Quick Hits: 11 Army-Navy Football Facts to Know Before Saturday’s Showdown

Quick Hits: 11 Army-Navy Football Facts to Know Before Saturday’s Showdown
A sneak preview of the uniforms on display in this year's Army-Navy showdown. (Images via Army West Point Athletics, Navy Athletics)

Behind in your Army-Navy football prep? Worried you’ll be lost in gridiron conversation alongside die-hard service academy fans? Think the “triple option” has to do with deciding on your pregame appetizer?

 

Not to worry: Whether you’re heading to Saturday’s showdown in Philadelphia, attending a gameday gathering, or cheering from the couch, MOAA can help get you up to speed. Here’s what you need to know:

 

1. Bottom Line Up Front: The Army Black Knights (5-6) will face the Navy Midshipmen (4-7) at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday at 3 p.m. Eastern. The 123rd edition of the rivalry airs on CBS and CBS digital properties (more details at this link), as well as Paramount+ and the American Forces Network. Pregame coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. Eastern on CBS Sports Network, with coverage of the march-ons beginning at noon.

 

2. Meet Us in Philly: Be on the lookout for MOAA staffers at Saturday’s game, and help us spread the word to prospective members!

 

[RELATED: Watch MOAA’s Army-Navy Commercial]

 

3. Rivalry Recap: Navy has a 62-53-7 series edge and won last year’s contest at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., by a 17-13 margin. Army’s won four of the last six, including a 15-0 victory over the Mids in 2020 in West Point, N.Y.

 

4. Bowled Over: For the first time since 2011, Saturday’s game will be the season finale for both programs. Neither team will play in a postseason bowl game, which only include teams with .500 or better records except in rare circumstances.

 

5. About Those Records …: Regardless of Saturday’s winner, U.S. Air Force Academy grads will hold bragging rights – the Falcons earned wins over both academy rivals this year to claim the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, en route to a 9-3 overall record and a berth in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 22 against Baylor.

 

[RELATED: Navy Beats Army, Again, in Annual College Rankings]

 

6. Coming in Hot: Despite their records, both teams enter Saturday’s game on a high note. Army’s two-game win streak includes a 44-7 blowout of Massachusetts on Nov. 26, and Navy rebounded from a narrow 35-32 loss to Notre Dame on Nov. 12 to edge Central Florida 17-14 in their American Athletic Conference finale a week later.

 

7. Looking Sharp: In keeping with recent tradition, both teams will unveil new uniforms for Saturday’s contest, with Army honoring the soldiers of the 1st Armored Division on the 80th anniversary of Operation Torch – the beginning of U.S. ground operations in North Africa during World War II. Check out the video below:

 

 

Navy’s uniforms pay tribute to the 54 Annapolis grads who’ve served as astronauts, beginning with Alan Shepard (Class of 1945), the first American in space. Check out that video here:

 

 

8. Ground Truth: Astronauts or not, Navy’s offense has been anything but aerial this season – the Mids ran the ball 63 times in their win over Central Florida and tried one pass. It was incomplete. Army’s been even more run-heavy, with 40 passing attempts all season compared to Navy’s 53, according to Sports-Reference.com. For context, LSU threw 52 passes in the Southeastern Conference championship last weekend.

 

9. Good Clean Fun: Navy has the fewest penalties (38) among the 131 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision this season. Army ranks eighth (52).

 

10. Philly Farewell: Philadelphia has hosted 89 Army-Navy football games, the first played Dec. 2, 1899, at Franklin Field (Army won, 17-5 – touchdowns were worth five points). Saturday’s game will be the last in the City of Brotherly Love until 2027, with the rivalry making a four-city swing through Boston, Washington, Baltimore, and New York over the next four years. Get a full breakdown at this link.

 

11. More, Please: Want depth charts, statistics, more uniform details, a year-by-year rivalry breakdown, or a to-the-minute schedule for pregame festivities? Both schools have put together 68-page information packets for the big game – click here for the Navy version, and here for the Army version. Want details on everything from gameday parking to surrounding events? Check out PhillyLovesArmyNavy.com.

 

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About the Author

Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and MOAA.org. Follow him on Twitter: @KRLilley