A Navy fan urges on the Midshipmen as the Army-Navy game goes to overtime for the first time in the rivalry's history. Army won 20-17 in the second overtime.

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Army, Navy expect competitive fight in Foxborough

Saturday marks the 124th clash between Army and Navy and a preview of a budding conference rivalry.

Army is slated to join Navy in the American Athletic Conference next season, shedding its independent status.

“I just thought it was the right move for Army football at this time,” Black Knights coach Jeff Monken said. “Navy has proven a service academy can be competitive in the AAC.”

The Black Knights and Midshipmen will meet at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., a first-time venue for a series that began in 1890. Identical 5-6 records and recent history suggests it will be a competitive contest.

Army earned a 20-17 victory in double overtime in last season’s game to trim Navy’s all-time edge in the series to 62-54-7. Seven of the past nine meetings have been decided by seven points or fewer.

The Black Knights carry a three-game winning streak into the game but have been idle since a 28-21 home win against Coastal Carolina on Nov. 18.

Army, which tweaked its style of option football before the season, rushed for 365 yards on 62 carries against the Chanticleers while attempting only two passes — one for an interception. Tyson Riley (12 carries, 112 yards), Bryson Daily and Ay’Jaun Marshall all ran for scores.

Navy last played on Nov. 25, when it fell 59-14 at SMU for its third loss in the past five games. The Midshipmen trailed 52-14 at halftime and were outgained 452-139 in the first two quarters.

Navy, which also is working through a new offense this season, was led by quarterback Braxton Woodson, who rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown and passed for 71 yards.

Navy coach Brian Newberry, the program’s former defensive coordinator, is eager for his first game as head coach in the series.

“It’s a lot of fun preparing for this game and game-planning,” Newberry said. “You want to make sure you do everything that you can to make sure your players are prepared.”

Army can capture its first Commander-in-Chief’s trophy since 2020 with a victory. A Midshipmen win would give them a share of the trophy with Air Force.

–Field Level Media

Oct 28, 2023; Fort Collins, Colorado, USA;  Air Force Falcons quarterback Zac Larrier (9) hands off to Air Force Falcons fullback Emmanuel Michel (4) at Sonny Lubick Field at Canvas Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

No. 25 Air Force puts perfect mark on line vs. rival Army

No. 25 Air Force will try to continue its best start since 1985 when the Falcons oppose Army on Saturday afternoon in Colorado Springs.

Air Force (8-0) has won its first eight games for the first time since 1985, when it began the season 10-0.

Falcons fullback Emmanuel Michel said the perfect record doesn’t mean anything if Air Force can’t beat Army for the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy on Saturday.

“We’ve got to get the CIC and then try to get the (Mountain West) Conference championship as well,” Michel said. “If we can do those things, then it starts to mean something. Right now, 8-0 doesn’t mean anything until you’re holding a trophy.”

Air Force has also won 13 straight games overall, matching the program’s longest winning streak that bridged the 1984-85 seasons.

The Falcons have outscored their past five opponents 175-76 but faced some unexpected adversity in their most recent game last week, when Colorado State fans began pelting the Air Force sideline with snowballs during a driving snowstorm early in the second half.

Colorado State was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct while the score was tied. Air Force scored the go-ahead touchdown on the drive before pulling away for a 30-13 victory.

The Falcons compiled 261 rushing yards in the win, including 130 yards on 20 carries by Michel, who tacked on a 5-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

“We just keep fighting and keep pushing and just know that we’ve got to finish and eventually we’ll wear people out,” Michel said. “Nobody wants to take that punishment down the middle over and over again.”

Air Force limited the Rams to 42 rushing yards and posted three fourth-down stops.

“I’m just proud of this team in every single facet that we have,” said Air Force safety Trey Taylor, who finished with 10 tackles and a pass breakup.

Army (2-6) has lost five in a row, most recently falling 21-14 to Massachusetts last week.

The Black Knights came into the game 5-0 all time against the Minuteman.

UMass coach Don Brown said the Minuteman took advantage of their bye week “to adjust our game plan style to the new Army.”

