Army and Navy Set for Saturday's Clash in the City of Brotherly Love
Nov. 30, 2008
Game 12: Navy (7-4) vs. Army (3-8)
Saturday, Dec. 6 12:10 p.m. Philadelphia, Pa. Lincoln Financial Field (67,594) CBS
CBS -- Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Boomer Esiason (analyst), Sam Ryan (sideline)
Radio / Internet:
Navy Radio Network -- Bob Socci (play-by-play), Omar Nelson (analyst), John Feinstein (analyst), Pete Medhurst (sideline)
Sirius Radio -- Channel 122
CBS Sports/Westwood One -- Tom McCarthy (play-by-play), Trev Alberts (analyst)
Live Stats on GoArmySports.com
Army-Navy Game Data
In what is arguably the greatest rivalry in all of sports, Army (3-8) and Navy (7-4) will battle for the 109th time when the two programs meet this Saturday in front of a sold out crowd that will include President George W. Bush at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
The Army-Navy game will be televised nationally by CBS with Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Boomer Esiason (color) and Sam Ryan (sideline) calling the action from Lincoln Financial Field (67,594) beginning at 12:10 p.m.
The contest will also be aired nationally on the radio by CBS Sports/Westwood One with Tom McCarthy (play-by-play) and Trev Alberts (color) calling the action.
The Navy Football Radio Network will provide more than six hours of coverage starting at 10:00 a.m. with its pregame show on 1430 WNAV (Annapolis) hosted by Pete Medhurst, Joe Miller and Wiley Baker.
The Navy Football Pregame Show will get underway at 11:00 a.m. with Bob Socci, Omar Nelson, John Feinstein and Pete Medhurst setting the scene from Philadelphia, followed by game action beginning at 12:10 p.m. Sirius Satellite Radio will carry the Navy broadcast, as well on Channel 122.
The Navy Radio Network includes of the following ...
WNAV 1430 AM (Annapolis) | WBAL 1090 AM (Baltimore)
WFED 1050 AM, 1500 AM, 820 AM (Washington DC)
WTRI 1520 AM (Frederick)
WXTG 102.1 FM (Va. Beach) | 1490 AM (Hampton Roads)
Get the insider news by tuning in to the Navy Football Pregame Show with Bob Socci, Omar Nelson, John Feinstein and Pete Medhurst. The pregame show includes feature news on "This Date in Navy History" presented by Navy Federal Credit Union, "The Coaches Corner" presented by General Dynamics, "Keys to the Game" presented by Toyota, "Today in College Football" presented by BAE Systems, as well as interviews with head coach Ken Niumatalolo and select players.
New to this year's radio line-up is a 60-minute postgame show on 1430 WNAV. This week's show will feature Medhurst live from Philly and Joe Miller from the WNAV studios in Annapolis recapping the day's events.
Pregame festivities will get underway at 9:17 a.m. with the march-on of the Brigade of Midshipmen. The march-on of the Corps of Cadets will take place at 10:47 a.m.
The Army and Navy fly-overs are slated for 11:59 a.m.
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 school-record five-consecutive years and winning 11-straight games against Air Force and Army in the process.
Navy has won the trophy a total of 10 times: 1973, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1981, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.
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 a plate gracing the respective academy's side of the trophy.
Navy leads the all-time series against Army, 52-49-7. Navy's 38-3 victory over Army last year was its sixth-consecutive win over West Point, the longest streak in series history by either team.
The Mids have won the six straight contests in dominant fashion, winning by an average margin of 28.2 points per game (169 points in six games).
Navy is 4-0 against Army at Lincoln Financial Field, defeating Army 34-6 in 2003, 42-13 in 2004, 42-23 in 2005 and 26-14 in 2006.
The Last Time ... Navy 38, Army 3 Dec. 1, 2007 | Baltimore, Md.
Senior slot back Reggie Campbell piled up 227 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns to lead Navy to a 38-3 victory over Army in front of 71,610 fans at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. The victory was the Mids' sixth-straight over Army.
Navy broke the game open over the final 7:31 of the second half. Army cut Navy's lead to 7-3 on a 28-yard field goal by Owen Tolson, but Campbell returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. The return was the second longest in school history and tied an Army-Navy game record.
On Army's first play after the Campbell return, junior defensive end Michael Walsh drilled Army's Wesley McMahand in the backfield, separating the ball from McMahand in the process. Senior linebacker Irv Spencer recovered the fumble at the Army six-yard line. Three plays later, Shun White scored from one yard out to make the score 21-3 with 5:49 left.
