Navy Midshipmen vs Army Black Knights
Saturday, December 8, 2012, 3:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Opening Line: Navy -8 1/2
Current Line: Navy -7
Opening Total: 57
Current Total: 56
Opening Money Line: Navy -290 / Army +240
Current Money Line: Navy -275 / Army +235
In one of college football’s oldest rivalries, the Army Black Knights and Navy Midshipmen meet for the 113th time Saturday in Philadelphia. Navy leads the series 56-49-7 and has won 10 straight games in the series, including last year 27-21 in Landover, Maryland. The game returns to Philadelphia where 83 previous games in the series have been played.
This game will decide who wins the Commander-In Chief’s Trophy as both teams have wins over Air Force already this season for the first time since 2005. One of Army’s two wins came over the Falcons 41-21 at West Point. Navy beat Air Force 28-21 in overtime in Colorado Springs. Army hasn’t won the CIC Trophy since 1997, and Navy hasn’t won it since 2009. Air Force won it the last two years.
Navy is coached by Ken Niumatalolo. The Midshipmen are 7-4 and headed to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco against Arizona St whether they win or lose against Army. Navy has losses to Notre Dame 50-10 in Dublin, Ireland, at Penn St 34-7, and Troy 41-31 along with a home loss to San Jose St 12-0. The Midshipmen have won 7 of their last 9 games after an 0-2 start. Other than the Air Force win, Navy has home wins over VMI 41-3, Indiana 31-30, Florida Atlantic 24-17, and three weeks ago against Texas St 21-10. Navy has road wins at Central Michigan 31-13 and East Carolina 56-28. The Midshipmen are 4-7 ATS and the total is 3-7 this season. Navy was a 13 point favorite against Texas St and the total was 56.5.
Navy is averaging 395.9 yards per game including 109.5 passing yards and 286.4 rushing yards per game. Navy is #6 in rushing nationally and #121 out of 124 teams passing. The Midshipmen outscoring teams 26-24 this season. Navy has 17 turnovers this season, and has forced 15 on defense. The Midshipmen are 69/153 on third and fourth down conversions, and 34/43 scoring in the red zone with 26 touchdowns. Navy has allowed 19 sacks in 11 games. On defense, the Midshipmen are allowing 386.3 yards per game including 225.7 passing and 160.5 rushing yards. Navy has forced 17 sacks this season. Midshipmen opponents are 75/162 on third and fourth down conversions and 30/41 scoring in the red zone with 18 touchdowns.
Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds has completed 46 of 80 passes (57.5%) for 754 yards with 8 touchdowns and an interception. He has 125 carries, 585 yards and 9 touchdowns. Trey Miller started the season but has missed the last 6 games with an ankle injury. Running back Gee Gee Greene has 104 carries, 750 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 14 catches for 280 yards with 2 touchdowns. Noah Copeland has 130 carries, 592 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 10 catches for 87 yards.Receiver Shawn Lynch has 13 catches, 262 yards, and a touchdown. Brandon Turner has 19 catches for 248 yards and 3 touchdowns. Casey Bolena has 13 catches for 141 yards and a touchdowns. Teh passing game is more of an afterthought in the triple option though.
Army is 2-9 under coach Rich Ellerson. Other than the Air Force upset, Army won at home 34-31 against Boston College. However, even with only 3 wins the season would be somewhat of a success if Army were to win the CIC Trophy with upsets of Air Force and Navy. The Black Knights have road losses at San Diego St 42-7, Wake Forest 49-37, Eastern Michigan 48-38, and Rutgers 28-7. Army has home losses against Northern Illinois 41-40, Stony Brook 23-3, Kent St 31-17, Ball St 30-22, and Temple 63-32 three weeks ago. Army is 3-8 ATS and the total is 5-5 this season. The Black Knights were 3.5 point favorites against Temple and the total was 58.
Army averages 437.9 yards per game on offense including 68.1 passing yards and 369.8 rushing yards. Army is last in passing but leads the nation in rushing. The Black Knights are being outscored 37-25 this season. Army is -6 in turnovers with 19 giveaways. The Knights have allowed 10 sacks this season. Army is 99/208 on third and fourth down conversions and 33/45 scoring in the red zone with 25 touchdowns. Army is allowing 439.2 yards per game on defense, including 200.9 passing yards and 238.3 rushing yards. The Black Knights are #122 in rushing defense and #112 in points allowed. Army has forced 14 sacks and 13 turnovers this season. Black Knight opponents are 74/146 on third and fourth down conversions and 39/45 scoring in the red zone with 30 touchdowns.
Army quarterback Trent Steelman has completed 39 of 85 passes (45.9%) for 619 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions, along with 224 carries, 1,152 yards and 16 touchdowns. Back-up A.J. Schurr has thrown 2 touchdown passes this season. Running back Raymond Maples has 196 carries, 1,059 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 5 catches for 104 yards and a touchdown. Larry Dixon has 124 carries, 778 yards and 6 touchdowns, along with 2 catches fro 20 yards. He is questionable with a hip injury. Malcolm Brown has 54 carries, 384 yards, and 4 touchdowns, along with 3 catches for 46 yards. Brown is questionable with an ankle injury. Hayden Tippett has 46 carries, 234 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Chevaughn Lawrence has 18 catches for 313 yards. Patrick Laird has 11 catches, 125 yards and a touchdown.
Navy is 5-11 after allowing more than 280 passing yards, 2-5 after a straight up win and after a bye, 1-4 after rushing for 200 yards or more, overall, on fieldturf, after passing for less than 170 yards, and after allowing 20 points or less, and 0-4 against teams with losing records. The favorite is 8-3 ATS in this series recently, and the Midshipmen were favored in each of those games. The last 6 games in the series have gone under the total.
Army is 7-3 ATS after allowing 40 points or less, 2-5 after a straight up loss, 8-20-1 against teams with winning records, 6-22 after a bye week, 1-4 after a straight up loss of 20 points or more, and after allowing 450 yards or more, 1-5 after rushing for 200 yards, overall, on fieldturf and after passing for less than 170 yards.
Navy has been dominant in this series recently, but Army could make their season with an upset here. The Midshipmen pass the ball more than the Black Knights but you might not see more than 20 combined passes by both teams in this game. Army is terrible at stopping the run, and I think Navy wins a close game to claim the Commander In Chief’s Trophy.
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