Navy to face Middle Tennessee State in Armed Forces Bowl


Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds celebrates as he scores the game-winning touchdown in triple overtime for a 58-52 win over San Jose State on Nov. 22. After facing Army in their annual matchup, the Midshipmen will face Middle Tennessee State in the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 30. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)
December 8, 2013

The Navy football team learned Sunday afternoon it would be facing Middle Tennessee State in the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 30 at Texas Christian’s Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth.

The Midshipmen are headed to a 10th bowl game in 11 seasons and their second bowl game in four years in the Lone Star State. Navy, which had an automatic tie-in with the Armed Forces Bowl entering this season, played in the Texas Bowl in 2009, beating Missouri, 35-13.

Navy has one game left in the regular season before it begins preparing in earnest for Middle Tennessee State. The Midshipmen will play Army on Saturday in Philadelphia in the 114th installment of one of the most storied rivalries in college football history.

“All of our focus right now is on Army,” Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo said during a conference call. “As excited as we are knowing there’s a bowl game coming, now we know who our opponent is. We already knew where we were going as soon as we became bowl eligible. We knew we’d be going to Fort Worth, so we’re very excited.”

The Midshipmen (7-4) have won three games in a row and four of their past five. Navy has scored at least 42 points in each of its last three games thanks in large part to quarterback Keenan Reynolds. The sophomore matched an NCAA record with seven rushing touchdowns in a 59-52 triple-overtime win against San Jose State on Nov. 22.

Middle Tennessee State (8-4), meantime, has won five consecutive games and is headed to its fourth bowl game under Coach Rick Stockstill. The Blue Raiders are in their first season in Conference USA.

Gene Wang is a sports reporter covering many local and national beats, including Navy football, the Capitals, Wizards, Nationals, women’s basketball, auto racing, boxing and golf. He joined The Washington Post sports department in 1990 as a member of the high school staff and worked as a copy editor and assignment editor for almost 19 years.
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