2014 College Football Regular Season Concludes With Annual #ArmyNavy Clash
It’s always a bit of a sad weekend when Army and Navy play their historic college football rivalry because it officially signals the end of the regular season, but there’s nothing quite like the pageantry of seeing those school battle on the gridiron but then salute one another with honor afterward no matter the result. Navy will be a heavy WagerWeb favorite for the Dec. 13 game as it looks for a 13th straight victory over the Cadets.
This year’s game is at the Baltimore Ravens’ M&T Bank Stadium. It will be the first Army-Navy game in Baltimore since 2007 when the Midshipmen beat the Black Knights, 38-3. Army head coach Jeff Monken was an assistant at Navy for that game. This year’s game also will be the final one for Navy in the regular season as an independent. It joins the American Athletic Conference in 2015 but of course the rivalry with Army will continue.
Army-Navy may be one of the great rivalries in sports but it’s anything but a true rivalry. Last year Navy routed Army 34-7 as a 13.5-point favorite in Philadelphia as star quarterback Keenan Reynolds ran for 136 yards and three touchdowns. Reynolds, perhaps the greatest Navy player perhaps since Roger Staubach, scored on runs of 47 yards, 11 yards and 1 yard. That gave Reynolds 29 rushing touchdowns, breaking the single-season mark for a quarterback, previously held by Ricky Dobbs (Navy, 2009) and Collin Klein (Kansas State, 2011), both of whom had 27. Reynolds’ third score gave him 176 points for the season, breaking the school record of 174 set by Bill Ingram in 1917. Reynolds added two more rushing scores in Navy’s bowl game win over Middle Tennessee.
Reynolds is just the fourth player in NCAA history to rush for 30 or more touchdowns in a single season and just the seventh player in NCAA history to score 30 or more touchdowns in a single season. in this past Saturday’s win over South Alabama, Reynolds rushed for three scores. He thus set two NCAA records. His second touchdown gave him the NCAA record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 60, passing Eric Crouch and Colin Kaepernick, while his third touchdown of the day set the NCAA record for most games with three or more rushing touchdowns with 12. He was previously tied with Montee Ball of Wisconsin. Reynolds, a junior, is 16 touchdowns away from Ball’s overall record of 77.
Navy (6-5) already has committed to play in the San Diego County Poinsettia Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 23. It’s the team’s 11th bowl game in the past 12 years. Army (4-7) will not play in a bowl game yet again and this will conclude the Black Knights’ season. As is usually the case, Army almost never throws the ball (ranking dead last at 64.5 yards per game) and runs all day with the triple option (No. 6 in rushing), just like Navy does. The Cadets have attempted only 98 passes. Army actually lost to Ivy League school Yale earlier this season. It was the first win for the Bulldogs over an FBS team since they dropped down to what was then I-AA in 1982.
In Navy’s 12-game winning streak vs. Army, only two were by less than 12 points: 17-13 in 2012 and 27-21 in 2011. Army’s last win was 26-17 at the old Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia in 2001. Navy now leads the all-time series 58-49-7.