Army and Navy return to Philadelphia and Lincoln Financial Field for their 118th meeting on the football field. The two teams have enjoyed successful seasons; the Black Knights are 8-3, and the Midshipmen are 6-5, although they have lost five of their last six games. For the first time since 2012, the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy will be on the line. Of the three major service academies, Army by far has experienced the longest drought without the trophy, having won its last CIC prize in 1996. The teams are duplicates of each other on offense; both rely on a punishing ground game that ranks either first (Army) in the nation or second (Navy). That style of play also chews up the clock and makes every possession valuable. For one of the few times in recent years, each team has a bowl game remaining in its season.
How to follow and watch the game
When: Saturday, 3 p.m.
Where: Lincoln Financial Field
Radio: 94.1-FM, WIP
Army, Jeff Monken (22-26 in fourth season at Army, 58-42 overall). Navy, Ken Niumatalolo (83-47 in 10th season at Navy and overall).
Army: QB Ahmad Bradshaw, 5-11, 205, Sr. (1,472 yards rushing, 7.8-yard average per carry, 11 touchdowns; 30.8 percent completion rate, 259 yards, 1 TD, 2 interceptions); RB Darnell Woolfolk, 5-9, 235, Jr. (668 yards rushing, 5.4-yard average per carry, 11 TDs); RB Kell Walker, 5-9, 195, So. (553 yards rushing, 7.3-yard average per carry, 6 TDs; 20.9-yard average on kickoff returns); LB James Nachtigal, 6-0, 235, Jr. (87 tackles, 7 ½ tackles for loss, 5 sacks); LB Cole Christiansen, 6-2, 225, So. (73 tackles); LB Alex Aukerman, 6-1, 260, Sr. (58 tackles, 14 ½ tackles for loss, 6 sacks); K Blake Wilson, 5-9, 150, Sr. (3-7 field goals, long 46).
Navy: QB Zach Abey, 6-2, 212, Jr. (1,322 yards rushing, 4.8-yard average per carry, 14 touchdowns; 42.9 percent completion rate, 803 yards, 7 TDs, 7 interceptions); QB/SB Malcolm Perry, 5-9, 185, So. (818 yards rushing, 8.9-yard average per carry, 8 TDs; 12 receptions for 301 yards, 2 TDs; 24.5 yard average on kickoff returns); WR Tyler Carmona, 6-4, 227, Jr. (14 receptions for 381 yards, 4 TDs); LB Micah Thomas, 6-1, 241, Sr. (72 tackles, 3 interceptions); S Sean Williams, 6-1, 190, Jr. (67 tackles); LB D.J. Palmore, 6-3, 236, Sr. (64 tackles, 11 ½ tackles for loss, 2 ½ sacks); K Bennett Moehring, 5-9, 180, Jr. (6-11 field goals, long 48).
Head to head
Navy holds a 60-50-7 lead in the series overall, and a 44-38-4 advantage in games played in Philadelphia. Army broke a 14-game losing streak in the series last year with a 21-17 victory at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
Army: Dec. 23, vs. San Diego State in Armed Forces Bowl, Fort Worth, Texas.
Navy: Dec. 28, vs. Virginia in Military Bowl, Annapolis, Md.