Setting the Stage Navy and Air Force will meet for the 46th time on the gridiron when they square off on Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. Saturday's game, presented by USAA, is slated for an 11:40 a.m. kickoff. A record crowd is expected for the game. The current stadium record is 37,970 for Pitt on Oct. 18, 2008. Seating capacity for Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium is 34,000, however, it does not include standing-room only tickets that have been sold. This is the first leg in the battle for the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy between the three Service Academies (Air Force, Army, Navy). The team that wins both Service Academy games wins the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy and will take a trip to the White House to meet the President of the United States, Barack Obama. If all three teams produce a 1-1 record, the previous year's winner (Navy) would retain the trophy, but does not make the trip to the White House. Navy has won the trophy in eight of the last 10 years. Saturday's game will be televised nationally by CBS with Spero Dedes (play-by-play), Steve Beuerlein (color) and Evan Washburn (sideline) calling the action. The Navy Football Tailgate Show on WNAV 1430 AM / 99.9 FM will air at 9:30 a.m. (ET) with Joe Miller and Graham Whaples live from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Navy Football Pregame Show with Pete Medhurst, Omar Nelson and Joe Miller will get underway at 10:30 a.m. (ET), followed by game action at 11:30 a.m. (ET) on the Navy Radio Network. Following the contest, Miller and Medhurst will recap the day's events in a 60-minute postgame show live on WNAV 1430 AM / 99.9 FM and WFED 1500 AM. The tailgate show, the pregame show, the game and the postgame show are available over the internet to Navy All-Access subscribers.
Game Day Festivities Pregame festivities will get underway at approximately 9:00 a.m. with the Navy Football Team Walk. Originating at the Blue Angel in the southwest corner of the stadium, the team will make its way down the sidewalk and through NavyFest before walking up the drive to the stadium. Fans are encouraged to line up on both sides of the sidewalk to cheer for the team. The March-On of the Brigade of Midshipmen will take place at 11:16 a.m. The exchange of Midshipmen and Cadets who are spending a semester at their Service Academy rival will take place at 11:31 a.m. Between the first and second quarters there will be a recognition of the Navy's 238th Birthday. Saturday marks a week-long celebration that will culminate on Oct. 13. The USAA Field Goal Challenge will take place at halftime where select fans will win a concession voucher. Fans will receive a commemorative Navy photo on the concourse at Gate E compliments of USAA. Photos from the game can be shared using #AFvsNAVY13. The first 10,000 fans will also receive a commemorative poster celebrating the 1963 Cotton Bowl team. At halftime, the 1963 Cotton Bowl team will be recognized on the 50th anniversary of the greatest team to play at Navy. That team finished 9-2 and was ranked No. 2 in the country. The Mids owned victories over West Virginia, William & Mary, Michigan, VMI, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Maryland, Duke and Army. The Army game was played a week later than it was supposed to after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The Mids lost in the Cotton Bowl to No. 1 Texas, 28-6. Roger Staubach won the Heisman Trophy that year, the second and last Navy player to win college football's highest honor (Joe Bellino won it in 1960). Staubach ran for 418 yards and eight touchdowns, while throwing for 1,474 yards and seven touchdowns in that magical season. Also at halftime, the coach of the 1963 team, Wayne Hardin, will be recognized for being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Hardin is the 24th person affiliated with the Naval Academy to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and the third head coach, joining Gil Dobie (17-3 at Navy from 1917-19) and George Welsh (55-46-1 at Navy from 1973-81). Hardin will officially be inducted at the 56th National Football Foundation's Annual Awards Dinner on December 10th, 2013, at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City and officially enshrined in the summer of 2014 at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Ga. Hardin compiled a record of 38-22-2 as Navy's head coach from 1959-64, including a 5-1 mark against Army and a 3-3 record against Notre Dame. He coached two Heisman Trophy winners in Joe Bellino (1960) and Roger Staubach (1963) and led Navy to two New Year's Day bowl games. The 1960 team compiled a record of 9-2 and was ranked No. 4 in the country under the direction of Hardin and earned victories over Boston College, Washington, SMU, Air Force, Notre Dame, Virginia and Army before losing to Missouri, 21-14, in the Orange Bowl. In 1963, the Midshipmen rose to No. 2 in the national rankings with a 9-2 record before losing to No. 1 Texas, 28-6, in the Cotton Bowl. Between the third and fourth quarter, the 2013 Navy women's lacrosse team will be recognized. The Mids finished the 2013 campaign with a 19-2 record, won a fourth-straight Patriot League Tournament title and won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time in school history. Following the game will be the playing of both the Air Force and Navy alma maters. The losing team's alma mater will be played first, followed by the winning team.
