Coach Rich Ellerson has Army’s football program on the path to respectability. He’s already won more games this season than any other Army team has won in a single season this decade. However, Navy has already reached that mountain top. A season with less than eight wins is a disappointment to this program. Winners of seven games in a row over Army, Navy is a 14-point favorite this year.
We here at After Action are predicting Navy to make it eight in a row — though the game will be closer than the experts predict. Navy has won by an average of 29 points during their streak, but this year’s Army team is better and hungry to go to its first bowl game since 1996.
Ellerson built Army’s team using Navy’s blueprint — the triple option. He gambled on starting freshman quarterback Trent Steelman and thus far it has paid off. Steelman has led the team to five wins as he has quickly picked up the option attack, rushing for 690 yards this season.
Navy, though, has a quarterback of its own. Junior Ricky Dobbs has run for 23 touchdowns and thrown for four more this season. Whether it’s against Ohio State or Notre Dame, teams can’t keep him out of the endzone. After waiting two years behind three-year starter Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, this will be Dobbs’ first Army-Navy game.
In the end, Dobbs will be the difference. Don’t discount Army’s desire to end the seven-game losing streak and earn a berth in the EagleBank Bowl. As always, service bragging rights are on the line and the frustration over this losing streak is showing up at West Point.
So tell us, how do you think this game will end?