2013 Army-Navy Game Preview

December 14, 2013

I no longer have to hold my breath. As of last Saturday night, I can call myself the champion of the head-to-head prediction game that I play on my own blog and came up with the rules for.

The overall, and final, standings of the 2013 battle (excluding the Army-Navy game which does not affect the winner):

K. Becks: 50-25

Guests: 45-30

Although this week’s post will look similar to the 15 others I’ve posted before each weekend this college football season, be aware that it means so much more. As a staunch Ricky Stanzi follower and U.S.A backer, there is a reason that the annual Army-Navy football game is number one. It is more than a game. It is a celebration of our armed forces and their dedication to service. And without athletic scholarships to give, these programs represent the good things that are still a part of collegiate sports. Tough, hard-nosed battles with mutual respect from both sides.

Joining me in predicting the 114th edition of the Army-Navy game will be MIDN 3/C Sean Becker, also known as my brother. I’d also like to thank those in any of our branches of the armed forces reading this for your service.

114th Army-Navy Game

Anyone who remembers the 2012 edition of this game knows that it will be difficult for the 2013 version to top the amount of emotion shown by one particular side. With less than a minute and a half left on the clock and Army driving towards the end zone down 17-13, Black Knights senior quarterback Trent Steelman fumbled the ball on the 14-yard line and Navy recovered, effectively ending the game. Steelman, like many of the quarterbacks before him during the Black Knight’s current 11-game losing streak versus Navy, never heard his alma mater played last. After the game, Steelman was inconsolable.

It’s one of those moments that you hate and love to see at the same time. On one hand you feel awful for Steelman, but on the other you love the passion and know that a young man like him will go on to accomplish quite a bit during his life. Unfortunately for the Black Knights, this season they come into this game with a similar record (3-8) compared to 2012 (2-10) but aren’t led by Steelman behind center. What Army does have is a rush offense that ranks No. 2 in the nation behind Auburn gaining over 323 yards per game. Navy is just a tad behind at 320 yards per contest, but manages to stop the run a bit better than the Black Knights.

This game normally comes down to execution and discipline, and not surprisingly both teams define the latter word (Navy is No. 1, Army No. 5 nationally in penalty yards per game). The Midshipmen are headed off to the Armed Forces Bowl in a few weeks, so only Army can call this its “bowl game”. But assuming that Navy would look past this matchup is just foolish. Keenan Reynolds runs the triple option very well for Navy, and Coach Ken’s team has put up a lot of points on suspect defenses this year. Although it’ll be close, I expect some scoring in this one which ultimately favors Navy.

My Pick: 34-30 Navy

MIDN 3/C Becker’s Take: Navy 34-17. It’s going to be a blowout. No other commentary! It’s been 11 years.

– K. Becks

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