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Aside from the typical midseason TV-directed time changes (more on them later), the 2014 service academy slate is just about set. And as sweltering summer temperatures signal the beginning of full-pad practices and traditional preseason speculation, here’s a few things for the more-than-casual academy football fan to take notice of: 1. A normal Saturday slate. Aside from a trio of games in late November, including two on the day after Thanksgiving, every service academy game will be played during a time typically reserved for college football. Last year, Air Force alone played four non-Saturday games. 2. Mids going big time:…

In about a week, Minnesota Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer has gone from seeing his name on a watch list for NFL head-coaching jobs published by a newspaper of note to seeing it on the wrong end of what could be career-killing allegations. Priefer, a Naval Academy grad who reportedly flew helicopters as part of SEAL missions in the early 1990s, stands accused by former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe of “using homophobic language in my presence” in a response to Kluwe’s outspoken support of gay rights — outspokenness that, the punter says, cost him his job last May. Kluwe…

A winter wonderland became a frigid mess. A defensive struggle became a rout. A packed stadium became a ghost town long before the final gun. And an 11-game win streak became a dirty dozen. Behind three touchdown runs from quarterback Keenan Reynolds — the first tying the NCAA single-season record for QBs at 27, the last setting a new record at 29 — the Navy Midshipmen used a punishing ground game to hand the Army Black Knights a 34-7 loss Saturday at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field. Navy hasn’t lost to Army since 2001 and now leads the all-time series 58-49-7.…

Army quarterback Angel Santiago didn’t start the game, but he’s hoping to create an improbable finish. The junior hit freshman Xavier Moss with a 29-yard strike about midway through the third quarter, then followed it with a 4-yard scoring run to give the Black Knights life. Navy answered with a clock-eating 11-play drive and a 34-yard Nick Sloan field goal to make it 20-7 at the end of three quarters. If Santiago and Army continue to put the ball in the air, Navy may need some more heroics from freshman cornerback Brendon Clements, who has already forced a fumble and…

Army stumbles. Navy capitalizes. Mix in snow. Repeat. A simple formula, sure, but the Arctic conditions and stingy defenses in Philadelphia are keeping both the Black Knights and Mids from doing anything too complicated. In the first quarter, Navy followed an Army fumble with Quinton Singleton’s 58-yard run, setting up a field goal. In the second, Navy followed an Army personal-foul penalty with a 39-yard touchdown run by Noah Copeland, leading to a 10-0 lead. Later, the Army offense stalled and forced the Black Knights to punt from deep within their own territory. The next play, quarterback Keenan Reynolds watched…

March-ons are complete (check back soon for more photos). Cadets and mids are in their respective corners. The predicted “wintry mix” hasn’t shown up, replaced instead by on-again, off-again light snow. The hype is over. Well, almost — here’s the Navy’s top officer, Adm. Jon Greenert, offering his perspective from Philadelphia. OK, now the hype is over. Three quick hits as Army and Navy fans settle in: 1. In case of pass, break glass: The Mids and Black Knights finished near the top of major-college football when it comes to the ground game thanks to their use of run-heavy triple…

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert has a game-day message. (Meghann Myers / Staff) Your spirit spot made quite a splash this year. Whose idea was that? Well, my public affairs officer, [Capt.] Danny Hernandez, thought, “Hey, maybe we could do this.” The Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy happens to be Mike. I thought it was a cute video, and Geico thought it was OK, so we did it. Really, kudos go out to Chief Julianne Metzger and Chief Peter Lawler — they were the videographers. They took all of that and made that a 35-second…

If you’re only going to read one Army-Navy preview this year … read this one, from our good friends at USA Today. But if you’ve got the bandwidth for a second preview, or you prefer your service-academy football with a side of spirit spots, read on for a few things you need to know as kickoff comes ever closer. The basics: 114th Army-Navy game, Saturday, 3 p.m. Eastern, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia. TV: CBS (Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson have the call). Pregame: Live pregame fare begins at 11 a.m. on CBS Sports Network (Do you get it? Find out here)…

Three years ago, Katie McHugh — daughter of one soldier, sister of another — got a text from her younger sister. “Kelly,” it said, “you need to come home now.” Let McHugh tell you the rest of the story from that day in May 2010 — how she feared the worst for her brother, who’d deployed to Iraq, only to find out her father, Col. John M. McHugh, 46, had died in a suicide-bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on what was supposed to be a two-week visit. He left behind a wife, five children and, at the time, one grandchild.…

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