Posted by Tom Fornelli
ARMY WILL WIN IF: When it comes to a game like this that's not only a great rivalry, but also features two teams who are so incredibly similar to each other, it's usually going to come down to one or two big plays and turnovers. So if Army wants to emerge victorious against Navy on Saturday, it'd be best served to take care of the ball and make sure it's the one making the big plays. Which will be easier said than done. Army's rush offense has been slightly better than Navy's this season, but its passing offense has not been equal. The Cadets average 8 pass attempts per game and are completing only 36% of those passes for 48 yards a game. If there was ever a game to improve those numbers it would be this one, as the Navy defense has allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 74% of their passes this season. If Army can find its usual success on the ground but manage to sneak in a deep ball here and there, then it could be the difference in this one.
NAVY WILL WIN IF: I could essentially copy and paste what I wrote for Army and put it here for Navy. Still, where Navy has its biggest advantage over Army is in its passing offense. It's not great by any means, but it's better than Army's. Navy throws more often and has been more successful doing so. If that continues against an Army pass defense that gives up 8.1 yards per attempt and has allowed over twice as many touchdowns as it has interceptions, then Navy is likely going to win this game.
X-FACTORS: Max Jenkins and Trent Steelman. Both quarterbacks have seen some time on the field for Army all season, though Steelman has found more success throwing the ball. Still, as I said above, one of these two will have to find a way to move the ball through the air in this game. Whichever one is able to could be the single biggest factor in this matchup.