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Black Knights Set For 111th Army-Navy Game

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army and Navy will resume their storied rivalry this Saturday when the two service academies play for the 111th time. Kickoff for the contest, which will be played at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa., is slated for 2:40 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. CBS will go on-air with full pregame coverage beginning at 2 p.m.

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 121), XM Satellite Radio (channel 141) 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 (6-5) has been idle since dropping a 27-3 decision to Notre Dame on Nov. 20. The Black Knights took a 3-0 lead on the Fighting Irish late in the first quarter, but were unable to find the end zone against an improving Notre Dame defense.

Army, which will play in a postseason game for the first time since 1996, is off to Fort Worth, Texas, to face SMU in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 30.

Navy (8-3) enters Saturday's showdown having won six of its last seven games. The Midshipmen have not played since defeating Arkansas State, 35-19, on Nov. 20. 

Army head coach Rich Ellerson is in his second season leading the Black Knights. He has guided Army to a 6-5 record this season after posting a 5-7 mark last year. Ellerson, who holds an 11-12 mark at West Point, has steered Army to its best two-year record since 1996-97. 

Ken Niumatalolo has led Navy to a 26-12 record since taking over the reins of the football program prior to the 2008 season. He has helped guide the Midshipmen to three straight bowl game appearances. The Midshipmen are headed to San Diego, Calif., to compete against San Diego State in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 23.

Army and Navy have met 110 times previously in a series that dates back to 1890. The Midshipmen, who have won the last eight matchups, hold a 54-49-7 lead in the all-time series. Army's last victory came in 2001, when the Black Knights secured a 26-17 verdict.

Army's offense, which was slowed down in its last game versus Notre Dame, has been explosive this season. The Black Knights, who have scored at least 20 points in 10 of their first 11 contests, come into Saturday's action averaging 28.5 points per game.  

The Black Knights do most of their damage on the ground via their triple option offense. Army enters this weekend's game versus Navy ranked ninth nationally in rushing yards per game, averaging 260.27 yards per contest. Army has already posted three 300-yard rushing performances this fall.

Sophomore quarterback Trent Steelman, who has rushed for 620 yards and a scored a team-best 11 rushing touchdowns through 11 games, continues to direct the Black Knights' triple option attack. Steelman has started the team's last 23 games dating back to his freshman campaign of 2009.

Sophomore fullback Jared Hassin, who has registered four 100-yard rushing games this year, leads the Black Knights with 881 rushing yards and lists second on the team with nine rushing touchdowns. Hassin ranks 52nd nationally, averaging 80.07 rushing yards per contest.

Sophomore slotback Brian Cobbs has been one of Army's top threats on the perimeter, averaging a team-best 6.2 yards per carry with five rushing touchdowns on only 47 attempts.

As a unit, the Army offense has accounted for 33 rushing touchdowns, after scoring just 13 TDs on the ground in 2009.

Steelman has completed 54.7 percent of his passes for 837 yards this season. The second-year signal caller, who boasts a passer efficiency rating of 131.0, has thrown five touchdowns and just three interceptions.

Junior wide receiver Austin Barr leads the Black Knights in receptions (13), receiving yards (202) and receiving touchdowns (three).  Junior wide out George Jordan (12 catches, 127 receiving yards) and junior wide receiver Davyd Brooks (11 catches, 189 receiving yards) have been steady contributors in the passing offense as well.

Senior quarterback Ricky Dobbs orchestrates Navy's triple option offense, which is ranked fifth in the nation in rushing yards per game (302.55). The four-year playmaker has thrown for 1,194 yards and 10 touchdowns, while rushing for 806 yards and 13 scores. Dobbs currently lists 51st in the country in rushing yardage, averaging 80.60 yards per game.

Junior fullback Alexander Teich has rushed for 778 yards and five touchdowns. He enters the weekend ranked 70th in the nation in rushing yards (70.73). As a team, Navy has scored 35 rushing touchdowns.

Senior wide receiver Greg Jones is Navy's top threat in the receiving corps as he leads the Midshipmen with 24 receptions, 425 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns. Sophomore slotback Gee Gee Greene (16 receptions, 241 receiving yards) has been a consistent playmaker in the passing game as well.

The Army defense is an opportunistic unit that ranks 12th in the country in turnover margin (1.00) and 41st in the nation in turnovers gained (23). The Black Knights, who allow a mere 141.7 rushing yards per contest, will need to contain Navy's high-powered attack.

Senior linebacker Stephen Anderson leads the Black Knights' defensive unit with 82 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss. Senior defensive end Josh McNary tops the team with 12 tackles for loss and 9.5 quarterback sacks. Senior defensive back Donovan Travis paces the Black Knights' secondary with 47 tackles and five interceptions.

Navy's defense, which allows just 148.1 rushing yards per game, will test Army's triple option offense this week. The Midshipmen are led by senior linebacker Tyler Simmons, who paces the defense with 102 tackles. Junior defensive end Jabaree Tuani, meanwhile, tops the squad with 14.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 quarterback sacks.

Army's junior kicker Alex Carlton, who has made nine straight field goals, leads the Black Knights in scoring with 77 points. For the season, Carlton has connected on 13-of-20 field goal attempts and made all 38 of his extra point tries.

Black Knight senior punter Jonathan Bulls has been a weapon throughout the season as well, averaging 39.2 yards per punt with 17 of his 45 kicks downed inside the opponents' 20-yard line.

Navy has made 8-of-11 field goals this season, led by senior kicker Joe Buckley (6-of-9). Navy senior punter Kyle Delahooke has been steady in the kicking game, as well, averaging 38.6 yards per kick with eight of his 34 punts placed within the opponents' 20-yard line.

Following Saturday's showdown, Army will have less than three weeks to prepare for its Armed Forces Bowl matchup versus SMU. That game, which will be televised live by ESPN, is scheduled to begin at noon Eastern Time. Tickets for the game are $40, and can be purchased on-line by clicking here, at the Army Ticket Office or by calling 1-877-TIX-ARMY.

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