WHO: Navy (10-2) vs. Kansas State (8-4)
WHAT: The AutoZone Liberty Bowl
WHEN: December 31 at 3:45 p.m. ET on ESPN
WHERE: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, TN
BUY TICKETS: Click Here
THE SKINNY: After a few down years, Navy bounced back in a big way this season. Although the Midshipmen didn’t play their way into the AAC championship game this season, the Midshipmen put together a 10-2 record that was worthy of Top-25 consideration and capped by a victory over rival Army to snap a losing streak to the Black Knights. Malcolm Perry has been one of the biggest reasons for the success this season and he will be looking to control the football against the Kansas State defense.
Perry rushed for 1,804 yards and 21 touchdowns this season and he mixed in over 1,000 passing yards and six more touchdowns. Perry running the triple-option has been as effective as ever for Navy, but the Wildcats will bring a pretty solid defense that will brace for Navy’s style of play.
Kansas State enjoyed the first season under new head coach Chris Klieman, who will coach in his first postseason bowl game. Of course, Klieman is no stranger to success in the postseason given his success at North Dakota State. But now he will channel a full playoff effort and preparation into one game. Needless to say, Kansas State should be prepared as well as it can possibly be. Finding a way to get quarterback Skyler Thompson in a groove should be the key, although the Wildcats may be able to handle their own weight on the offensive line with the running game too. Thompson will work the ground after rushing for 10 touchdowns and rushing for 402 yards, but handing off to James Gilbert will be the first option on the ground.
Expect plenty of rushing yards in this one, which could make for a pretty brisk pace with the clock always moving. But Navy’s option may be more of a drain on the Wildcats.
THE PICK: Navy 26, Kansas State 23
After three consecutive years of having to endure the agony of singing its alma mater first, No. 23 Navy (10-2, 7-1 AAC) once again beamed with joy and the thrill of victory over rival Army (5-8). Malcolm Perry carried the Midshipmen to a 31-7 victory on Saturday in Philadelphia.
Perry, the game’s MVP, had big runs all game long for Navy as he broke record after record in the Army-Navy Game. Perry set a school record for most rushing yards in a single Army-Navy Game and set the new all-time Navy record for most career rushing yards in the Army-Navy Game after going off for 304 yards and two touchdowns. Perry’s first touchdown run of 55 yards tied the game at 7-7 in the second quarter, and it was all Navy from there.
Army had a 78-yard touchdown drive led by first-time starter Christian Anderson (who became the first Army quarterback to make his first career start in the Army-Navy Game), but Navy out-gained Army from that point 388-70. For the first time in a number of years, Navy looked like the bigger, stronger, and faster team compared to Army, which was a big part of the reason Navy turned a 3-10 season last year into a 10-2 season this year going into the bowl season.
Navy had just one passing yard in the game. It was thrown by wide receiver Chance Warren to fullback Jamale Carothers for a touchdown. Only in the Army-Navy Game does that stuff happen.
The win by Navy also awards the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy to the program, seizing control of the three-team trophy (between Army, Navy and Air Force) from Army for the first time since 2015.
Navy will now enter bowl mode as they prepare for their upcoming bowl game. The Midshipmen will take on Kansas State in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31 in Memphis, TN. Navy is 5-4 all-time in bowl games under head coach Ken Niumatallo. No head coach has won more bowl games at Navy.
Army will begin its 2020 season on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020 at home against Bucknell.
For the second consecutive year, President Donald Trump is taking in the annual Army-Navy Game in person in Philadelphia. And, as is typically the case in this storied rivalry, it’s been a tight contest after 30 minutes of play in Lincoln Financial Field with Navy leading Army 14-7 at halftime.
Army quarterback Christian Anderson became the first quarterback to make his first career start for Army in the Army-Navy Game since T.D. Baker did so in 1979. It sure didn’t take long for the freshman to have an impact. After going three-and-out to open the game, Anderson rattled off a 21-yard gain on the ground on the first play of Army’s second possession. 17 plays later (yes, 17 plays later), Anderson finished off the drive with a five-yard run to the right edge of the field for a touchdown, the first score of the game.
Malcolm Perry provided a jolt to the Navy offense on the second offensive series for the Midshipmen, although in much quicker fashion compared to the lengthy Army drive. Perry took off to the right side and juked a defender en route to a 55-yard touchdown that tied the game up early in the second quarter. The 55-yard touchdown run also moved Perry into first place in the Navy record books for most single-season total offensive yards. He later became Navy’s all-time single-season rushing leader as he continued to rewrite the record books in Annapolis.
Perry provided another juke move in a very similar play on a 44-yard run late in the first half. That run setup the go-ahead score. Naturally, a play similar to the Philly Special run by the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl two seasons ago, Navy took the lead with a fake play that saw receiver Chance Warren complete a pass to fullback Jamale Carothers. It wasn’t exactly a Philly Special, but this gam,e being played in the home of the Philadelphia Eagles, it felt appropriate.
