For the first time since 2002, the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy will not be residing in Annapolis, Md.
Air Force, who beat Navy 14-6 earlier this season, completed the service academy sweep Saturday at Army, beating the Black Knights 42-22. Junior quarterback Tim Jefferson accounted for four touchdowns — two rushing, two passing — for the Falcons, who also became bowl-eligible with the win. Navy had held the CIC Trophy since taking it from Air Force seven seasons ago. According to The (Colorado Springs) Gazette, the trophy will be picked up from Annapolis on Sunday and arrive on Air Force’s campus sometimes this week.
Army hasn’t won the CIC Trophy since 1996, nor have they made a bowl game since then. Standing at 5-4, West Point still has a decent shot at becoming bowl eligible with three games left in the season. One of those three games is the annual season-ending rivalry game with Navy, who pummeled East Carolina on Saturday to become bowl-eligible for the eighth straight year. Navy will play in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 23 in San Diego against a team from the Mountain West Conference. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
Not to take anything away from Air Force, but Navy’s blowout win on the road overshadowed AF-Army game. I don’t know if coach Ken Niumatalolo made Navy watch highlights of the AF-Army game at halftime or what, but the Mids came out on fire after the intermission. Navy broke open a 28-21 game and scored 48 second-half points to run away with a 76-35 victory. 76-35!
It’s not like the Mids beat up on a I-AA school either. ECU plays in Conference USA and has a winning record. Their defense has been lousy all year, but the Pirates have a strong passing attack and managed to pull off a win against N.C. State earlier this year. In other words, this isn’t North Texas that Navy tap-danced on.
The Mids finished with 596 total yards, including 521 yards rushing. The 76 points is a single-game record for Navy. Combined with the 31 points they scored in the second half against Duke last season, Navy has scored a mind-blowing 78 second-half points in the last two games.