The season record for Navy game-day predictions isn’t overwhelming – 30-for-55, including a 2-for-5 mark in the Mids’ last outing against San Jose State. Here’s to finishing strong; maybe making the picks the day before the game will help a little.
OK, probably not. But here goes anyway …
1. Alexander Teich will move into the top 10 on the academy’s career rushing list. The senior fullback has 2,053 rushing yards in his career and is only the 11th Mid to crack the 2,000-yard mark. (Of note: Six of those 2,000-yard rushers have played in Annapolis in the last decade). Teich needs 39 yards to pass Eric Kettani for 10th in rushing in Navy history and 73 yards to move past Adam Ballard for ninth. Even eighth place is within reach; a 122-yard day nudges him ahead of Alton Grizzard. Teich’s season-low is 41 yards, so he should at least move up one spot on Saturday.
2. Jabaree Tuani will at least tie Navy’s career tackles for loss record. Andy Person’s mark of 44 tackles for loss seemed out of reach entering the final three games of the season, but Tuani collected 6.5 TFLs in his previous two outings to improve his career total to 42. The defensive end made 2.5 tackles for loss in three career games against Army. With how he’s playing, look for at least two stops behind the line of scrimmage on Saturday.
3. Army’s Raymond Maples will run for 100 yards. The sophomore slotback has five 100-yard rushing days; little wonder the Black Knights use that facet of the triple option more than Navy typically does. The Mids have allowed eight rushers to top 100 yards this season; Maples will be the ninth.
4. Navy kicker Jon Teague will have a perfect day to cap his career. And it would be appropriate, too, considering how Teague shook off a midseason slump to produce an excellent November: 12-for-12 on extra points, two made field goals in as many attempts and four touchbacks in 17 kickoffs. There are a lot of guys in this game who fans can feel comfortable rooting for; Teague, who handled his struggles this fall with grace, is certainly one of them.
5. Navy will win its 10th straight against Army. This streak isn’t going to last forever, but it sure seems like it’s been a long time since the Black Knights won. Quantified: The Army seniors who did not attend a year of prep school before arriving in West Point were in seventh grade back in 2001 when the Black Knights beat Navy. Army has the right coach in place (as does Navy, for what it’s worth), but many of its pieces are just a bit too inexperienced.