Here we go. Army-Navy 2010 is finally here, with a lot of pride and bragging rights up for the taking, especially so for the senior classes of both service academies. The Navy elders are getting some press this week for what could be a historic four-game sweep without allowing a touchdown to the cadets.
“I’m definitely aware of that. We talk about it all the time,” Navy senior cornerback Kevin Edwards said. “That’s what we live for, not giving up points.”
For the cadets, those Naval dreams should only fuel their hunger for revenge — West Point is loaded with seniors like captains Steve Anderson, Pat Mealy and fifth-year lineman Jason Johnson, all waiting to taste victory in Philadelphia.
“We will redeem ourselves. We will win,” senior DE Josh McNary said. “There is no next time for us. It’s the last game.”
The Army-Navy game is unlike any other. A lot is written about this matchup, which just pumps out cliches and oozes with phases about mutual respect. Both of these academies have become obsessive with instilling a certain faux hostility toward the other (the West Point gift shop sells oven hot pads that read “Go Army, Cook Navy).
Legendary Army coach Red Blaik once said, “The primary objective of Army football must be victory over Navy. It cannot be achieved by anything less than complete dedication.”
So, no excuses, for either side. Army has had weeks to prepare and get healthy after getting burned in the Bronx. Navy has had another great year and is bowl-bound as well, again. Army will need to stop Ricky Dobbs’ triple-option, and Navy will have to do the same with Trent Steelman and Jared Hassin, who were both neutralized by Notre Dame.
McNary was profiled by the AP this week in which he said he hopes to play in the NFL following his service, taking the path of Caleb Campbell this season.
“I know what I have to do,” McNary said of facing Navy. “We haven’t won against Navy since we’ve been here. We’re not too happy about it.”
“It’s the No. 1 game we want to win every year,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said.
“You can be 0-11 going into this game, but if you win, it just solidifies the whole season,” Dobbs said.
“No one is lacking in confidence,” McNary said. “There’s nothing more that we want to do than beat Navy.