Army Black Knights vs Navy Midshipmen: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA

When: Saturday, December 14th at 3 pm EST

How (TV): CBS

Army Black Knights (Away)

Head Coach: Jeff Monken {All-Time: 40-35 | ARMY}

Regular Season Record: 5-7

With a bowl game out of the equation, the Army Black Knights will be playing for pride and retention of the Commander in Chief’s Trophy. Since the Navy and Air Force have each tallied a win in the three-way series, Army can keep possession of the trophy with a win over the Midshipmen for the first “shared” award since 1993.

With a middle of the road offense and a defense that has not entirely recovered from the departure of former defensive coordinator Jay Bateman, success has been hard to come by for this year’s West Point squad.

Having played two FCS schools this season, Jeff Monken’s team had to win seven games instead of the standard six to see postseason play. A five-game losing streak after a 3-1 start quickly derailed Army’s season, with last week’s 52-31 loss to Hawaii serving as the final nail in the coffin.

Army should be well prepared against their arch-rivals, as the two teams both run the triple-option offense. Their close 17-13 loss to Air Force can also be a key learning experience, as the Black Knights will look to be more disciplined than they were against the Falcons when they committed seven penalties.

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Navy Midshipmen (Home)

Head Coach: Ken Niumatalolo {All-Time: 96-60 | NAVY}

Regular Season Record: 9-2

Despite knowing their postseason destination (the Autozone Liberty Bowl), the Navy Midshipmen are hungry for their first Commander in Chief’s Trophy since 2015. Having missed out on a chance to win the American Athletic Conference, the Middies will look to maximize their momentum as they head into bowl season.

The Midshipmen are coming off a hard-earned win over Houston two weeks ago, coming out on top 56-41. Sophomore running back Jamale Carothers gashed the Cougars for 188 yards on 18 carries and five touchdowns, while quarterback Malcolm Perry ran for 146 yards to reach 1,500 yards on the season. Juniors Tyreek King-El and C.J. Williams would also find the end zone.

Navy’s defense managed to hold up against Houston, despite giving up 527 total yards, including 393 in the air off the arm of quarterback Clayton Tune. The Midshipmen made key plays to limit the damage, however, as they intercepted Tune four times, with Kevin Brennan, Evan Fochtman, Carter Bankston, and Micah Farrar snagging the picks.

Army vs Navy All-Time Series

The two service academies will meet for the 120th time on Saturday, with Navy holding a 60-52-7 lead over Army. The Midshipmen have not won in this series since the 2015 game, which is also the last time they had a double-digit win season.

Navy won that game 21-17 in rather unorthodox fashion, as the Middies scored on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Keenan Reynolds in the third quarter. Reynolds would end his career as one of the greatest players in program history.

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Army Roster Notes

Senior quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. is expected to play despite leaving early against Hawaii with an undisclosed injury.

Navy Roster Notes

Sophomore receiver Mychal Cooper is listed as questionable with an undisclosed injury.

Senior slotback Tazh Maloy is listed as questionable with a foot injury that forced him out of action against Houston.

Senior slotback Travis Brannan is listed as questionable with an undisclosed injury.

Head-to-Head: Cole Christiansen (ARMY) vs Jamale Carothers (NAVY)

Although the triple-option offense often sees quarterbacks getting the lion’s share of carries, opposing defenses have to be ready for pitches to running backs, which can often lead to bigger yardage gains.

Army’s leading tackler Cole Christiansen will be given the tough task of shutting down Navy’s second running option in Jamale Carothers, in hopes of forcing Malcolm Perry into bad decisions on offense.

Cole Christiansen

Middle Linebacker | 6-2, 225lb | Nansemond-Suffolk Academy | Suffolk, VA | Senior

Army’s Cole Christiansen without question has had this game marked on his calendar since beating the Midshipmen last year, as he put together a strong performance against them with six tackles, 1.5 of which were for losses.

Such outings are the norm for the Virginia native, however, as he has a knack for stepping up in big games.

The team captain has six double-digit tackle games this season, including a 12 tackle game in a near-upset of Michigan.

Add to that a 16 tackle outing against Air Force and nine against Navy in 2017, there is no question that he is willing to do the dirty work in key moments.

Jamale Carothers

Fullback | 5-9, 203lb | Bowling Green HS | Bowling Green, KY | Sophomore

After spending last season with the junior varsity team, Jamale Carothers has quickly earned trust in Ken Niumatalolo’s offense as the top pitch target for Malcolm Perry.

The 2016 Mr. Football for Kentucky uses his powerful frame to break multiple tackles on interior runs and get to the second level of opposing defenses, which has led to two 100 plus yard games and three games with three or more touchdowns.

With two more seasons of eligibility still remaining, there is still plenty of room for growth for Carothers’ role in the Navy’s complex offense.

Army vs Navy Predictions and Odds

Find the latest odds for Army vs Navy below. The odds are provided by New Jersey sportsbooks bet365 NJ, DraftKings, and SugarHouse NJ.

Good luck! 

Money Line

SportsbookArmyNavy
bet365 NJ+14-16
DraftKings+13-16
SugarHouse NJ+13-16
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