“If you don’t, they’ll present problems,” Brown said. “I have a lot of respect for that football team.”

Army’s Champ Harris started at quarterback for the second straight game. The freshman attempted only eight passes but completed six for 130 yards while also scoring his first collegiate touchdown on a 36-yard scramble in the fourth quarter that pulled Army within 21-14.

Bryson Daily also took some snaps after missing the 62-0 loss to LSU the week before with an injury, but he was just 3-for-13 for 28 yards and two interceptions.

Army freshman running back Kanye Udoh ran the ball well, posting a team-high 76 rushing yards on 15 attempts.

Defensive back Jabari Moore is set to play in his 55th career game for the Black Knights, breaking a tie with Greg McGlasker (1973-1977) for most in team history.

–Field Level Media

Brian Thomas Jr (11) pick six and scores a touchdown as the LSU Tigers take on the the Army Black Knights in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, October. 21, 2023.

No. 19 LSU manhandles Army 62-0

Jayden Daniels threw three touchdown passes and rushed for another as No. 19 LSU rolled to a 62-0 victory over Army in a nonconference game Saturday night in Baton Rouge, La.

Daniels completed 11 of 15 passes for 279 yards, and Brian Thomas Jr. (122 receiving yards) and Malik Nabers (121) each caught two touchdown passes for the Tigers (6-2).

Kanye Udoh rushed for 108 yards for the Black Knights (2-5), who had just 193 total yards as they lost their fourth straight and second in a row by shutout. They lost to Troy 19-0 a week earlier and have scored just 40 points during the losing streak.

The Black Knights, who entered the game having turned the ball over 13 times, among the most in FBS, committed three turnovers in the first half and four in the game.

Garrett Nussmeier replaced Daniels to start the second half and threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Nabers on his first possession for a 45-0 lead.

Damian Ramos kicked a 32-yard field goal to extend the lead to 48-0 near the end of the third quarter.

Noah Cain had a 2-yard touchdown run and Trey Holly added a 67-yard burst with 40 seconds remaining to complete the scoring.

LSU received the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards, taking a 7-0 lead on Logan Diggs’ 2-yard touchdown run.

Daniels found Thomas for an 86-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead, and Andre Sam intercepted Champ Harris on the second-to-last play of the first quarter, setting up the Tigers at the Black Knights’ 33.

On the second play of the second quarter, Daniels and Thomas teamed on an 8-yard score for a 21-0 lead.

Ovie Oghoufo forced and recovered a fumble by Harris, giving LSU the ball at the Army 37.

Five plays later, Daniels sneaked 1 yard for a touchdown. Ramos added a 35-yard field goal and Daniels connected with Nabers from 26 yards for a 38-0 halftime lead.

–Field Level Media

Oct 7, 2023; West Point, New York, USA; Boston College Eagles quarterback Thomas Castellanos (1) celebrates his touchdown against the Army Black Knights during the first half at Michie Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas Castellanos (4 TDs), Boston College edge Army

Thomas Castellanos scored his fourth rushing touchdown of the game, a 1-yard run with 25 seconds left in regulation to lift Boston College to a 27-24 win over Army on a rainy Saturday afternoon at West Point, N.Y.

Castellanos, who threw for just 73 yards, accounted for 142 of the Eagles’ season-high 299 rushing yards on 31 carries, including 17 on a key rush into the red zone that set up the winning 12-play, 62-yard drive.

Pat Garwo added 111 rushing yards, helping lead BC (3-3) to its second straight victory.

Army (2-3) held a 21-14 second-half scoring advantage, taking a 24-20 lead with 11:43 left as Bryson Daily completed a 9-yard strike to Tyson Riley between two defenders.

Leading the Black Knights, Daily was 10-of-13 passing for 105 yards and a touchdown while rushing for a team-high 99 yards on 14 carries.

BC had a 372-266 advantage in total yards.

Army looked to put the game away following a fourth-down stop, but an illegal forward pass penalty nullified Daily’s 50-yard touchdown pass to Hayden Reed, giving BC the ball back with 5:24 left for the deciding drive.

