2007 Army look ahead: Navy

It's been a rough five years for Army against Navy (more on that later). But this is a new season. Let's hope the Black Knights can knock off Navy en route to its first Commander-in-Chief's Trophy since 1996. It certainly won't be easy: We all know what Navy is capable of. Army and Navy meet on Dec. 1 in Baltimore.

Do the math: Let's get this ugly stat out of the way. We know Navy has beaten Army five years in a row, but this is how it's gone down. The Midshipmen have outscored Army 202-68. It all started with The Meadowlands Massacre: 58-12 in 2002.

Kaipo the kid: Army can't find a quarterback and Navy has a back-up turn into a star overnight. Kaipo Noa Kaheaku-Enhada is expected to be Navy's starter, the man who drives the Midshipmen's triple option offense. Although he didn't have a big game against Army, Kaheaku-Enhada had a great year for Navy, stepping in after Brian Hampton tore up his knee against Rutgers on Oct. 14. Kaheaku-Enhada put up 11 all-purpose touchdowns in the four games, leading into Army.

Kaheaku-Enhada, who is tough and fast, could get pushed at quarterback by Jared Bryant.

Ballard's back and that's not all: Star fullback Adam Ballard left last year's Army-Navy game after breaking his leg on the first series. Still, he rushed for 792 yards last season. Let's not forget what Ballard did in the 2005 Army-Navy game, rushing for 192 yards. Navy has another solid fullback in Eric Kettani, who may start ahead of Ballard.

The dean of service academy coaching: Paul Johnson coached Todd Berry under the table. He outcoached John Mumford and Bobby Ross. Good luck Stan Brock, but Johnson is the dean of service academy coaching. Johnson is 9-1 (.900) against service academies in his five years at Navy, his only loss coming against Air Force in his first season. He is only the second coach in Navy's history to go 5-0 in his first five seasons against Army, joining Wayne Hardin. Navy's 2007 class was the first in school history to win the Commander in Chief's Trophy all four years.

Best case scenario for Army: Johnson gets a better job, which is inevitable. Johnson is 37-25-0 at Navy.

Going bowling: Navy has the last four years, while Army hasn't played in a bowl game since 1996. The Midshipmen have already agreed to play in this year's Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego. Navy, which needs six wins to get back to sunny San Diego, beat Colorado State in the game two years ago. The Midshipmen blew a fourth quarter lead, losing to Boston College in last year's Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Numbers game: Army lost 35 senior letterwinners from last season. Navy's defense has lost nine of 11 starters on defense.

What an option: We've seen it, for the most part, each of the last five years: Navy cutting up Army with its lethal triple-option offense. Navy led the nation with 327 rushing yards per game last year. The Midshipmen have led the nation in rushing three of the last four years.


ArmySports.com Top Stories