2014 Army-Navy Game Preview

December 13, 2014

An update on the head-to-head prediction game.

The final records were as follows:

K. Becks: 46-24

Guests: 43-27

Matt went out on a limb by choosing Kansas State and Georgia Tech last week and was unable to make up the one game differential that the guests had coming into Championship Week. This is the second straight year that I have emerged victorious in this game, and for that I’m proud. I bring in some pretty smart guests that have a good grasp of the college football landscape and it isn’t easy to win over 15 weeks of games.

I’ve said it once before, and I’ll continue to say it for as long as I write this blog: THANK YOU to everyone who reads, makes picks or supports this blog in any way. You guys are the reason that I continue to write and the progress that I’ve made over the past several years would not have been possible without you.

I hope that you’ll all join the annual Bowl Mania group this year, which you can access by clicking here. Password as always is “gigitty”.

This week, there is but one FBS contest. It’s a very special one, though, and one that is the embodiment of everything that we hope college football to still be among all the dollars and corporate sponsorships that we will be exposed to in a week when the bowl season begins.

The Army-Navy football game isn’t about big business. It isn’t about positioning oneself to play in an access bowl, about conference standings or about impressing NFL scouts. It’s about two rivals that have the utmost respect for each other, who will one day work cooperatively to preserve the freedom that many of us take for granted each day. Yes, there is always a winner and a loser in football, but in this game, both sides handle their role in the classiest way.

Although the head-to-head prediction game for the regular season has concluded, it would be wrong of me not to recognize a game between two of the most well respected programs in the FBS division. Here is the preview for the 115th edition of the Army-Navy Game.

Army vs. Navy [game in Baltimore, MD] (Saturday, 3 PM ET)

The Midshipmen are looking to make it 12 straight against their rivals from West Point. Things are never easy for Navy against the Black Knights, though, and this year is no different. Army sits at 4-7 overall this season, a sign that the Black Knights are slowly improving under first-year head coach Jeff Monken. Navy is already bowl eligible at 6-6, but a victory over Army would be a more memorable accomplishment for this team.

Both of these teams make it no secret how they would like to move the football on offense. Navy is second in the nation in rushing yards per game with an average output of 357.8 yards, while Army sits at No. 6 in the nation averaging just over 305 yards per contest. Although both teams are most productive when multiple rushers contribute, there is no denying that Navy has a star at the quarterback position. Keenan Reynolds has already broken several rushing records at Navy and is No. 7 in the country with 20 rushing touchdowns on the season. However, Reynolds has had an up and down year in 2014 due to injuries and Navy’s record is indicative of that. As a result, several upperclassmen on the Midshipmen squad have stepped up. Nine other players have scored on the ground for Navy this year, and it would not be surprising to see the Midshipmen show a lot of different looks in this game to confuse the Black Knights. Reynolds is still the linchpin when healthy, though.

Army took a step forward this season under Coach Monken, and it a couple of years may be in position to make it back to at least a .500 record, something that the program has not done since 2010. However, the Midshipmen are clearly the favorites in this one. A healthy Reynolds has been chewing up opposing defenses the past month, something that he will likely do against the Black Knights as well. Navy could also have issues stopping the run, but will hope that the offense will balance things out. I expect a lot of points in this one, with the Midshipmen prevailing.

My Pick: 41-33 Navy

MIDN 2/C Becker’s Take: Navy wins big. 37-14 Navy. GO NAVY, BEAT ARMY!

– K. Becks

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