2019 Army-Navy Game Preview

December 14, 2019

The 2019 college football regular season has come and gone, with the exception of one final game. In many people’s eyes, it is the game that continues to define what the sport has meant to the country for the past 150 years.

This year’s Army-Navy contest, the 120th edition of the annual rivalry, will be an interesting one on a few fronts. The rivalry itself is rooted in tradition and pageantry unlike nearly any other sporting event in the United States, and the unique wrinkles presented by each year’s storylines allow it to continue to maintain relevance despite the changes that have occurred throughout the history of the game.

Something that has become a bit of a tradition in itself is ending the year’s head-to-head prediction challenge on Around The Corn by bringing in my brother, a member of the United States Marine Corps, to offer his analysis and prediction for the game.

Following Championship Weekend, the guests have already wrapped things up:

K. Becks – 46-30

Guests – 51-25

Even so, First Lieutenant Becker will be providing a prediction for this Saturday’s contest.

The 120th edition of the Army-Navy Game

Army vs. #23 Navy [game in Philadelphia] (Saturday, 3 PM ET)

The Skinny: High praise in the offseason for Army was not met with success in the regular season, as the Black Knights were unable to pull out many close games this season. A single touchdown separated Army from potentially winning four more games in 2019. In contrast, Navy rode relatively low expectations to a 9-2 record and will look to notch double-digit victories for the first time since 2015. Following three straight victories by Army, the Naval Academy will look to get back on the winning track, which had reached an unprecedented mark of 14-straight before the 2016 contest.

Why to Watch: Considering that this is the only FBS game on this weekend, what else could you be watching? Lack of choices aside, the chance to watch two of college football’s best leaders at the quarterback position should be reason enough to tune in to this one. Navy’s Malcolm Perry leads the country’s most potent rushing attack, while Kelvin Hopkins, Jr. will look to cap off a magnificent carrier for Army by leading the Black Knights to an upset victory over their biggest rival.

What Will Happen: Records aside, both teams are adept at what they do offensively and skilled at taking that strength away on the defensive end. When both of these teams come into the rivalry evenly matched, things often come down to turnovers. There isn’t much to separate the two in that category, either. So when looking for an edge, consider this: if Malcolm Perry is unable to lead his team to a victory on Saturday, it will be the first time since 1996 that a senior class at Navy left Annapolis without beating Army. The talented senior has shown himself capable of lifting his team to victory in the past and has the motivation required to do it again in Philadelphia.

My Pick: 23-17 Navy

1stLt Becker’s Take: A strong Navy offense that can produce yards on the ground from multiple positions will make for a comfortable, but well-earned 24-13 victory for the Midshipmen.

As we conclude the regular season on Saturday and roll into bowl season with a full head of steam, I’d like to invite readers to join the annual ESPN Bowl Mania group organized by Around The Corn. Additionally, if there is the desire to provide commentary on any of the bowl games this season, please send me a note and Around The Corn is happy to accommodate requests (email kbecks@aroundthecorn.com or message me on Facebook or Twitter if interested). Thank you to all the readers for another great season of support, and I look forward to producing content for years to come.

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