BC led 13-3 at halftime before the game opened up with matching scores out of intermission. Zach Mundell’s 53-yard kickoff return began Army’s first series of the second half, setting up a six-play drive that led to a Tyrell Robinson 10-yard touchdown run.

Garwo’s 50-yard burst brought BC into the red zone, where Castellanos rushed left for a 10-yard score with 7:36 left in the third.

An eight-play, 69-yard drive — capped by Reed’s 6-yard rush with 2:51 to go in the third — brought Army back within 20-17.

After forcing Army’s first of three consecutive 3-and-outs to begin the game, BC started its second series on a short field and finished a five-play, 40-yard drive for the opening score. Castellanos wiggled free for a 20-yard touchdown through the teeth of the defense with 7:35 left in the first.

BC’s lead was only 6-0 as Liam Connor missed the point-after attempt. Army had not allowed a first-quarter score in its first four games.

Quindrelin Hammonds’ interception got Army started in the second. Quinn Maretzki cut the Black Knights’ deficit in half on a 22-yard field goal at the 10:08 mark.

With 1:24 left before half, Castellanos punched in a 4-yard score to cap a season-long, 17-play drive which BC extended with a pair of fourth-down conversions.

–Field Level Media

Sep 30, 2023; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Boston College Eagles quarterback Thomas Castellanos (1) looks to pass against the Virginia Cavaliers during the second half at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College brings momentum into clash with Army

Boston College looks to get back to .500 when it faces Army for the first time in a decade Saturday at West Point, N.Y.

The Eagles (2-3) take a break from Atlantic Coast Conference play following their 27-24 win against Virginia last Saturday.

The Black Knights (2-2) have been idle since losing to another ACC school Sept. 23, falling 29-16 at Syracuse.

In the victory over Virginia, BC orchestrated its largest halftime comeback since 1997 while allowing only 39 total second-half yards.

“We’ve got to go 1-0 this week,” Eagles coach Jeff Hafley said. “I said we needed to play Virginia like we’re playing the best team in the country, and we need to treat Army the same way.”

Against Virginia, Thomas Castellanos passed for 183 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 78 yards while the defense stepped up with six sacks after entering the game with just four all season.

Hafley knows the challenge ahead with Army, which ranks second nationally in rushing offense (289.4 yards per game).

“This is going to be a very physical, tough game,” he said. “We’ve got to throw everything into this one and then we can take a break.”

The Eagles have next weekend off before resuming ACC play at Georgia Tech on Oct. 21.

Army is well-rested for just its second home game of the season.

“Bye weeks … are a great chance to get healthy and get a two-week preparation on an opponent, but it’s odd to be sitting on a Saturday watching everyone else play and not have a game ourselves,” Black Knights coach Jeff Monken said. “Our guys practice because they like to play. I think they get excited about playing these games against Power 5 opponents.”

Noah Short logged a career-high 105 receiving yards in the loss to Syracuse, including an 80-yard touchdown from Bryson Daily.

That pair’s continued emergence will go a long way for the Black Knights, who last beat BC in 2012.

“It’s going to be a tough game to win, but it is a game that we’ve got to win if we want to be in the conversation for postseason play,” Monken said. “I think it’s OK to recognize that.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 23, 2023; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange quarterback Garrett Shrader (6) throws a pass in the first quarter against the Army Black Knights at the JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Big second half lifts Syracuse over Army

Garrett Shrader threw for a touchdown and ran for a score as Syracuse awoke after halftime in a 29-16 win over visiting Army on Saturday afternoon.

Shrader finished 21 of 26 for 245 yards, while Damien Alford registered nine catches for 135 yards. LeQuint Allen ran for 104 yards and a score, and Shrader chipped in 50 yards on the ground.

The Orange (4-0) remained unbeaten despite a lethargic first half in which they failed to convert a third down and trailed 10-3 at the break against the scrappy Black Knights (2-2).

