Football Bowl Subdivision
WEEKLY SCHEDULE
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                           === Navy battles Army ===
 
 Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - With the Saturday spotlight all to
 themselves, the 113th edition of the historic matchup between the Army Black
 Knights and the Midshipmen of Navy is once again set to be played in
 Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field.
 
 All of the pomp and circumstance that goes along with this monumental event is
 why it deserves its own day this year, even if the Black Knights will still
 finish with a losing record and Navy has already made postseason plans that do
 not hinge on the outcome of this meeting.
 
 Nevertheless, there is still something to be decided this year with the
 Commander-In-Chief's Trophy still up for grabs. Awarded annually to the winner
 of the football competition among the three major Service Academies (Army,
 Navy and Air Force), the trophy needs to find a new home this season after
 having been claimed by the Falcons the last two years.
 
 Air Force has already lost to both of these squads, so this will be the game
 to decide it all which means either the Midshipmen will be taking it back down
 to Annapolis for the 13th time since the award began in 1972, or Army will
 celebrate for just the seventh time and the first since 1996.
 
 Heading into this weekend, Navy, which has already accepted an invitation to
 play against Arizona State in the 2012 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San
 Francisco later this month, won six of the last seven games on the schedule,
 including a 21-10 victory over Texas State in the most recent outing on Nov.
 17.
 
 Meanwhile, Army's road through the 2012 campaign has been anything but smooth,
 the program winning a total of just two games against Boston College and Air
 Force. The Knights suffered one of their toughest losses in the most recent
 outing, a lopsided 63-32 setback versus the Temple Owls at home on Nov. 17,
 marking the unit's second straight setback and the fifth in the last six
 contests.
 
 "I don't think it's the way you want to finish any game," Army quarterback
 Trent Steelman said of the loss to Temple. "At the same time, we have one
 more. We can still go out on the right note and finish the season the right
 way."
 
 The relationship on the football field between the two Academies dates back to
 1890 when the Midshipmen posted a 24-0 victory over Army in the very first
 meeting. Navy owns a 56-49-7 advantage in the all-time series thanks to a
 current 10-game run over the Black Knights.
 
 Last year the event was held at FedExField in Landover, Maryland for the first
 time as Navy scored in every quarter, but needed a pair of field goals by Jon
 Teague in the fourth to break a 21-21 tie and provide the Midshipmen with the
 six-point cushion they needed in the 27-21 final.
 
 Both teams ran for just under 300 yards in the 2011 contest and combined for a
 mere 90 yards passing on just five completed attempts. This year figures to
 have similar numbers on both sides as Army ranks first in the nation in
 rushing (369.8 ypg) and Navy is sixth (285.5 ypg) on the ground, with the
 squads ranked 120th and 117th, respectively, in passing.
 
 Even though the Navy passing game is far from attack mode on a regular basis,
 quarterback Keenan Reynolds has still managed to keep most opponents on their
 toes when he lines up under center. Responsible for nine rushing touchdowns in
 the last seven games, Reynolds also tossed TDs in four straight outings, a
 total of eight during the stretch which means he is more than capable of
 finding holes in the Army defense.
 
 Senior Brandon Turner gives Reynolds his top option down the field, with the
 receiver having turned his 19 catches into 248 yards and three touchdowns.
 Coming out of the backfield, Gee Gee Greene transformed his 14 receptions into
 a team-high 280 yards and another couple of scores as well and that's sure to
 be a comfort to Reynolds who still gets a bit anxious before he takes the
 field each week.
 
 "I'm pretty sure I'll be nervous before the game starts, but you know, once
 the first play goes its just football again," said Reynolds.
 
 Also taking some of the pressure off Reynolds will be Noah Copeland who has
 carried the ball more than anyone else on the team, his 130 attempts leading
 to 592 yards and four TDs.
 
 On the defensive side, Keegan Wetzel has garnered plenty of attention from the
 opposition due to his 13.5 tackles for loss and six sacks, both of which pace
 the program. Matt Warrick, second on the unit in total stops with 73, also
 registered three interceptions on the season, but with both of these teams
 operating almost exclusively on the ground, that sort of effort might not come
 into play this weekend.
 
 In fact, Steelman has attempted a total of only 85 passes through 11 games,
 completing 45.9 percent of those for 619 yards and one score. Steelman has two
 interceptions in 2012, but odds are he'll try and feed his running backs and
 take the ball down the field with his legs before he resorts to putting it in
 the air.
 
 The signal-caller ranks first on the team in rushing with 1,152 yards and has
 scored 16 touchdowns, giving him a total of 44 for his career which sets the
 new school record that was once held by 1946 Heisman Trophy winner Glenn
 Davis. The highest-scoring Army quarterback in history, Steelman is also first
 in the record books among signal-callers with regard to career rushing yards
 (3,224) and rushing attempts (735).
 
 If and when Steelman gets tired of calling his own number, Raymond Maples is
 capable of carrying the load after producing 1,059 yards and averaging 5.4
 yards per carry. Larry Dixon, gaining better than six yards per attempt
 himself, has landed in the end zone six times as well.
 
 But while the rushing attack for the Black Knights is clearly their favored
 approach, the squad has had just as much trouble slowing down the competition
 which has opted to run the ball. Opponents have averaged 5.7 yards per carry
 and have recorded 33 rushing scores which is two more than Army through 11
 games.
 
 Despite missing a pair of games, Nate Combs is clearly a force to be reckoned
 with on defense for the Knights, his 12.0 TFLs and 6.0 sacks leading the unit,
 while also pacing the group with three recovered fumbles and two forced
 fumbles. In on seemingly every hit this season has been Geoffrey Bacon with
 his 122 stops, 39 more than his closest teammate.
 
 "This is a great game, a great venue, but at the end of the day, it's still a
 football game," Army head coach Rich Ellerson notes. "The outcome will be
 determined by the same things that determine every football game."
 
 
 
 12/07 10:09:28 ET