Dec. 8, 2011
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Army and Navy will resume their storied rivalry this Saturday when the two service academies meet in suburban Washington, D.C. Kickoff for the 112th installment of the Army-Navy Game, which will be played at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., is slated for 2:30 p.m.
The game will be televised nationally on CBS with Verne Lundquist (play by play), Gary Danielson (color analyst) and Tracy Wolfson (sideline reporter) calling the action.
The Army Sports Network will have the audio call of the game on its flagship station WABC (770-AM), as well as WALL (1340-AM) and WEOK (1390-AM), Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 85), XM Satellite Radio (channel 85) and ITT Knight Vision. Rich DeMarco (play by play), Dean Darling (color analyst) and Tony Morino (sideline reporter) will cover the game on the Army Sports Network.
Westwood One will provide a national radio broadcast of the contest with John Tautges (play by play) and former Ohio State great Eddie George (color analyst) calling the action.
Army, which suffered a 42-14 setback at Temple in its last contest on Nov. 19, has lost five of its last six games. The Black Knights enter Saturday's matchup versus Navy carrying a 3-8 record.
Navy was eliminated from bowl contention when it dropped a 27-24 decision at San Jose State on Nov. 19. As a result, the Midshipmen (4-7) will miss the postseason for the first time since 2002.
Navy, which owns a nine-game winning streak versus Army, holds a 55-49-7 edge in the all-time series. The Midshipmen took a 31-17 decision from the Black Knights last season. Army's last win over Navy dates back to a 26-17 verdict in 2001.
Army head coach Rich Ellerson is in his third season as the Black Knights' mentor. He enters Saturday's matchup with a 15-21 record at West Point. Ellerson, who graduated from Hawai'i in 1977, has amassed a career record of 75-62 in 12 seasons as a college head coach.
Navy is coached by Ken Niumatalolo, who is in his fourth season guiding the Midshipmen. The 1989 graduate of Hawai'i boasts a 31-21 record since taking over the reins of the program. Niumatalolo guided Navy to bowl appearances in each of his first three seasons in Annapolis.
Saturday's showdown features two of the most prolific rushing offenses in the country. Army enters the contest as the national leader in rushing yards per game (350.9), while Navy is ranked fourth (313.7).
Army's offense, which is averaging 25.2 points per game, is directed by junior quarterback Trent Steelman. The third-year signal caller tops the team with 347 yards passing and ranks second on the squad with 583 yards rushing. Steelman has rushed for 11 touchdowns and thrown for two scores.
Sophomore running back Raymond Maples leads Army's ground attack with 984 rushing yards. The second-year back, who has posted five 100-yard games this season, needs 16 yards to become just the third sophomore in Academy history to top the 1,000-yard plateau. Maples is averaging a staggering 7.4 yards per carry on 133 handles.
Junior slotback Malcolm Brown, who is averaging 7.0 yards per rush, has excelled both as a runner and receiver this season. He currently leads the team with 138 receiving yards, while listing third on the squad with 490 rushing yards. Freshman fullback Larry Dixon, who has scored a touchdown in each of Army's last four games, lists fourth on the team in rushing yards (477) and second on the team in rushing scores (five). Dixon's 6.2 yards per carry average is among the team's leaders.
Senior wide receiver Davyd Brooks is one of the Black Knights' most reliable options on the perimeter, ranking first on the team with eight receptions and second on the club with 137 receiving yards. Sophomore wideout Jared McFarlin has hauled in seven passes for 74 yards on the season.
Senior linebacker Steven Erzinger paces the Army defense, which is yielding 28.4 points and 363.8 yards of total offense per game. Erzinger tops the Black Knights with 92 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 quarterback sacks.
Sophomore defensive back Thomas Holloway lists second on the team with 72 tackles, while junior defensive end Zach Watts ranks among the Black Knights' leaders with 6.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 quarterback sacks.
Navy's offense, which is averaging 29.9 points per game and 406.1 yards of total offense per contest, is led by senior quarterback Kriss Proctor. The option QB, who has accounted for a total of 19 touchdowns, leads the Midshipmen in both passing yards (774) and rushing yards (817). Senior fullback Alexander Teich ranks second on the team with 790 rushing yards.
Junior slotback Gee Gee Greene has been productive both as a runner and as a receiver this season. He has rushed for 455 yards and three touchdowns and caught 10 passes for 152 yards and a team-best four scores. Junior wide receiver Brandon Turner leads Navy with 14 receptions and 300 receiving yards.
The Navy defense is allowing 29.6 points per game and 417.4 yards of total offense per contest. The Midshipmen have been tough against the run, however, allowing opponents to gain just 176.8 yards per game on the ground.
Junior linebacker Matt Warrick leads Navy's stop unit with 94 tackles. Senior defensive end Jabaree Tuani tops the Midshipmen with 12.0 tackles for loss and 5.5 quarterback sacks.