WEST POINT, N.Y. – For the 122nd time, the Army Black Knights will face off with service academy rival Navy when the two teams meet at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. EST.
America’s Game, presented by USAA, will be broadcasted on CBS with Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson and Jamie Erdahl on the call. Check your local listings for channel information. ESPN will also be involved in the action, as its College GameDay pregame show will air live from the Army-Navy Game from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The radio call will be found across 25 stations in nine different states via the Army Sports Network. Additionally, the call can be heard for free via the Varsity Network App.
Setting the Scene
- Having defeated Air Force earlier this year (21-14 OT, Nov. 6), Army is one win away from claiming the program’s 10th outright Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy.
- The Black Knights have won three out of the past four titles, taking home the hardware in 2017, 2018 and 2020.
- Navy leads the overall series, which dates back to 1890, 61-53-7.
- In last year’s meeting, which was played at Michie Stadium, the Cadets trounced the Mids 15-0 to earn their first shutout over Navy since 1969.
- MetLife Stadium will mark as the 16th different game site since the birth of the series.
- The rivalry’s competitive nature is backed by the fact that only 390 points (3.25 ppg) separated the teams through the Classic’s initial 120 pairings. Navy scored 1,905 points (15.9 ppg), while Army recorded 1,515 (12.6 ppg).
- Saturday’s game will be head coach Jeff Monken‘s 100th with the Black Knights.
- With a victory, he will secure his spot as the second-winningest coach in program history, tied with Charles Daly (1913-16, 1919-22; 58-13-3).
Last of the Hard
- The Black Knights will bring their four-game winning streak to MetLife Stadium this weekend. During the stretch, Army has outscored its opposition 148-57.
- Last month, the Cadets secured their sixth-straight season with a winning record at Michie Stadium. In the span, the team has earned a 32-5 advantage over visitors with three undefeated campaigns.
- Over the weekend, linebacker Arik Smith received the Defender of the Nation Award, as presented by Capital Group of Companies and America’s Patriotic Dealerships.
- The award honors those with exceptional leadership qualities on the field, in the classroom and in their communities, as well as a demonstrated high standard of integrity and is given to a player from one of the nation’s military academies.
- Smith has anchored a defense that has given up just 106.8 rushing yards per game. With 67.0 tackles, he leads the team and has additionally contributed 9.0 TFLs for 55 yards.
- Another highlight of the team’s defensive unit is outside linebacker Andre Carter II, who currently leads the nation with 14.5 sacks. The Texas native broke the program’s single-season sack record when he reached 13.5 during the victory over UMass (Nov. 20)
- Heading into week 13, the team was averaging 78 more yards on the ground per game than the top SEC rushing attack. Tyrell Robinson has netted a team-best 582 rushing yards and is closing in on 1,000 total yards this season as he currently has 850.
- Army recently accepted a bid to the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl and will take on SEC foe Missouri at 8 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Dec. 22 in Fort Worth, Texas.
- The game will mark the program’s 10th all-time Bowl appearance and it enters the matchup 6-3 in previous games, which includes a 3-1 record under head coach Jeff Monken.
Scouting the Midshipmen
- Navy enters Saturday’s battle with 3-8 record, which includes a 3-5 mark in American Athletic Conference play.
- The Mids have won just two of their past seven outings, having defeated both Temple (38-14, Nov. 27) and Tulsa (20-17, Oct. 29).
- Over the past five seasons, Navy has only finished over .500 twice, doing so in 2017 (7-6, 4-4 AAC) and 2019 (11-2, 7-1 AAC).
- During its dominant 2019 campaign, the program captured the CIC Trophy after finishing 2-0 in the series standings. It marked the first time that the Mids were able to secure the Trophy since their 2015 campaign.
- Part of the struggles this season can be attributed to strength of schedule. The team has faced off against three ranked opponents this year in No. 2 Cincinnati (L, 27-20), No. 8 Notre Dame (L, 34-6) and No. 24 SMU (L, 31-24).
- Navy enters the game averaging 20.36 points per outing while giving up 29.64 to opposing teams. All but six of the team’s 23 touchdowns have been recorded on the ground, as the Mids have rushed for nearly 230 yards per game.
- Full back Isaac Ruoss leads the offensive attack with 608 rushing yards and five TDs. He found the end zone twice during the team’s outing against Temple, marking his first multi-TD game of the year.
- On the other side of the ball, cornerback Michael McMorris has come up with five forced fumbles, the second-most of any player in the nation. He is one of six players that has recorded 40-or-more tackles, an effort that is led by linebacker Diego Fagot’s 85.0.
- Despite its record, Navy still ranks among the national leaders in turnovers lost (third, eight), time of possession (fifth, 34:50), first downs defense (sixth, 193) and rushing offense (seventh, 228.2 ypg).
- The march-on of the Corps of Cadets will take place at 12:40 p.m. and will be preceded by the march-on of the Brigade of Midshipmen (12:10 p.m.).
- At 2:45 p.m., the Service Academy exchange of Cadets and Midshipmen who are spending the semester at their rival school will take place on the field.
- Weather permitting, the Golden Knights and Leap Frogs will jump at 2:48 p.m.
- Both institutions’ glee clubs will sing the National Anthem at 3:01 p.m.
- Following the game, both sides will stand at attention as the alma mater of each Academy is played in order of losing team-winning team.
For complete coverage of Army West Point football, follow the Black Knights on Twitter and Instagram at @ArmyWP_Football and online at www.goarmywestpoint.com.
COURTESY ARMY ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS