Army-Navy isn’t a bowl game. But it occupies its own place on the sports calendar, and the ceremony and pageantry associated with it certainly elevates it in importance above other regular-season contests.
And, it matters. Oh goodness does it matter! If you’re fortunate enough to wander around the grounds at West Point or Annapolis on any day, you’ll hear “Beat Navy!” or “Beat Army!” multiple times – guaranteed.
In the end, of course, everybody knows we’re on the same side, and the singing of the alma maters at the conclusion is a true testament to that. But make no mistake – singing second is the goal. Here’s a quick look at Saturday’s game.
Where is the 2023 Army vs. Navy game?
The 2023 Army-Navy Game will be played at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Army-Navy game time, TV channel
Time/TV: 3 p.m. ET, CBS
2023 Army-Navy game preview
Why watch: This is the 124th edition of the historic Army-Navy series, but something new can always happen. Just last year, for example, the game was decided in overtime for the first time. Indeed, this meeting will already be a first, as the series moves to New England for the first time. The Black Knights took down Air Force earlier this season, so they’ll take the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy back to West Point with a win here. Should the Midshipmen prevail, the hardware will remain with the Falcons in Colorado Springs.
The season as a whole hasn’t been the most successful at either academy with no bowl game in the offing. But Army picked up a win at Texas-San Antonio back in September and defeated bowl-bound Coastal Carolina in its last outing, and the Mids posted shutout victories against Charlotte and East Carolina.
As most fans well know, this will be a display of old-school option football, and since both defenses see it every day in practice there aren’t likely to be many surprises. QB Bryson Daily takes the bulk of the snaps for the Black Knights. Navy’s most dynamic option at QB is Xavier Arline, though he’s taken significant punishment all season. The Mids’ all-important LB corps is anchored by Colin Ramos and the appropriately named Will Harbour, and senior captain LBs Leo Lowin and Jimmy Ciarlo mind the gaps for the Army defense.
Why it could disappoint: It rarely does. Six of the last eight meetings were decided by a touchdown or less. The exceptions were Navy’s 31-7 triumph in 2019, the last true blowout in the series, and Army’s 15-0 whitewash a year later in the odd pandemic season.
But while the game-changing play could happen at any time, there might not be much flash in this edition. By academy standards, neither ground attack has been particularly consistent this season, each averaging just a shade over 200 yards a game. Bad things tend to happen when Army tries to throw the ball – they’ve tossed 11 picks this season on just 150 attempts –, and Navy’s third-down conversion rate is a pedestrian 28.9%. So yes, the score could be low, but not the intensity level.
First appeared on www.usatoday.com