Syracuse’s second half began with disappointment as well, as the hosts drove to the Army 32 before getting stuffed on fourth-and-short. However, the Orange tied the game on their next possession, igniting their dominant second-half performance.

Shrader and Alford fueled the tying drive with connections of 31 and 19 yards, setting up Allen’s 13-yard sprint to the end zone.

Following another Black Knights punt, the Orange drove back into the red zone and cashed in when Shrader found Umari Hatcher for a 13-yard score on third-and-9.

Army went three-and-out on its next trip and Syracuse responded with a 30-yard field goal from Brady Denaburg. Shrader’s 21-yard TD run with 9:46 left and Denaburg’s 31-yard field goal less than four minutes later extended the cushion to 29-10.

The Black Knights’ Bryson Daily finished 9 of 21 for 145 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown — an 80-yarder to Noah Short in the waning minutes. Short caught six balls for 105 yards, while Daily led Army’s ground attack with 47 yards on 20 attempts.

After managing just 77 yards of offense in the first half, the Orange totaled 326 yards after the break. They held the ball for more than 20 minutes in the second half and outgained Army on the ground, 140 to minus-4 following intermission.

–Field Level Media

Syracuse Orange quarterback Garrett Shrader (6) stiff arms Purdue Boilermakers defensive back Dillon Thieneman (31) during the NCAA football game, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind. Syracuse Orange won 35-20.

Unbeaten Syracuse has healthy respect for Army

Every week, Syracuse coach Dino Babers stresses the importance of respecting the opponent. This week, that message carries a special meaning for Babers and the undefeated Orange.

Syracuse (3-0) will wrap up non-league play Saturday when it hosts Army (2-1) on Military Appreciation Day.

“It’s a prideful thing,” said Babers, who grew up in a military family. “I told the guys, ‘Hey, these guys are different.’ They’re out there protecting us, and we need to give them the respect they deserve. One of the things they would want us to do is play the best game that we can play.

“I’m talking about a team that is very capable of beating us. The way they play the game and the way their head coach coaches the game — I tip my hat to them. I have a lot of respect for them.”

The Black Knights may have their hands full with Orange quarterback Garrett Shrader, who rushed for 195 yards and four touchdowns in last weekend’s 35-20 win at Purdue. He also passed for 184 yards.

The Syracuse offense is averaging 542.7 yards per game — fifth in the nation — despite the absence of star tight end Oronde Gadsden II, who is out for the season with a foot injury.

Army enters Saturday’s game on the heels of a 37-29 win at UTSA in which Hayden Reed and Bryson Daily combined for 207 rushing yards. Both found the end zone on the ground, while Daily also passed for 133 yards and a score.

As a team, the Black Knights are averaging 235.7 rushing yards per game, which ranks ninth nationally.

“Our guys want to line up and run around and knock people off the ball,” said Army coach Jeff Monken, who signed a multi-year contract extension earlier this week. “We’ve got to play a different style of game — and that’s running the football, controlling the clock, and limiting possessions. That’s always been our philosophy here.”

This will be the 22nd meeting between the schools, albeit the first since 1996. The Orange lead the all-time series 11-10.

–Field Level Media

Dec 14, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; (editors note; tilt shift lens used to create effect) General view as Army Cadets march onto the field before a game between the Army Black Knights and the Navy Midshipmen at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

‘Electricity’ awaits as Army, Navy meet for 123rd time

The Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy will not be on the line, but that will not lessen the mystique or the emotions of the annual Army-Navy game when the two service academies take the field Saturday in Philadelphia.

Air Force won the three-way rivalry’s trophy for the first time since 2016 by beating Army (5-6) and Navy (4-7) earlier this season.

Still, Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo has seen the Army-Navy row up close for 15 years and knows what it means.

“They’re representing our country … It’s not a regional game,” said Niumatalolo, who is 10-4 against Army. “What I think both schools represent, what both schools’ players will do after they play and it being a game that touches all of America, it makes it different. It makes it special.”

