The 9-2 Mids will take on the 2-9 Army Black Knights at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia this Saturday and once again the whole world will be tuned in. This is still a big game for Navy as a victory would mean double digits wins on the season and take back the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy after Air Force took it last year.
Season so far
The Black Knights have had a strange season in 2015. Though they are coming into the clash this weekend with an awful 2-9 record, they could easily be at 5-6 or 6-5 had a couple of balls bounced their way in games. The Army wins are over Eastern Michigan, in a game where the Black Knights scored a season-high 58 points, and over Bucknell of the FCS by a touchdown. A quick look at the schedule though shows that only Duke (44-3) blew out Army and this was back when Duke was one of the hottest teams in the nation. In total Army has lost six games by a score or less including two (Wake Forest and Tulane) on field goals as time expired. All in all, the Black Knights are more dangerous than the record shows.
Injuries and Suspensions
The big question here is who starts for Army at quarterback. Both senior A.J. Schurr and sophomore Ahmad Bradshaw have looked solid at times for the Black Knights in 2015, but both have been prone to injury. One of the big problems with the Army offense has been the lack of consistency at the quarterback spot and when both players went down against Rutgers it was freshman Chris Carter who stepped into the game. Both Bradshaw and Schurr are listed as possible and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see both, or even all three quarterbacks, taking snaps to keep Navy off balance.
They say records can be thrown out of the window in rivalry games like this and that is the biggest challenge the Mids face on Saturday. While Navy has been fighting for a conference title and had hopes of Keenan Reynolds in the Heisman Trophy race and a New Year’s Six Bowl Game, the Black Knights have been focusing on this game for weeks. Navy cannot let the disappointment of the Houston game roll into this contest. The Army defense knows what Navy wants to do with the ball and would like nothing better than to send Reynolds home with a loss in his final Army-Navy contest.