2018 Army-Navy Game Preview

December 8, 2018

The regular season for all but two FBS division college football teams has concluded, but before fans turn their attention to postseason bowl celebrations and continued debates over the teams selected for the College Football Playoff, we are brought back to the roots of the game.

The Army-Navy game is the most special of college football rivalries, and it needs little introduction.

The 119 edition of this traditional matchup comes an even century after the country endured, and ended, the world’s first Great War. As such, the Army Black Knights will be paying homage to the heroes on that battlefield by donning special “Big Red One” uniforms, an ode to the oldest continually serving division in the Regular Army.

The Naval Academy, underdogs in this game after a tough 3-9 campaign and looking to avoid a third consecutive loss to Army, will look for inspiration from its mascot. The Navy Goat, originally a gift to the Academy in 1893 from officers of the USS New York, was named honorary mascot before a victorious effort from Navy in the rivalry’s fourth edition. The Navy uniforms will thus feature a stylized design of El Cid on one side of the helmet as the team heads to battle on Saturday afternoon.

Following the death of the 41st President of the United States last Friday, the game’s pregame pageantry will likely have an added twist Saturday, as the attendance of both current and former Commander in Chiefs has been a regular occurrence at the Army-Navy game. In essence, the game is more than just a rivalry on the field – it is a celebration and commemoration of the values, namely strength, determination, discipline and sportsmanship, that the entire country strives to uphold.

Normally these previews feature a short blurb about the game and the keys to victory for one or both teams. But rather than overcomplicate things and draw attention away from the real focus, I’ve decided to change things up a bit this year and let the real experts do the talking.

I’m proud to feature the commentary of First Lieutenant Becker of the United States Marines, who I’m sure will be cheering for Navy loudly at his apartment in Texas.

First Lietenant, I’m honored to call you my brother and TYFYS (had to).

The 119th Edition of the Army-Navy Game

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

1stLt Becker’s Take:

It pains me to write and think that after many years of success, the Naval Academy football program is in the midst of an aggressive downward spiral. The Mids have struggled all year to find any type of rhythm and have suffered through several swaps at the quarterback position. The Naval Academy’s strength of schedule looks to be tougher than the Black Knights’, but the Midshipmen have struggled to produce results regardless of their opponent. The cadets from the United States Military Academy have only faltered twice this season, losing to Duke in the season opener and then again to the Oklahoma Sooners by a touchdown. It is with a great deal of pain that I am going to have to pick the Army Black Knights in this year’s matchup, but I do not believe the Midshipmen will make it easy. The game will be a hard-fought battle in the first half, but I believe that Black Knights will dominate the second half and defeat the Navy Midshipmen 35-17.

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