After the two teams traded punts, the Mids were able to get the ball back one more time after Army threw the ball on third-and-one from its own 36. When the pass sailed out of bounds with 11 seconds to go, it forced the Black Knights to punt to Campbell. Campbell returned the punt 46 yards before being tackled at the Army 34-yard line. With one second left, senior Joey Bullen came on and nailed a 51-yard field goal into a tough wind to give Navy an insurmountable 24-3 lead at the half. The field goal by Bullen was the second longest in school history.
The Navy defense pitched a shutout in the second half and the offense picked up 14 more points as Campbell scored on a 12-yard touchdown run and Jarod Bryant scored on a one-yard run. Bryant's touchdown was set up by a blocked punt by Bobby Doyle.
Navy's defense held Army to just 217 yards of total offense, including just 100 yards on the ground on 40 carries. Walsh led the way for the Mids with eight tackles, two tackles for a loss and a forced fumble. Ross Pospisil recorded seven stops and a fumble recovery, while Spencer had five tackles, a tackle for a loss, a fumble recovery and two pass break-ups.
The Navy rushing attack, which came in averaging a nation's best 357.4 yards per game, was held to just 287 yards on 61 attempts. The Mids attempted just five passes, completing two for seven yards.
Mids Service Academy Dominance
A victory on Saturday over Army would give Navy its 13th consecutive win over a service academy foe and would also establish a new record for consecutive service academy wins.
Navy has won 12-straight service academy games dating back to the Army-Navy game in 2002, outscoring the opposition 407-205 (33.9 - 17.1) during the 12-game winning streak.
With their 33-27 win over Air Force on Oct. 4 in Colorado Springs, the Mids tied the all-time record for consecutive service academy wins set by the Falcons who won 12 in a row from 1997-2002.
A win Saturday would also give Navy its sixth consecutive Commander-In-Chief's Trophy, tying the record for consecutive trophies won set by Air Force from 1998-02.
The Mids are 50-24 (.676) over the last six years and have proven to be the dominant service academy team over that time span.
Navy in the Midst of Most Dominant Era in Army-Navy Series History
Navy's 38-3 victory over Army last year was its sixth-consecutive win over West Point, the longest streak in series history by either team.
The Mids have won six straight in dominant fashion, winning by an average margin of 28.2 points per game (169 points in six games).
Niumatalolo Seeks First Commander-In Chief's Trophy as Head Coach
Thanks to a 33-27 victory over Air Force on Oct. 4, Ken Niumatalolo became the first Navy head coach to win his first service academy game since George Welsh in 1973 (Welsh beat Air Force, 42-6).
Niumatalolo is also the first service academy coach to win a service academy game on the first try since Fisher DeBerry beat Navy, 29-22, in 1984.
Should Navy defeat Army on Saturday, Niumatalolo would become just the second service academy coach to win the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy in his first year, joining George Welsh, who, in 1973, led the Midshipmen to wins over Air Force (42-6) and Army (51-0).
This will be the 11th Army-Navy game Niumatalolo has been a part of either as a head or assistant coach. Navy is 7-3 when Niumatalolo has been on the sideline for the Army-Navy game with the Mids winning six in a row.
He has felt both the joys of victory and the agony of defeat in the race for the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy (5-5). He lost four in a row as an assistant coach under Charlie Weatherbie from 1995-98. When he returned to the Academy under Paul Johnson, Navy missed out on the 2002 trophy, but has since won five in a row.
Niumatalolo Makes History
With a 7-4 record, Ken Niumatalolo is the program's third coach since World War II to lead Navy to a winning record in his first year at the helm. He joins Wayne Hardin (5-4-1 in 1959) and Gary Tranquill (6-5 in 1982) on the exclusive list.
Niumatalolo's seven wins are tied for the sixth most by a first-year coach in school history. With two games left, he could tie the record with nine wins set by Joe Reeves (1907), Frank Berrien (1908) and Bill Ingram (1926).
Niumatalolo is also the first head coach in program history to lead the Mids to a bowl game in their first year.
Navy has played seven games this year against teams that are currently bowl eligible, posting a 4-3 mark.
The Mids' four losses this year have come at the hands of teams with a combined record of 29-17 (.630).