The Commander-In-Chief's Trophy The Commander-In-Chief's Trophy is presented annually to the winner of the football competition among the three major service academies -- Army, Navy and Air Force -- and is named in honor of the President of the United States. Navy has dominated of late, winning the trophy a Service Academy record seven-consecutive years from 2003-09 and winning a Service Academy record 15 straight games against Air Force and Army in the process. Air Force lost to both Army (41-21) and Navy (28-21 OT) last year to surrender the trophy after holding it for two years (2010, `11).. Navy has won the trophy a total of 13 times: 1973, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1981, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012. When there is no clear-cut winner, the trophy remains with the winner of the previous year's competition. The three-sided trophy stands two-and-a-half-feet tall and is engraved with the academy seals. Reproductions of the three mascots -- the Army Mule, the Navy Goat and the Air Force Falcon -- are ensconced on the respective sides of this bauble. The trophy is sponsored by the West Point Association of Graduates, the Naval Academy Alumni Association and the Air Force Association of Graduates. The year in which the trophy is won is engraved on AA plate gracing the respective academy's side of the trophy.
Service Academy Dominance Navy has amassed an 85-46 (.649) overall record in the last 11 years, while Air Force is 69-60 (.535) and Army is 34-91 (.272). The Mids are 18-2 against the other two Service Academies since 2003 and have won 19 of its last 21 Service Academy games dating back to the 2002 Army-Navy game.
Scouting Air Force Air Force owns a 1-4 record, having played a tough schedule. Its lone win was against Colgate of the Patriot League, 38-13. The Falcons have lost to conference foes Utah State (52-20), Boise State (42-20), Wyoming (56-23) and Nevada (45-42). Sophomore quarterback Karson Roberts was impressive in his first career start last Saturday night against Nevada. Roberts rushed for 161 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries as he helped lead the Falcons to 453 yards of total offense and 42 points. Fullback Broam Hart is the Falcons' leading rusher with 292 yards and three touchdowns on 62 carries. Running back Jon Lee has rushed for 278 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries. Sam Gagliano leads the Air Force receiving corps with eight catches for 112 yards and one touchdown, while Ty MaCarthur has seven catches for 99 yards. The Falcon defense is led by Joey Nichol (53 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss) and Steffon Batts (37 tackles, 3 pass breakups).
Navy vs. The Mountain West Navy is 20-34 (.370) all-time against teams currently residing in the Mountain West Conference. The Mids have played six - Air Force, Colorado State, Hawai'i, New Mexico, San Diego State, San Jose State - of the 12 teams that make up the Mountain West.
Looking To Go 3-1 For The First Time Since 2006 Navy is off to a 2-1 start for the third time in the last four seasons and will be looking to go 3-1 for the first time since 2006. The Mids were 2-1 in 2011 before losing at home to Air Force in overtime (35-34). The Mids ended up losing six in a row en route to a disappointing 5-7 season. In 2006, the Mids defeated East Carolina (28-23), Massachusetts (21-20) and Stanford (37-9) to start the year 3-0 before falling to Tulsa, 24-23, in overtime. That Navy team went on to post a 9-4 record and played Boston College in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.