One of the greatest rivalries in sports will be continued Saturday when the Army Black Knights play the Navy Midshipmen at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
The Midshipmen are coming off an impressive victory in their last game, as they knocked off then-No. 20 Central Florida 17-14 on the road despite not completing a single pass. Navy rushed the ball 63 times for 248 yards and was paced by Daba Fofana’s 114 yards.
On the other side, the Black Knights have gone 4-2 in their past six games and could finish the season at .500 in large part because of their performance. Army has won two straight games, including a 44-7 victory at UMass last time out. Like Navy, Army is going to run the ball a lot, as the Black Knights only completed 2 of 5 passes against UMass for 67 yards. However, they were even more efficient on the ground, rushing the ball 56 times for 329 yards and six touchdowns.
The two teams have split the last four matchups, with Navy winning 17-13 last year. Navy leads the all-time series 62-53-7 after winning 14 straight between 2002-2015.
Caesars Sportsbook lists the Midshipmen as a 2½-point favorite with a low over/under of 32½.
Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends:
Navy Midshipmen at Army Cadets
Time/TV: 3 p.m. Saturday, CBS
Point spread (from Caesars Sportsbook): Navy -2½
Money line: Navy- 140, Army +118
Analysis: Many players get carries for Navy, though Fofana has led the way with 749 yards and six touchdowns. While quarterback Tai Lavatai has completed only 42 completions on the season, he does average an impressive 18 yards per completion and has thrown for five touchdowns. The defense is led by linebacker John Marshall, who has 88 tackles on the season, including 10½ sacks.
The Black Knights also run by committee, as they have 11 players on the roster with at least 163 yards. Quarterback Tyhier Tyler (601 yards and 12 touchdowns), Tyson Riley (435 yards and two touchdowns) and Jakobi Buchanan (337 yards and seven touchdowns) lead the way. Tyler has been big in the last three games, as he is averaging 90.3 yards during that stretch, including two games with at least 100 yards.
Whenever these two teams play, you can expect a close game. Both teams play with a ton of pride and with a very similar style. We have switched winners the past four years. Expect that trend will continue as Army moves to 6-6 in a low-scoring affair.
Prediction: Army 13, Navy 10