The game is still the greatest single showcase event on the college football calendar and the 2-9 Black Knights of Army will be looking to upset the 9-2 Navy Midshipmen and snap a 13-game win streak for the Mids.
Here are the keys that will bring the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy back to Annapolis:
1) Rushing domination
Keenan Reynolds has had a record-setting career at Navy. Each week it seems he has a new record in his sights and a new mark to chase down. On Saturday Reynolds has a shot at a feat that has not been done in the history of this epic rivalry. With a Navy win, Reynolds will go 4-for-4 in his career against Army and the best way to accomplish that is to get the ground game rolling.
Navy is No. 2 in the nation in rushing offense at just over 330 yards per game while Army is No. 8 in the country at just under 255 yards per contest. Army coach Jeff Monken has already talked about the issues with stopping Reynolds, especially as he is on a hot streak running the ball right now. If Navy can get the option cranked up, with the fullbacks keeping the linebackers at home and the slot backs challenging the edges, then Navy will be in a very good position to win the game.
2) Quickly adapt to whoever starts at quarterback for Army
The Mids find themselves in a tricky situation when it comes to game planning for Saturday. Army has started three quarterbacks in 2015, with senior A.J. Schurr, sophomore Ahmad Bradshaw, and freshman Chris Carter all spending time under center. Injuries and ball security issues seem to have made the first two quarterbacks somewhat expendable while Carter stepped into the line of fire for the Black Knights last game against Rutgers and ran for 111 yards and passed for 140 yards in his debut. With both Bradshaw and Schurr available again after their injury problems Navy has to prepare for the slightly different skill set of each quarterback. Monken has said he knows who will start and he is doing the right thing in keeping the Mids guessing until the final possible moment.
3) Get a big game out of Will Anthony
The senior defensive end has had a big season for the Mids, creating pressure off of the edge in seemingly every game and always being around the ball looking to make a play. On the season, Anthony has been involved in five of the Mids 14 fumble recoveries and last time out against Army he had arguably his biggest game for Navy. In the game last year, Anthony had six tackles, two tackles for a loss, a sack, and a fumble recovery. This performance seemed to propel Anthony into the offseason with a high level of confidence that has shown in his play throughout 2015. Look for Anthony to complete the circle here by having another huge game against the Black Knights.