Is this finally Army’s year? The Black Knights sure hope so as they look to end a 12-game losing streak against the rival Navy Midshipmen in their annual encounter in Baltimore. The 115th meeting between the storied foes sees Army looking to end a difficult season on a positive note, having won two of its previous three games coming in; the Midshipmen have more at stake in this one, as it will serve as a tuneup to a Dec. 23 bowl date with San Diego State.
It looked like Army and Navy might share the same fate midway through the season, but the Midshipmen have won four of their last five games – losing only to nationally-ranked Notre Dame over that span – to surge into the Poinsettia Bowl against the Aztecs in hostile San Diego. Navy has scored at least 39 points in each of its past five games and ranks second in the nation at 357.8 rushing yards per game. Army ranks sixth at 305.5 yards on the ground.
TV: 3 p.m. ET, CBS
LINE HISTORY: Navy has held steady as a 15-point favorite. The total opened at 60.5 but has since dropped three points.
INJURY REPORT: Navy – G Patrick Forrestal (leg), S Lonnie Richardson (concussion) and G Cam Henson (undisclosed) are out. LB James Britton (foot) is questionable. Army – OL Justin Gilbert (knee) is out. DB Geoffery Bacon (ankle) is questionable.
WEATHER REPORT: Temperatures at Jack Stephens Field at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium will be in the low-40s with partly cloudy skies and wind blowing northwest across the length of the field at 10 mph.
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “We haven’t seen a lot of movement in the spread, fluctuating a half point either way since opening at -15, and the action is mostly split. The total, however, has dropped a full four points and more than 85 percent of our wagers are on the under. Perhaps the expectance of a chess match between
two run-focused offenses has prompted players to grab the under.” John Lester, senior lines manager at bookmaker.eu.
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “Classic rivalry matchup concludes the regular season with Army looking to snap a 12-game series losing skid. The Cadets are much improved under first year had coach Jeff Monken with four wins this year – their best effort since 2010. Pronlem has lost 13 games in a row (1-12 ATS) in games off a win. On the flip side, Navy enters with a bowl bid in its back pocket. With a pair of rushing juggernauts going head-to-head, look for another low scoring military game.” Covers Expert Marc Lawrence
ABOUT NAVY (6-5 SU, 5-6 ATS, 4-6 O/U): The Midshipmen were led by fleet quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who was a QB in name only – the 5-11 junior rushed for 1,082 yards and an eye-popping 20 touchdowns while passing for just five. He had plenty of help on the ground; 10 different Navy players recorded a rushing touchdown, while nine had at least 100 yards on the ground on the season and 18 players registered at least one carry. Jamir Tillman led the receiving corps with 18 receptions for 338 yards and two scores; no other player had more than nine catches.
ABOUT ARMY (4-7 SU, 4-7 ATS, 7-4 O/U): The roll call of Black Knights rushing threats isn’t quite as long as that of the Midshipmen, but Army can also pound the ball with the best of them. Larry Dixon led the way with 1,012 rushing yards and nine scores, while quarterback Angel Santiago chipped in 793 yards on the ground and a team-best 10 TDs. The passing game was virtually nonexistent, with Santiago, A.J. Schurr and receiver Joe Walker combining to go 48-for-98 for 710 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions on the season.
* Navy is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games following a SU victory.
* Army is 6-20 ATS in its last 26 games following an ATS win.
* Under is 8-1 in the Midshipmen’s last nine November games.
* Under is 8-0 in the last eight meetings.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Navy has a slim edge among Covers users, garnering 51.77 percent of the vote at -15.