Army vs. Navy Predictions, Odds, & Keys to the Game 12/8/12

Last Updated: December 7th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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Army vs. NavyOur Army vs. Navy keys to game are all set to go here at Bankroll Sports, as the Navy Midshipmen look for their 11th straight victory over the Army Black Knights. Will they get it? Check out our Army vs. Navy picks & analysis, and get our college football predictions for the game!

Army/Navy Game: Army Black Knights vs. Navy Midshipmen
Army/Navy Game Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Army/Navy Game Date/Time: Saturday, December 8th, 3:00 p.m. (ET)
Army/Navy On TV: CBS

Key #1: The Black Knights cannot get outrushed badly
You would figure that there wouldn’t be all that much of an issue getting outrushed when you’re a triple option offense, but alas, that happened this year against the Temple Owls, it almost happened against the Kent State Golden Flashes, and it almost happened against the Stony Brook Seawovles. Needless to say, the club just has to find some defense from somewhere. Temple’s RB Montel Harris rushed for 351 yards and seven TDs against the Cadets, and there was very little that could be done to stop it. Heck, not only that, but the Owls ended the day with 534 yards on 57 rushes. The Black Knights have the No. 1 ranked rushing offense in America at 369.8 yards per game, but this defense is allowing 238.3 yards per game on the ground to go with 37.0 points per game. That just doesn’t cut it to say the least, and there is going to have to be someone step up against another triple option offense here to keep Army on track and with a shot to win this one. It’s not so much the yards as it is the points, but it is going to be a clear indication in this game if one team beats the other by 100+ yards on the ground who is going to win and cover.

Army vs. Navy Odds at WagerWeb Sportsbook
Navy Midshipmen -7
Army Black Knights +7
Over/Under 56
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Key #2: Trent Steelman has to leave a legacy
This one is all about Steelman. He’s the team’s quarterback and has been for the last four years. He’s going to go down as one of the most important quarterbacks in the history of the program, knowing that he already holds the record for the most touchdowns scored in a career (44) with the Black Knights. However, what’s looming over his head are three straight losses — losses No. 8, 9, and 10 in a row to the Middies. Winning this game would cement his legacy for sure, and it would send him out on the top of his game before he goes off to serve our great country. Steelman has 1,152 yards and 16 TDs this year on the ground, but he never really did develop into a quarterback that could successfully put the ball in the air even 10 times per game. He does have 619 yards throwing this year, and he’s got a solid receiver in WR Chevaughn Lawrence to work with, but in the end, regardless of how he is going to do it, Steelman has to be “The Man” if Army is going to sink Navy.

Key #3: Keenan Reynolds has to stretch out the Army defense
It’s easy to say that whichever team in the triple option runs the ball with more efficiency is going to ultimately win, but in the end, it’s not necessarily all about the run. Granted, throwing the ball isn’t necessarily going to make things better either, but the Middies have to keep the ball on the edges of the Army defense. The Black Knights have had all sorts of problems in the middle of their defense this year, and that has inevitably been a focal point over the course of the last few weeks of prep for this one. Whether it’s SB Gee Gee Greene, Reynolds, or WR Shawn Lynch doing the deed, someone is going to have to consistently use some sort of speed on the edges of this Army defense as well, and that’s been a problem all year long for the Midshipmen. Reynolds can throw the ball better than the average Navy quarterback, as he has 754 yards and eight TDs against just one pick since taking over for QB Trey Miller. Since SB John Howell was knocked out for the season with a leg injury though, this offense just hasn’t looked overly dynamic, but it should be able to get back on track against a porous Army defense if, and really only if, the outside game is working in some form.

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Posted in College Football - Last Updated on Friday, December 7th, 2012 @ 10:10 am (EST)
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