Navy vs. Army
Navy vs. Army
2:30 p.m., Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia.
TV: WUSA-9, WJZ-13.
Radio: WZAA (1050 AM), WBAL (1090 AM), WNAV (1430 AM), WFED (1500 AM), WTRI (1520 AM).
Records: Midshipmen 8-3; Black Knights 6-5.
Managing prosperity: Navy has had its issues against supposedly inferior teams this season, most notably losing to Duke, which had dropped six in a row entering the game. The Midshipmen also struggled to beat division I-AA Georgia Southern and survived against Central Michigan, which finished this season 3-9. Navy again is favored to beat Army, but this version of the Black Knights is much improved, having qualified for a bowl for the first time since 1996.
Extending the streak: Navy senior defensive end Billy Yarborough said this week that it has been unspoken, but the seniors are well aware a series-record eight-game winning streak is on the line against Army. A victory would be especially meaningful for this senior class, which has a chance to go down as the winningest in academy history should it beat the Black Knights and win the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 23 against San Diego State.
Rust factor: It has been three weeks since Navy last played a game, providing plenty of time to heal. But there's also a concern about the momentum of a three-game winning streak losing steam. It's the first time in 20 years the Midshipmen have had this much time off before playing Army, which also hasn't played since the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The last time the Midshipmen had three weeks off before playing Army, they lost, 30-20.
- Gene Wang