POSTGAME NOTES ARMY VS. NAVY (DEC. 6, 2008)
Arch rivals Army and Navy met for the 109th time on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. It marked the teams’ 81st matchup in the city of Philadelphia and the first since 2006. President George W. Bush attended the game for the third and final time of his tenure as our nation’s Commander in Chief.
Navy ran its series winning streak to seven games with Saturday’s victory. The Mids have now claimed 10 of the last 12 meetings between the schools, and 12 of the last 23. Army’s last victory over Navy dates back to the 2001 season.
Army and Navy sported specially designed uniforms for the service academy classic as Nike chose the platform to debu its new “Enforcer” football uniforms. The new uniforms were developed as the next evolution of Nike’s shrink wrap uniform with high performance materials that will help the athletes perform at their highest standard. Army also wore new specially designed helmets by Riddell featuring an Army Combat Uniform (camouflage) pattern.
With the loss, Army closed at 3-9 for the third straight year, dropping four consecutive verdicts to end the year. The Black Knights have ended each of the last three seasons with at least four straight defeats. The Black Knights suffered six consecutive setbacks to end the 2006 and 2007 campaigns.
Army was shut out against Navy on Saturday, stretching the Black Knights streak without a touchdown to eight quarters. Army was held without a touchdown in its previous contest against Rutgers. The Black Knights were outscored 64-3 in their final two contests. It marked Army’s first shutout loss since a 27-0 loss at TCU on Oct. 4, 2003. The Black Knights were held without a touchdown on three occasions this season (Akron, Rutgers, Navy). It was the first time since 1978 Army did not score versus Navy.
Army entered the game as the nation’s leader in fumbles lost with 23. The Black Knights added to that total when Collin Mooney fumbled at the Army 35-yard line midway through the third quarter. Army finished the day (-2) in the turnover department (1 fumble, 1 interception).
The Black Knights were outgained by a 288-89 margin in the first half. Army managed just 63 rushing yards on 20 first-half carries. Army’s leading rusher, Collin Mooney, was limited to 15 yards rushing on seven carries before halftime. The Black Knights were outgained 430-154 in the contest overall and were outrushed 368-102. Army’s rushing total marked a season low.
Collin Mooney became Army’s single season rushing leader with a one-yard gain on the final play of the game to finish with 1,339 yards. Mooney entered the game needing 54 yards to break Mike Mayweather’s record 1,338-yard total that had been established in 1990. Mooney finished with 54 yards rushing on 17 carries.
Collin Mooney and Chip Bowden stand as the third-best single season rushing duo in Army history. The pair combined for 1,910 yards this season. Only the tandems of Mike Mayweather and Willie McMillian (2238 in 1990), and Doug Black and Nate Sassaman (2150) registered a higher single-season total.
As a team, Army pushed its single season rushing total to 2,897yards. That figure ranks 19th on the Black Knights’ single season rushing chart.
Army allowed Navy’s triple option offense 236 rushing yards in the first half. The Black Knights held Air Force to 142 yards rushing for the entire game earlier this year in their only other contest against an option opponent. Navy finished with 368 ground yards, the highest total for an Army opponent this year. No other Black Knight foe reached 200 yards rushing this fall. In fact, the previous high was Temple’s 184-yard total in the season opener.
Senior LB Frank Scappaticci made a career-high 15 tackles. It was the highest total by an Army player this season. Scappaticci finished as the Black Knights’ leading tackler with 97 tackles, only three shy of his career total entering the season.
Sophomore Patrick Mealy ripped off a 62-yard field goal late in the second quarter, marking Army’s longest field return this season. Mealy returned his kickoff to the Navy 27-yard line. The Black Knights were unable to register a first down and Andrew Rinehart was stopped three yards shy of a first down on a fake field goal attempt. It marked Army’s deepest penetration of the game.