The 121st Army-Navy Game isn’t going to look like what you’ve grown accustomed to seeing in recent years — which is appropriate when you look at how 2020 has gone. For starters, the game will be played on Army’s campus in West Point, New York, rather than at a neutral site. Considering restrictions on fan access to games in stadiums this season, it didn’t make a lot of sense to have the game played in Philadelphia.
The other significant change is that the game will not be played in its own exclusive window. For years The Army-Navy Game had a Saturday all to itself the week after conference championship games. That’s not possible this year, but while those things are different, it’s still Army vs. Navy. A classic matchup between the most traditional of rivals. Watching an Army-Navy game is akin to looking back in time as both teams play a style of football that we don’t see much of anymore but is still beautiful if you know what you’re looking for and what to expect.
Not even a pandemic can take that away from us.
Army: Like everybody else, Army’s had to deal with COVID-19 issues in its schedule. It’s scheduled game early in the season against BYU was postponed, and given how the season has played out for BYU since, it’s unfortunate for all of us we couldn’t get to see it. Even more unfortunate is that Army’s game against Air Force was postponed as well. That means the game against Navy will not be the final game of The Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy, as the Knights are scheduled to play the Falcons next week. Still, as strange a year as it’s been for all involved, Army has been impressive. Its lone losses have come to a top-10 Cincinnati team and a Tulane team that has improved as the season has gone along.
Navy: This team has had a rough time adjusting to the 2020 season. Before the team’s season-opener, it was known that it hadn’t been able to practice due to COVID-19 guidelines in Maryland. It showed. Navy was blitzed by BYU 55-3, and a couple of weeks later, it suffered a similar fate in a 40-7 loss to Air Force. The Mids enter this game at only 3-6 on the season but have played much better in losses to Houston, SMU, Memphis and Tulsa, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. They’ll need to maintain that kind of defensive performance if they hope to pull off the upset against Army.
Date: Saturday, Dec. 12 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Michie Stadium — West Point, New York
TV: CBS | Live stream: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free)
OTT: CBS Sports App (Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast)
Army vs. Navy game prediction, pick
I have two simple philosophies regarding betting The Army-Navy Game: take the under and the underdog. It’s not complicated. In a game between two option offenses, the clock will rarely stop. Both teams will put together time-consuming drives to score, which limits possessions for both sides. When the clock doesn’t stop and possessions are limited, that leads to low-scoring games. And when games are low-scoring, it’s hard for favorites to cover larger spreads. So take Navy and the points, and take the under too. Pick: Navy +7
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