eight straight triple-digit rushing performances.
Perry's consistency has helped Navy's offense produce over 30 points in each of its nine victories, and two of its past three triumphs featured 56 points.
Since the Midshipmen have lit up the scoreboard during a schedule that includes five bowl-eligible programs, they should be able to rack up yards on an Army defense that has faced weaker opposition.
If that occurs, the Army-Navy Game could reach 40 points for the first time since 2013.
That trend is concerning for over bettors, but Navy's offense packs enough potential to visit the end zone on a handful of occasions. And if Army contributes a score or two, the total could be higher than projected.