Saturday, December 12, 2009

Liveblogging Today's 110th Army-Navy Game

The first Army-Navy football game was played in 1890 at West Point. Navy won 24-0--and that's how it's been since 2001, with Navy winning the last 7 games by a combined score of 274-71 and holding Army to only 3 points total in the last 2 games. The series was tied in 2004, but now Navy leads the series 49-53-7. Army's season record coming into this game is 5-6, Navy's is 8-4.

Given that background, you might wonder why I'd want to liveblog a game that doesn't look good for Army. The answer is simple: Army is my team.

Beat Navy!

11:35 am PST: What an inspirational commercial!

And a proud "thank you" to CBS Sports for streaming today's game live on the internet.

15:00 in the 1st Quarter: Navy kicks off, and what a return by Army!

13:20 Lousy series, short punt by Army, covered well.

Strange defense by Army: 3 linemen, 3 linebackers, 5 db's. It's 4th and a foot, defense is disciplined and doesn't get pulled offsides, timeout Navy.

Fair catch by Army at their own 42. Bring on the offense!

And now the announcers mention the spirit videos. Navy always wins those.

10:30 Army gets the first 1st down of the game.
9:20 Army gets the second 1st down of the game. Let's keep this up.

7:05 47 yard field goal kick is wide left. As they'd say on Battlestar Galactica: frak.

4:00 Army holds against Navy and takes the fair catch inside their own 30.

3:17 Planned pass, crappy pass. Dance with the one that brung ya, Army.

2:00 Another planned pass, shoulda coulda woulda been caught.

1:55 Bad series for Army. Penalty on 3rd down is declined, Army will punt.

1:19 INTERCEPTION! on Navy's 40, runs it down the sideline to the Navy 12, first and goal!

Apparently Army has a crappy record inside the red zone, and today is no different. 23 yard field goal is GOOD! Still, it's been over 2 years since Army's been in the end zone. This is Army's first lead in the game in 3 years.

With seconds left in the 1st Quarter, both defenses have been playing well.

13:07 in the 2nd Quarter: FUMBLE! ARMY BALL!

13:00 Fumbled snap, Army recovers.

11:30 Army punts, fair catch inside the Navy 20.

During the commercial, Navy has an awesome CGI spirit video.

AFLAC trivia question: when was the last time both teams qualified for a bowl game in the same season?

9:33 Long pass for Navy, shoestring tackle inside the 10. Flag on the play....

9:21 Timeout, Army. Still no indication what the foul is.

Holding, Navy. No long pass. Ball back inside Navy's 30. I'm sure we'll see that long pass again.

8:40 Very next play! Ball off the player's fingertips, another penalty (declined), 4th down. Long punt, Army downs it inside the 18.

8:21 Army tries a reverse with a pass downfield, almost intercepted.

7:00 Army comes up short, 4th down.

6:10 Crappy punt, fortunately Army could protect the roll down to the Navy 30.

CBS announces the 5 Heisman winners from the two schools, the first 3 from Army and the last 2 from Navy. Staubach in '63 was the last one.

AFLAC trivia answer: 1996. Army went to the Independence Bowl, Navy to the Aloha Bowl.

4:10 Another long pass for Navy, brought back by holding.

1:53 Army is 2/8 in 3rd down conversions, now 2/9. Punt coming up after the commercial. Navy will have a shot at the end zone before the half, and they'll receive the kickoff after the half.

1:37 Another crappy punt that the announcer correctly says never got more than 10 yards off the ground. Army covered the roll down to the 39.

Navy's out of timeouts, will play for the sideline.

1:09 3rd and 11, now 4th and 9. What will Navy do?

Army tried to block the punt, fair caught at the 20. 55 seconds remaining in the half. Army has 0 yards passing. Run it up the gut to run down the clock, and then a stupid pass! Go in to the locker room with the lead, don't try to be a hero--there's a whole half remaining.

:15 Army takes my advice and kneels.

Stat on the screen: first halftime deficit for Navy since 2001--Army's last victory.

I called and left a voice mail for one of my midshipmen--just in case the outcome at the end of the 2nd half is reversed!

14:55 in the 3rd Quarter, Navy 1st and 10 on the 32.

13:33 Second 3rd down conversion for Navy, as a pass down the right sideline is complete.

11:10 Army is having trouble tackling the Navy quarterback....

10:14 4th and a foot, Navy timeout.

10:06, 1st down Navy.

Navy has a good drive going, now down inside Army's 30. Defense needs to tighten up, and wrap up when they're tackling.

8:55 Touchdown, Navy. Wide open on the pass. Army has been doing a lousy job all day on pass defense, getting lucky with a couple penalties, but no such luck this time.

8:04 Official timeout for an injured Navy player on the sideout. He appears to be holding his arm.

Compared to other football games, this one has been relatively flag-free. Good discipline being shown by both teams.

Now we get to see if Army can get its offense working.

7:47 Army cannot. 4th down. Another pooch punt, covered and downed by Army inside the 30.

4:50 And now Army jumps offsides, with Navy on our half of the field. Tighten up guys, don't fall apart.

4:18 I write that, and now Army has a man down. Looks like a knee injury.

:11 Army holds Navy to a field goal, now trailing 10-3. That's a small victory, but too many such victories and I won't like the outcome of this game.

Army needs a touchdown.

12:00 in the 4th Quarter, Army's thrown a couple passes and now the receiver fumbles. Fortunately he recovers.

10:22 Another missed field goal for Army. Are we to go three full years without getting in the end zone?

8:00 Turnover, and Navy's in scoring position.

7:00 Army cannot tackle that Navy quarterback, 1st and goal at the 1.

6:15 Another touchdown. Army's going to have a very difficult time coming back from this deficit this late in the game. 17-3.

2:47 and Army's in the red zone again, but 3 bad pass plays bring up 4th down. Timeout, Army.

2:36 and Navy intercepts in the end zone. Frak.

1:27 Squids are singing Na Na Hey Hey Good-bye, and with good reason.

0:00 It's over. The last time the score was 17-3 was 1987. I watched the game on a Sony Watchman downrange Fort Carson, as someone had stupidly scheduled a Chaparral live fire on the day of The Game. We grads kept sneaking away to catch up on the game. The outcome then was more to my liking, that's for sure.

Navy played a good game. Army played better than they've played for awhile.

Here's to next year!


David K said...

Go NAVY beat ARMY!
I served as a Navy Chaplain with my last duty station being MCAS Futenma, Okinawa, Japan. My father is a '53 graduate of USNA. Growing up, this was always the definitive collegiate football game bar none.

Darren said...

It still is.

Mrs. Widget said...

and Navy won again. I'm sure my retired CPO father is happy. His Army veteran children truly don't care ("its just a football game"). My soon to be Army OCS trainee daughter is supposed to care but somehow the child who flunked volleyball in 5th grade can't understand it.

Elaine C. said...


You're totally awesome, and I work hard so that someday I can be HALF the teacher you are.

But on one thing we must disagree.... GO NAVY!

(Sorry... PawPaw was career Navy, so Mom was a Navy brat... and I was ALMOST Navy myself after college - I just didn't want to leave my German Shepherd while serving time on a ship!)

Steve USMA '85 said...

Darren, just had time to catch up on your blog. I was at the game with HH6 and had a great time except for the final score. Army fans stayed motivated to the the end but this is getting a bit frustrating.

Small glimmer of hope. Our Plebe (Freshman) quarterback Steelman has potential. A Navy fan commented to me on the way out, "I'm worried about that quarterback of yours, he might give us trouble in the future."

I so hope he is correct.