Navy vs. Army

Navy vs. Army | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Written by on December 11, 2020

There is no more storied rivalry in college football Army vs. Navy and the rivals usually play in Philadelphia every season, but this year’s game was moved to Army’s on-campus location at West Point due to COVID-19. The game was moved due to attendance limits in the state of Pennsylvania that won’t allow the Brigade of Midshipmen and the Corps of Cadets to attend the game. Army is a TD favorite on the NCAAF odds and both will be wearing spectacular uniforms.

How to Bet Navy at Army NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, 3 PM ET
  • Where: Michie Stadium, West Point
  • TV: CBS
  • Stream: CBS Sports app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Army -7 (total 37.5)

Last Meeting

In 2019, Army lost to Navy 31-7 in Philadelphia. Navy’s Malcolm Perry (now gone) became the fourth quarterback in FBS history to rush for 300 yards, running for 304 yards with two touchdowns, and set a slew of program records. The Midshipmen had exactly one yard passing. Army only had 25.

Navy snapped a three-game losing streak in the series. The Black Knights were trying to win four straight games in the Army-Navy series for the first time since 1993 to 1996.

Navy leads the all-time series against Army 61-52-7 (.534), including a 3-0 mark in games played at West Point. Saturday’s game will be the first Army-Navy game played at a home site since 1943, due to World War II, when Navy won at West Point 13-0.  Navy also won the 1942 game in Annapolis 14-0.

Why Bet on Navy? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Navy (3-6) comes off a 19-6 loss to Tulsa last Saturday, the Middies’ fourth straight defeat. Navy freshman QB Xavier Arline completed 4-of-8 passes for 29 yards and rushed 27 times for 60 yards in his first career start. Arline’s 60 rushing yards were the most by a Navy quarterback all season.

The Midshipmen produced only 153 yards in offense and lost their home finale for the first time since 2002. The score was tied at 6 late in the third quarter before Tulsa QB Zach Smith lofted a long pass between four Navy defenders into the waiting arms of Josh Johnson, who outdistanced his pursuers in a 40-yard sprint to the end zone.

Opposing kickers are an incredible 20-22 (.909) on field goals and 30-31 (.968) on extra points this year against the Mids. Two of the three misses were blocked by Navy.

Airline is likely to start Saturday and will be just the fifth freshman to start at quarterback for Navy in the annual Army-Navy game. The Mids went 3-1 in the previous four games with Keenan Reynolds leading Navy to a win in 2012 (17-13), Jim Kubiak in 1991 (24-3) and Mike Roban in 1974 (19-0). The only time Navy has lost to Army when starting a freshman quarterback was in 1987 (17-3) when Alton Grizzard got the start.

Navy is 42-28 (.600) in the Ken Niumatalolo era (2008-present) in one-score games (8 points or less), including 3-1 (.750) in 2020. Senior defensive end Jackson Perkins is the only player on Navy’s defensive unit to start all 9 games this fall. The Mids have started 4 different nose guards and 3 different quarterbacks. Sophomore linebacker Tama Tuitele is the nation’s leader in forced fumbles with 4.

If Navy defeats Army and Army beats Air Force the following week, the Mids will retain the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy. The three schools have not gone 1-1 against each other since 1993 when Air Force retained the trophy.

Why Bet on Army? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Army (7-2) does have a game vs. Air Force remaining after this – normally, Army-Navy is the finale. The Black Knights haven’t played since way back on Nov. 21, a 28-27 win over Georgia Southern. The Cadets had two blocked kicks (1 punt, 1 PAT) on the day. They lead the nation with seven (3 punt, 2 FGA, 2 PAT) on the season.

It was the first time in over 16 years that Army overcame a 14-point deficit to win a game. The last time was on Oct. 16, 2004, at USF, which Army won 42-35. QB Tyhier Tyler became the fourth player to earn a start at quarterback for the Black Knights this season, marking the first time in program history that the Cadets have had four different starters at QB in a season. So far on the season the Black Knights have had 24 first-time starters, the most in the nation.

The last time an Army game was decided by one-point in normal regulation was the 2017 Army-Navy game, which Army won 14-13. The Cadets topped Miami (Oh) 31-30 in 2018, but the game was decided in double overtime.

Senior linebacker Jon Rhattigan was named a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which has been presented annually to the nation’s top defensive player since 1995. Rhattigan leads the Black Knights with 67 tackles (21 solo) and 8.0 tackles for a loss. He is also tied for the team lead for interceptions with two, one of which he returned for a touchdown and the other he returned for 50 yards.

The Black Knights own an eight-game home winning-streak dating back to 2019. During the stretch, the Black Knights have outscored their opponents by a total of 335-82. During that streak, they have held their opponents to less than 10 points in six of those seven games. In five of those six games (three in 2020), they have held opponents to a touchdown or less.

Game Trends

  • Midshipmen are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up loss.
  • Midshipmen are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games in December.
  • Black Knights are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games as a favorite.
  • Black Knights are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games as a home favorite.
  • Black Knights are 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 games in December.
  • Midshipmen are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.

Expert Prediction

  • Army 33, Navy 17

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