December 10, 2009

Army Black Knights vs. Navy Midshipmen

NCAA Football Betting Preview
Army Black Knights (5-6) vs. Navy Midshipmen (8-4)
Saturday December 12th, 2:30PM Eastern

Betus.com betting line – Navy -14, 41 O/U

Every college football season has to come to an end and every regular season in college football ends with the annual rivalry showdown between Army and Navy. These two teams will collide again this Saturday for the 110th time in one of the most historical rivalries in college football. Navy has enjoyed a solid season at 8-4 on the year with some close defeats along that path as well. Army at just 5-6 already has more wins than any other single season this decade and they are on the verge of being bowl bound. If Army could score the upset, it would mark their first bowl trip since 1996 but the odds may be stacked against them for that accomplishment.

The Midshipmen run the triple style option threat similar to what has been so productive for Georgia Tech in the ACC. However, the offense has been around at Navy much longer and they again rank towards the top of the rushing ladder averaging 279 yards per game which is good enough for 3rd best in college football. QB Ricky Dobbs runs the offense from behind center and also leads the team in rushing yards with 913 total on the year. However, fullback Vince Murray may be the most dangerous runner on the team.

Murray has carried the ball nearly 100 times less than Dobbs and has racked up 884 yards averaging just less than 6 yards per carry. However, the Midshipmen have many more guys that will come in and get touches with the football. Still, the common theme will be attacking on the ground and it has been very effective throughout the season beating the likes of Notre Dame, Wake Forest, and nearly Ohio State. Army has shown difficulty stopping the run at times this season and this will be the best rushing offense they have seen to date.

Army is under their first season under the command of Coach Rich Ellerson who appears to have the program on the right track. The Black Knights have had 3 straight seasons of 3 wins a piece and they have to chance to double that this Saturday. The Black Knights are another football team that loves to keep the game on the ground. Army ranks 14th in the country with 212 yards per game on the ground. QB Trent Steelman leads the charge on the ground with 690 yards, but has carried the ball nearly 200 times as well. Steelman and the Army offense do not go to the air very often which is confirmed by 90 passing attempts on the season.

Steelman has completed 47 of those passes for 560 yards 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. However, their strength is on the ground. Junior running back Patrick Mealy is an interesting runner who is averaging 6.4 yards per carry on just 97 carries this year resulting in 624 yards. Fullback Kingsley Ehie also gets into the mix quite often with 105 carries for 445 yards. The Black Knights have the same triple style formation, but have had less explosiveness than the Navy offense. If that is to change this Saturday, Mealy will have to be the guy to have a big day as he appears to be the only one that could carry the team.

Pick – Navy has won 7 straight over Army and also held the Black Knights to just 3 points combined over the last two meetings. The Black Knights will give a better fight this time around, but with the same disappointing outcome. Navy covers -14

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