College Football Game of the Week: Army vs. Navy

Story posted December 10, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Spencer Ripchik

The 2020 college football season has looked very different with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. But one thing that has not changed is the classic Army-Navy game. Navy heads to West Point to take on Army for meeting No. 117. The last game in 2019 was won by Navy 31-7.

This season, Navy is 3-6 with its first loss of the season coming to BYU 55-3. Navy failed to get the offense going, as quarterback Dalen Morris completed two passes for 14 yards.

Navy’s offense is usually carried by the ground game. Against BYU, Navy had just 119 rushing yards, averaging 3.1 yards per rush.

Ultimately, Navy lost to BYU because BYU’s offense was more explosive than Navy’s. BYU quarterback Zach Wilson threw for 232 yards and two touchdowns. The defense was able to turn Wilson over, but it did not slow down the Cougars.

This game against BYU is a reflection of how the rest of the season has gone for the Midshipmen. They had three of their games in a row postponed due to coronavirus. After that three-week break, they lost to Memphis and Tulsa.

Navy kept Tulsa closer than most ranked opponents, losing 19-6. The offense struggled, though, conducting only 153 yards total.

Army, on the other hand, is having a solid season at 7-2. Army has also had its fair share of postponements, with one of them being against BYU.

Army’s best win came against Middle Tennessee 42-0. The Black Knights defense held the Blue Raiders to 184 yards of total offense. Army also turned the Blue Raiders over four times with one touchdown.

The Black Knights have an even rushing attack between four players. Quarterbacks Tyhier Tyler and Christian Anderson both have over 300 yards rushing on the season. Running backs Jakobi Buchanan and Tyrell Robinson also have over 300 yards rushing with Buchanan leading the team at 383 yards.

Army gave undefeated Cincinnati one of its closest contests. The Bearcats beat the Black Knights 24-10 in their second game of the season. The Bearcats are now ranked No. 8 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings.

Army’s only touchdown came in the first 51 seconds of the game, when Army defensive back Jabari Moore deflected the pitch and scooped it up to put up Army 7-0. But the Black Knights were hurt through the air, as Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder threw for 258 yards and two touchdowns.

Army looks better on paper than Navy because the Black Knights have more wins under their belt. However, the two teams do share a common opponent, and that makes this matchup interesting. One of Army’s losses was to Tulane 38-12. Navy, meanwhile, beat Tulane at the beginning of the season 27-24.

Even though Navy’s record does not look too promising, its schedule was much more difficult than Army’s.

In Navy’s previous two games it failed to get the offense going. The Midshipmen will have an even tougher time against the Army defense. Army’s defense has three touchdowns this season. The Black Knights have forced 10 interceptions and seven fumbles.

On the other side of the ball, Navy has not done well defensively, giving up 32 points per game on average. Army’s offense comes close to that mark, averaging 30.56 points per game.

The history of the game leans in favor of Navy. The Midshipmen lead the series with 61 wins to Army’s 52.

The game is going to be played at Michie Stadium for the second time since 1943. Navy won that game 13-0. Army has never beaten Navy at West Point.

The rivalry this year is no different than any other year. It will feature the same ground-and-pound offense.

In the end, Army has the better rushing attack. Therefore, the Black Knights will win the game. However, Navy will put up a better fight than most people expect.

Prediction: Army 27, Navy 20

 

Spencer Ripchik is a freshman majoring in journalism. To contact him, email ripcspen@gmail.com.

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Spencer Ripchik

Freshman / Journalism

Spencer Ripchik is a second-year student from Saratoga Springs, New York majoring in journalism. He is a writer for the CommRadio sports department. His weekly content includes NFL Game Picks, Heisman Watch, Around the SEC, College Football Game of the Week, and other sports-related articles. If you would like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).