With college football bowl season approaching, only one game between FCS schools is on Saturday’s schedule. Navy and Army will meet for the 114th time.
The Midshipmen will look to continue the dominance that they’ve displayed over their rivals for the past decade. Navy has won the contest for 11 straight years. In 2002, the Black Knights led the all-time head-to-head matchup. Now, Navy’s winning streak has given them a 57-49-7 advantage.
Saturday will mark the last game of 2013 for Army. The club went 3-8, ending the season with four straight losses. Navy’s season, however, will continue after this weekend. A 7-4 record has earned them a spot in the Armed Forces Bowl against Middle Tennessee State. It’s their 10th bowl appearance in 11 years.
Offensively, the two teams have put up very similar statistics. Navy is third in the nation with 320.1 rushing yards per game and 122nd with 98.9 passing yards per contest. Army is right behind Navy in passing, and they actually rank just ahead of them at No.2 in the nation in rushing yards. The Midshipmen, though, have been able to turn those yards into points, scoring 34.4 per game. Army has had more trouble getting into the end zone, scoring 26 points a game.
The biggest difference is in the quarterback play. Keenan Reynolds has run the option extremely well, rushing for 1,124 yards ands and 26 touchdowns, in addition to 1,028 yards through the air for eight scores.
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“Chris McCoy and Ricky Dobbs are the best quarterbacks I’ve been around and Keenan’s right there with them,” head coach Ken Niumatalolo said via the Washington Times. “Some guys don’t want to say stuff like that about a sophomore, but I’m just calling a spade a spade. The kid is one heck of a quarterback. He has proven it over and over again.”
In their last loss, Army fell to Hawaii, who hadn’t won a game all season. They surrendered 323 passing yards and 285 yards on the ground. Hawaii ranks 113th in the nation in rushing yards. If the Black Knights couldn’t stop them, keeping Reynolds in check could prove to be a very tall order. Navy beat Hawaii 42-28 in their 2013 meeting.
Navy has been listed as heavy favorites. According to the betting line at most Las Vegas casinos, Army is getting 13 points. The Black Knights are just 4-7 against the points spread, while Navy has failed to cover in just three games.
Betting Odds: Navy -13, 53
Prediction: Navy 40, Army 24