What To Expect On Saturday: CFB Week 15 Preview

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What To Expect On Saturday: CFB Week 15 Preview

Joey Goodsir, Staff Writer

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With the conference championships, CFP Rankings, bowl placements, and College Football Playoff Placements taking place over the last weekend, the CFB regular season may seem to be over.

That couldn’t be further from the truth however, as one of the sport’s most prestigious and loved regular season traditions has yet to play out, as usual, on its own separate weekend. Of course I am talking about the Army/Navy game.


Before we preview America’s Game, let’s look back to Conference Championship Saturday…


About Last Week…

I went 6-1 (85.7%) with the chalky results that took place last week, putting me at 103-34 (75.2%) on the season. Over 100 wins now and hopefully that will continue growing!

As demonstrated above, Conference Championship Saturday 2018 turned out to raise some nerves, but end up going nearly exactly as predicted. The Power 5 rounds out with Alabama winning the SEC, Clemson winning the ACC, Oklahoma winning the Big XII, Ohio State winning the Big Ten, and Washington winning the PAC 12.

The final rankings can be found below. I talk about them and the resulting bowl slate in more detail with Michael Raupp (along with some NFL coverage per usual) on “It Matters Now-The Postseason Podcast”. You can listen here, and although the dip in CFB action will result in far more NFL talk in the coming weeks, be sure to tune into future episodes every week.

College Football Playoff Rankings, Dec. 2

  1. Alabama (13-0)
  2. Clemson (13-0)
  3. Notre Dame (12-0)
  4. Oklahoma (12-1)
  5. Georgia (11-2)
  6. Ohio State (12-1)
  7. Michigan (10-2)
  8. UCF (12-0)
  9. Washington (9-3)
  10. Florida (9-3)
  11. LSU (9-3)
  12. Penn State (9-3)
  13. Washington State (10-2)
  14. Kentucky (9-3)
  15. Texas (9-3)
  16. West Virginia (8-3)
  17. Utah (9-4)
  18. Mississippi State (8-4)
  19. Texas A&M (8-4)
  20. Syracuse (9-3)
  21. Fresno State (11-2)
  22. Northwestern (8-5)
  23. Missouri (8-4)
  24. Iowa State (8-4)
  25. Boise State (10-3)


Time to move into preview mode, and there is only one thing to focus on for this week…


America’s Game of The Week:

Army vs. Navy

Quick Essentials

When: 2:00 CT


Rain (Above 40%)?

Where: Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia, PA)

Series History: Army 14-13 in 2017 (Navy leads 60-7-51 all-time)

Here come the uniformed bodies of both academies, the traditions, the bands, the teams, the presidential appearances, and of course the alma maters. Time to enjoy something that keeps College Football grounded in a very poetic way every year. Win or lose, there is no more respect had within a rivalry that compares to this one.

Getting into the nitty-gritty of the game analysis, though this is a rivalry worthy of the “throw-away-the-records” cliché, these two teams travel the same distance to Philadelphia on two very different seasons.

The Black Knights will not only be entering this game from West Point in exciting uniforms honoring the 1st infantry division, and will not only be coming off of a two team win streak after a long drought in the rivalry, but will also be entering with only two losses, and a shot at a truly special season in their history. This is an Army team that is hyped up for a win in their biggest game, the one that they hear about all year. Unfortunately for these Cadets who will represent Army on Saturday, that is exactly the formula for these rivalries’ greatest games in terms of upsets.

Meanwhile, the Midshipmen are traveling in from Annapolis on a tough year. Navy has gone 3-9, and although having opportunities to make some noise against playoff conversation participants Notre Dame and UCF, has not had the level of performance necessary to be heard. Coming off a frustrating one point loss however, you can bet that they will have all the more reason to be motivated for this big game.

As far as game strategy, both of these teams fit the stereotypes of how military academies play football. They both run a triple option that scares normal programs. That will be a non-factor on Saturday however, as these teams are well aware and prepared for that field of thought schematically. As a result, this game will be a running slugfest, with the few passing plays being only when completely necessary, and generally with a high rate of success. This game will be a “biggest run and strongest defense” contest above all other factors.

As said above, the passing game will not be present often, as quarterback play will be within the triple option system. This is the spot in which Navy quarterback Zach Abey will try to cause some glimpses of light for the Midshipmen offense. The senior has been through a long career of many positional ventures, but has eventually worked his way to not only QB, but finally a starting spot. This is obviously the game he plays for, and we’ll see how that impacts his performance, which would most likely be Navy’s best route to a surprise sing-second alma mater ceremony after the game, and a rushed field of Naval Academy students.

However, this game will in the end come down to grinding in the trenches, which Army assumes a significant statistical benefit, gaining yards at the line of scrimmages when on offense and defense, as compared to Navy’s losses of yards each play. This will be the deciding factor that will complete Army’s magical regular season, and first back to back 10 win seasons.


Go Army! Beat Navy, 31-21


Enjoy one of the coolest Saturdays of the year, everyone!

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