Game played at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
One of college football’s great rivalries has barely resembled one of late as Army tries to snap a 13-game losing streak against No. 22 Navy on Saturday in Philadelphia, but oddsmakers don’t give the Black Knights much of a chance after installing the Midshipmen a three-touchdown favorite. The biggest factor in Navy’s favor is senior quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who is on the verge of becoming the most prolific scorer in NCAA Division I history.
Reynolds has scored all 83 of his touchdowns on the ground and needs two to break the combined FBS and FCS record for rushing TDs set by Georgia Southern’s Adrian Peterson and Towson’s Terrance West. He also needs one score to break the FBS record for total touchdowns, a mark he shares with former Wisconsin standout Ron Dayne and Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon, who has one game remaining. If the Midshipmen defeat Army, they will have a chance to set a school record for wins in a season with 11 in the Military Bowl against Pittsburgh on Dec. 28, but the Black Knights will be eager to salvage their fifth straight losing season and 18th in the last 19. “If they talk amongst themselves, I allow them to prepare the best way they think they have to prepare themselves mentally but from my standpoint, I never talk about the streak,” Midshipmen coach Ken Niumatalolo, who reportedly is a candidate to become coach at BYU, told reporters.
TV: 3 p.m. ET, CBS.
LINE HISTORY: Books opened Navy as 22-point favorites but that has moved to -21.5. The total opened at 54 and is down to 50.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-60s under partly cloudy skies. Wind will blow across the field at around four miles per hour.
Navy – T Blake Copeland (Questionable, foot), CB Shelley White (Out for season, Achilles), S Kwazel Bertrand (Out for season, ankle), WR Marc Meier (Out for season, knee).
Army – QB A.J. Schurr (Probable, undisclosed), QB Ahmad Bradshaw (Probable, ankle), LB Alex Aukerman (Probable, undisclosed), RB John Trainor (Probable, shoulder), DB Rhyan England (Probable, knee), DL Andrew McLean (Out for season, foot), OL Drew Hennessy (Out for season, ankle), DB Josh Jenkins (Out for season, concussion).
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “Despite the 21.5-point spread that the Midshipmen need to overcome, the action is still almost 2-1 on Navy for bet count and money in Saturday’s 3pm ET Army/Navy game. The line has danced around a little between 23 and 21.5, however it appears to be quite stable at this point. With a spread of 21.5, and a total of 50.5, it’s obvious that there isn’t much faith in Army being able to score more than 10 points in the game.” Mick Sloan GTBets line manager.
ABOUT NAVY (9-2 SU, 8-3 ATS, 7-4 O/U): The Midshipmen boast a potent rushing attack with Reynolds (1,093 yards, 19 touchdowns) and senior fullback Chris Swain (847, 10). Navy would claim the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy – awarded to the service academy that wins the yearly round-robin competition – with a victory after defeating Air Force 33-11 earlier this season. The Midshipmen have been ranked for five straight weeks – their longest run since an all-season 12-week stretch in 1963.
ABOUT ARMY (2-9 SU, 4-6-1 ATS, 4-7 O/U): Coach Jeff Monken hasn’t publicly named a starting quarterback for Saturday after freshman Chris Carter made his collegiate debut in a 31-21 loss to Rutgers on Nov. 21 – the Black Knights’ fourth straight loss. Carter took over after injuries to sophomore Ahmad Bradshaw (468 rushing yards, five touchdowns) and senior A.J. Schurr (384 rushing yards, seven TDs) – Army’s second- and third-leading runners. Junior Aaron Kemper has a team-high 506 rushing yards and three touchdowns while Edgar Poe has five TDs – the most by a Black Knights receiver since 2009.
* Under is 9-0 in the last nine meetings.
* Midshipmen are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Black Knights are 0-5 ATS in their last five games following a straight up loss.
* Over is 4-0 in Midshipmen last four games overall.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Fifty-three percent of Covers users are backing Army.