Navy Scouting Report: Army

After a three-week break from action, the Midshipmen take on the Black Knights in the annual Army-Navy Classic. Navy has won the last ten games in the series but this game has an interesting twist not seen since 2005. Navy faces an Army opponent that has scored 30 points or more six times including a 41-21 win over Air Force in the first week of November.

Army didn't just beat the Falcons; they took the momentum on the opening drive and never trailed, snapping a 13-game losing streak in the Commander-In-Chief's trophy series. The big win set up a winner-take-all showdown with the Mids for the first time since 2005.

At times, the Black Knights have seemed to play to the ability of their opponents. After getting demolished at San Diego State in Week 1, Army went down to the wire against a Northern Illinois team that won the Mid-American, and played its way into a BCS birth in the Orange Bowl against Florida State. Army's first win of the season came in Week 5, in a thrilling come from behind victory against Boston College. Army signal caller Trent Steelman ran for 141 yards rushing and three touchdowns, including a game-winning score with 45 seconds remaining in the 34-31 victory.

Recently, the Black Knights suffered a 63-32 blowout, at home to a 4-7 Temple team. Temple running back Montel Harris set the record for rushing yards (351) and rushing touchdowns (7) against the Black Knights. The 63 points allowed by Army were the most points scored against Army since Stanford won 67-14 on Oct. 4, 1975. Steelman ran for three rushing touchdowns to set a new Academy career record at 44; it was Steelman's fifth consecutive 100-yard rushing game to set another school record.

The Midshipmen are all too familiar with Army's triple-option offense but will have their hands full against the top ranked rushing offense in the country. Led by Steelman, Army has three players averaging 75 yards rushing or more per game. The senior currently leads Army with 1,152 yards rushing and 16 rushing touchdowns. Steelman is 39 for 85 pass attempts for 619 yards passing and one touchdown, with two interceptions on the season.

Junior slotback Raymond Maples has rushed for 1,059 yards this season, second only to Steelman. The duo are only the second pair of Army rushers to reach the 1,000-yard mark in the same season, and are both inside the top 10 for career rushing yards at West Point. Maples started the year red hot, posting three consecutive 100-yard rushing games to start the season. Army's long completion on the year was a 53-yard reception from Steelman to Maples against the Falcons.

Steelman, Maples, and sophomore fullback Larry Dixon have reached the 100-yard rushing mark in the same game twice this season against Northern Illinois and Boston College. Dixon earned Independent Player of the Week against the Huskies, running for 136 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 28 carries. The sophomore fullback played in all 12 games as a freshman and started the last five; ranking second on the team with five rushing scores.

Chevaughn Lawrence leads the team with 18 receptions for 313 yards receiving. The sophomore receiver has caught a pass in nine consecutive games--the longest streak by an Army player since Jeremy Trimble during the 2006-07 seasons. Lawrence caught a team-high, six receptions for 88 yards receiving against Kent State.

Junior receiver Patrick Laird started his first game of the season in the opener against San Diego State and has started every game since. Laird is second on the team with 11 receptions for 125 yards receiving and a score, with a long reception of 33 yards. The junior receiver caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback A.J. Schurr in the Knight's 31-17 loss to Kent State.

Senior left guard Frank Allen, who leads the front five with 35 career starts, anchors the Black Knight offensive line. Sophomore center Ryan Powis started eight games as a freshman and matched that total in 2012. Sophomore right guard Stephen Shumaker has started every game of the year after going without posting a start last season. At right tackle, Michael Kime has started 13 games for an Army team leading the country averaging 369.8 yards rushing per game.

Middle linebacker Geoffery Bacon has been outstanding at the center of the Black Knights 4-3 flex defense. The sophomore leads the team with 122 tackles, including 3½ for a loss, and an interception. Bacon has posted double-digit tackles in eight of the last nine outings and had a career-high 14 tackles against Stony Brook and matched that total against Kent State and Eastern Michigan.

On the outside, bandit linebacker Nate Combs tops Army with 12 tackles for a loss, including 6 sacks. The senior had an outstanding day against Air Force with a fumble recovered in the end zone for a touchdown, 8 tackles, including 2 for a loss, and an interception returned 15 yards.

Rover linebacker Alex Meier started his first game of the season in the 49-37 loss to Wake Forest, and had an interception returned 65 yards for a score against Eastern Michigan. The freshman has had an outstanding rookie season and is third on the team with 61 tackles, including 2 for a loss.

Junior Justin Trimble senior and Josh Jackson have shared time as a linebacker. Trimble leads the pair with 25 tackles, a team-high two interceptions with 5 passes deflected, and has started the last two games for the Black Knights. Jackson has started four games at cornerback and is set to start his fifth against the Mids.

Army's rushing defense ranks 118th in the country allowing 238.3 yards rushing per game. Sophomore left tackle Robert Kough leads the front four with 9½ tackles for a loss, 1½ sacks, and three quarterback hurries. Kough posted a career-high three tackles for a loss against Air Force, and saw his first collegiate action in a start against San Diego State.

Senior defensive end Zach Watts has been a force for the Black Knights, with 25 career starts while leading the line with 43 tackles, including 2½ for a loss. Watts posted a career-best eight tackles in the 30-22 loss to Ball State and has started eight consecutive games for Army.

Sophomore right tackle Richard Glover is second among the defensive line with 7½ tackles for loss, including 2 sacks. Glover has had to deal with injuries and has started five games for Army. Sophomore Mike Ugenyi has seen starting time in his absence and posted 13 tackles.

Sophomore James Kelly and junior Holt Zalneraitis hold down the other defensive end position. Zalneraitis started the first three games of the season and recently for his fourth start of the season against Temple; Kelly has tallied 7 tackles in 10 games and two starts.

The Army secondary has allowed opponents to throw for 200.9 yards passing per game, ranking 26th in the country. Opponents have thrown for 19 touchdowns against the Black Knights this season. Brandon Fusilier-Jef?res started his first game of the season against Wake Forest posting an Army season-high 15 tackles at free safety. The freshman has been outstanding for the Black Knights and is second on the team with 83 tackles, an interception, and 3 passes defended.

Opposite Jackson at cornerback is freshman Chris Carnegie who has started nine consecutive ganes. Carnegie posted a career-high nine tackles against Stony Brook and is fifth on the team with 47 tackles and three passes defended.

Chris Boldt booted a season-long 55-yard punt in the opener against San Diego State. The senior punter averages 38.3 yards per punt and has pinned opponents inside their 20 seven times this season.

Placekicking for the Black Knights is senior Eric Osteen who has hit 10-of-16 field goal attempts with a long field goal of 46 yards against Boston College. Osteen has had two field goal attempts blocked and is three for six from 40 to 49 yards out. Utility man Josh Jackson had a season long punt return for 34 yards against Rutgers and averages 11.3 yards per punt return. Returning kicks for the Black Knights is junior Julian Crockett--who averages 19.7 yards per return, with a long return of 35 yards.

With the Commander-in-Chief's trophy on the line, the Black Knights have added a little extra excitement to the game. Regardless of a win or a loss, the Midshipmen still have the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl to look forward against Arizona State. That is not to say the Navy faithful want nothing more than to see the streak stay alive at 11 with a victory over Army. Top Stories