Everyone ready to see some smash-mouth football? That's what Army brings... and Navy, for that matter. These two teams almost never throw the football, so we are going to see a strong ground-and-pound attack from both squads.
Army has really stepped up its game over the last half of the season. They haven't been as good this year as some previous years, but they hit 300 yards in four of the last six games and 400 in two of those. They are hot right now, and many times, that's all it takes to have the upper hand in this rivalry.
Army throws the ball just a handful of times per game, but they are actually really successful when they do throw it. They lead the nation in yards per completion, and that's because they always catch their opponents off-balance when they decide to wing it. Navy has the worst pass defense in the entire nation, so if they can actually convert some of these passes, they could torch the Midshipman for huge gains. Either way, you can almost guarantee a close, low-scoring affair between these two teams.
The Navy has one huge advantage in this game that the Army does not, and that is the ability to stop the run. In a game where both teams will do nothing but run the ball 99% of the time, you want to have the stronger rushing defense, and that's the Navy. The Midshipmen haven’t allow 100 yards rushing in any of the last four games, and that was against some of the better programs in the country like Notre Dame, Cincinnati and UCF. Against an Army team that thrives on rushing the ball, this could be a total mismatch for the Black Knights.
Army has to get to 320 rushing yards in this game to win, and the proof is in the pudding. They are 5-1 when they reach that number and 0-5 when they don't. Can they get to 320 yards against a stifling Midshipmen rush defense? Navy allowed 200 rushing yards in the 13-10 loss to Air Force, but that's the only game they allowed 200 all year long. It would be a first if Army is allowed to get to 300. This is the nation’s fourth-best run defense.
Again, these Army vs. Navy games are almost ALWAYS close and low-scoring. Last season, a terrible Navy team beat a very good Army team 17-13. It's truly very hard to predict what is going to happen, but taking the under is usually very profitable. Back in 2005 was the last time the two teams combined for 50 points in a game. The highest scoring affair since was in 2013, when the two teams combined for 38 points.
MY PICK: Give me the under, and I think Navy gets the win with the better run defense here.