Part of the tradition is the collision of two triple-option flexbone offenses, which keep the ball on the ground most, if not all, of the time. Army ranked second in FBS in rushing yards per game this season (304.4), while Navy was seventh (239.5). Sportsbooks have pinned the over/under at 33 points; only once in the past five editions of the series has either team eclipsed 17.

Navy leads the series 62-53-7. The Midshipmen have won two of the past three meetings after Army pulled off a three-game winning streak (2016-2018).

Navy has been idle since Nov. 19, when it dominated then-No. 20 UCF on the ground and earned a 17-14 upset win.

The Midshipmen have used Xavier Arline and Maasai Maynor at quarterback since starter Tai Lavatai sustained a season-ending injury in late October. Fullback Daba Fofana leads the team with 749 rushing yards and six touchdowns.

Army softened the end of a disappointing season with consecutive wins over UConn, 34-17, and UMass, 44-7. Quarterback Tyhier Tyler leads the Black Knights with 601 rushing yards and 12 rushing scores, including five touchdowns in his past two games.

“It’s an intense, incredible contest,” Army coach Jeff Monken said. “From the moment that the competitors arrive at the stadium, there’s an electricity there that is unrivaled. It’s truly awesome and I’m looking forward to being out there and just having a chance to compete.”

Army’s uniforms honor the 1st Armored Division and feature a “mud splatter” effect. Navy unveiled an astronaut-themed uniform, noting that 54 academy graduates have become astronauts, the most of any institution.

The game returns to Philadelphia for the first time since 2019 and is there for the 90th time overall.

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2021; West Point, New York, USA; Army Black Knights head coach Jeff Monken leads his team out onto the field before a game against the Bucknell Bisons at Michie Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Army looking to beat Navy for fifth time in 6 years

Eight years ago, after Army lost to Navy for the 12th straight time, the Black Knights decided the only way to compete with the Midshipmen was to be like them.

So they hired a former Navy assistant coach and went about the business of mimicking the success of their service academy rival.

Mission accomplished.

Saturday in East Rutherford, N.J., when Army (8-3) meets Navy (3-8) for 122nd time, the Black Knights will try to best the Mids for the fifth time in the past six years and capture their fourth Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy in the last five seasons.

The author of Army’s turnaround is Jeff Monken, 54. He coached at Navy from 2002-07 under Paul Johnson, helping the Mids to five CIC trophies and five bowl games. When Johnson departed for Georgia Tech, Monken followed, while fellow Navy assistant Ken Niumatalolo stayed on board to take over the program.

Niumatalolo has guided the Midshipmen to six more CIC titles and 10 bowl games. Navy has struggled this year but a lot of that has been the level of competition. The Mids have had the misfortune of facing six of the nation’s top 22 defenses as ranked by Pro Football Focus, including Notre Dame and Cincinnati.

“We’ve been improving,” Niumatalolo said. “But if you’re a boxer and you’re fighting Floyd Mayweather, you might have gotten better but you’ve got six black eyes.”

The Army defense will be tough to solve for Navy as well. The Black Knights have five starters back from last year’s defense that pitched a shutout in a 15-0 win against the Midshipmen. Linebacker Arik Smith leads the team in tackles (67), while Andre Carter II (14.5 sacks) has blossomed as a pass rusher.

“This is the biggest game of the year,” said Army defensive back Marquel Broughton. “This is the biggest rivalry in football, the most intense rivalry in college football.”

Army ranks second in the nation in rushing (301.2 yards per game) and features a balanced attack with Tyrell Robinson (582 yards), who averages 9.9 yards per carry, Tyhier Tyler (470 yards) and quarterback Christian Anderson (519 yards).

Navy, which ranks No. 7 in the country in rushing (228.2), counters with the inside power of Isaac Ruoss (608 yards) and the outside speed of Carlinos Acie (546 yards), who averages 9.6 yards per rush.

During the game, the teams will honor the memory of Navy SEAL commander Brian Bourgeois, 43, who tragically died in a training accident on Saturday while fast-roping from a helicopter. Bourgeois played four seasons for Navy.

–Field Level Media