President Trump took a few minutes to address each team in the locker room prior to walking on the field for the national anthem and coin flip. A video message from Trump was also played in the stadium during the pregame routine.
Army has won each of the last three meetings and is looking for a long-awaited four-game winning streak.
Navy (8-2, 6-1 AAC) will see their hopes of winning a division championship on the line next week. A 35-28 victory over No. 25 SMU (9-2, 5-2 AAC) on Saturday afternoon in Annapolis means the Midshipmen still have a shot to play for the AAC championship and a spot in the New Years Six. It was only fitting that their best player played a key role in keeping those hopes alive.
The Midshipmen trailed SMU 21-10 at halftime but stormed back in the second half. Navy took a 35-28 lead in the fourth quarter on a 70-yard touchdown run by quarterback Malcolm Perry. Perry had a tremendous performance with 185 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns and 162 passing yards and a touchdown pass in the winning effort. After coming up with a big defensive stop after a long drive by SMU on the ensuing possession, Navy successfully ran out the clock for the final minutes of the game. Lining up to go for it on fourth down and with SMU having no timeouts to spare, SMU jumped offside and awarded Navy a free first down with 1:05 to play. Ballgame.
SMU quarterback Shane Buechele passed for 251 yards and two touchdowns, but the SMU defense just could not slow down the Navy offense. Navy racked up 543 yards, with 381 of those yards coming on the ground.
Navy has now won 17 consecutive Senior Day games. But more importantly, Navy now still has a chance at a conference championship, although they are going to need some help in addition to taking care of their own schedule next week.
The AAC West will now be decided in the final week of the regular season next weekend. Memphis will take the division crown for a third straight year with a win against Cincinnati or a loss by Navy against Houston. A loss by Memphis allows Navy to take the division with a win. Memphis owns the head-to-head tiebreaker. SMU cannot win the division after losing head-to-head matchups with both Memphis and Navy.
SMU’s regular season will conclude with next week’s game at home against Tulane. Navy will still have the Army-Navy Game in Philadelphia to play in three weeks. The only question for Navy now is whether or not they will get a bye week before trying to snap a losing streak to their rivals from West Point. Navy would certainly be happy not to be taking that week off.
And now for a quarterback award watch list that won’t include a certain starting quarterback form Clemson or Alabama. The Johnny Unitas Foundation has released the watch list for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, presented annually to college football’s top senior or fourth-year quarterback. This year’s watch list includes some recognizable names such as Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts and Oregon’s Justin Herbert.
Former Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew was named the winner of the award in 2018. Just one finalist for the 2018 award is on the watch list this season. Michigan’s Shea Patterson is that player (UCF’s McKenzie Milton was a finalist last year but is not expected to play this season despite still being at UCF as he recovers from his season-ending injury from late in 2018).
Other past winners include Deshaun Watson (2016), Marcus Mariota (2014), Andrew Luck (2011), Matt Ryan (2007), Eli Manning (2003), Carson Palmer (2002) and Peyton Manning (1997).
2019 Golden Arm Award Watch List Presented by A. O. Smith
- Jack Abraham, Southern Mississippi
- Blake Barnett, University of South Florida
- Woody Barrett, Kent State
- Jake Bentley, University of South Carolina
- Anthony Brown, Boston College
- Kelly Bryant, Missouri
- Joe Burrow, LSU
- Stephen Buckshot Calvert, Liberty
- Marcus Childers, Northern Illinois
- K.J. Costello, Stanford Unversity
- Jacob Eason, Washington University
- Caleb Evans, University of Louisiana Monroe
- Mason Fine, North Texas
- Feleipe Franks, University of Florida
- Mitchell Guadagni, Toledo
- Jarrett Guarantano, University of Tennessee
- Gage Gubrud, Washington State University
- Quentin Harris, Duke University
- Justin Herbert, University of Oregon
- Kelvin Hopkins, Jr., Army
- Tyler Huntley, University of Utah
- Jalen Hurts, University of Oklahoma
- Josh Jackson, University of Maryland
- D’Eriq King, Houston
- Brian Lewerke, Michigan State University
- Jordan Love, Utah State University
- Jake Luton, Oregon State University
- Cole McDonald, University of Hawaii
- Justin McMillan, Tulane
- Steven Montez, University of Colorado
- James Morgan, FIU
- Riley Neal, Vanderbilt University
- Kato Nelson, Akron
- Shea Patterson, University of Michigan
- Bryce Perkins, University of Virginia
- Malcolm Perry, Navy
- Peyton Ramsey, Indiana University
- Armani Rogers, UNLV
- Nathan Rourke, Ohio
- Anthony Russo, Temple University
- J’Mar Smith, Louisiana Tech
- Nate Stanley, University of Iowa
- Dillon Sterling-Cole, Arizona State University
- Khalil Tate, University of Arizona
- Zac Thomas, Appalachian State University
- Skylar Thompson, Kansas State
- Brady White, University of Memphis
- Ryan Willis, Virginia Tech
- Brandon Wimbush, University of Central Florida