Navy has losses against 23rd-ranked Pitt (8-3), 12th-ranked Ball State (12-0) and Notre Dame (6-6), who are all bowl eligible. Meanwhile, the Mids also dropped a 41-31 decision to Duke (4-8).
Navy owns victories over four bowl eligible teams -- Wake Forest (6-5), Air Force (8-4), Rutgers (6-5) and Northern Illinois (6-6).
Mids Heat Up When Temperatures Drop
Over the last six years, the Navy football team has turned in a 20-7 (.741) record in games played after Oct. 31, winning 13 of the last 16 games.
The Mids are averaging 36.5 points per games in games played in November and December over the last six years (986 points in 27 games).
Playing in the Big Time
Since the start of the 2003 season, Navy has played 19 games in 11 different big league stadiums (10 NFL and one MLB), posting an 11-8 record (.579).
No college team in the country has played in more NFL stadiums than Navy over the last five years.
The Mids played Notre Dame at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium on Nov. 15 and will battle archrival Army at Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday.
Navy Pitches a Shutout
Navy's 16-0 shutout of Northern Illinois on Nov. 25 was the Mids' first shutout in 58 games.
The Mids' last shutout came on Sept. 18, 2004, when Navy shut out Tulsa, 29-0.
It also marked just the 14th shutout in the last 30 years and just the fourth on the road during that span.
Mids Looking for Fourth-Straight Rushing Title
In the last six years, the Mids have consistently been one of the top rushing teams in the country, never finishing lower than third.
In 2003, the Mids led the nation in rushing, averaging a then school-record 323.2 yards per game.
In 2005, Navy led the country in rushing for the second time in three years, averaging 318.7 yards per game.
Navy finished the 2006 campaign averaging a nation's-best and then school-record 327 yards per game.
The Mids rushed for a school-record 348.8 yards per game in 2007, becoming the first team in NCAA history to lead the nation in rushing three-consecutive years.
The 348.8 yards per game are the most yards rushing by a FBS team since Nebraska averaged 349.3 yards per game in 2000.
Heading into the Army game, Navy the nation's leading rushing team, averaging 292.0 yards. The Mids are 0.58 yards per game ahead of second-place Nevada.
Navy will need to rush for at least 292 yards against Army to maintain its lead heading into the bowl game.
White and Kettani Look to Become Navy's First 2,000-Yard Tandem
Not only did senior slot back Shun White (Sr. / Memphis, Tenn.) score Navy's first touchdown of the game against SMU, his 23-yard effort also pushed him over the 2,000-yard mark.
Finishing the game with 49 yards, he became just the eighth player in school history to reach 2,000 yards on the ground.
Behind his 10-carry, 70-yard rushing effort against Pitt, he moved past former QB Craig Candeto (2001-03) into eighth on the school's all-time rushing list.
With 2,092 yards, he needs just 34 yards to pass former Navy fullback Adam Ballard for seventh and trails the late Alton Grizzard by 83 yards for sixth.
Senior fullback Eric Kettani (Kirtland, Ohio), meanwhile joined the school's top 10 list following his 19-carry, 92-yard effort against Northern Illinois.
With 1,916 career yards, he needs just 34 yards to pass Craig Candeto for ninth on the list.
Kettani is 84 yards away from becoming the ninth player in program history to reach the 2,000-yard milestone.
Should Kettani reach the 2,000-yard mark, it would be the first time in school history that Navy has produced two 2,000-yard rushers in the same backfield.
Defense Among Nation's Most Improved
The Navy defense has improved its scoring defense by 13 points per game this year, the third-best improvement in the country behind SEC powers Florida and Alabama.
The Mids gave up 36.4 points per game in 2007 and are giving up 23.4 points per game in 2008.
Navy has come up with 27 turnovers (15 interceptions and 12 fumbles) in its 11 games this season.
Twenty-three of the Mids' 27 TOs have been amassed over the last seven games after forcing just 16 turnovers all of last year (13 games).
Navy senior cornerback Rashawn King (Raleigh, N.C.) and sophomore safety Emmett Merchant (Riverdale, Ga.) each picked off Northern Illinois QB Chandler Harnish to record the program's 14th and 15th interceptions of `08, five more than last year's total.
The Mids, meanwhile, have produced six more fumble recoveries than a year ago.
Forcing 27 turnovers, while turning the ball over 13 times, Navy is fifth in turnover margin at +1.27.
The Mids are tied for 14th nationally in turnovers gained with 27.