Bowl-bound army will beat Navy for the 5th time in 6 games

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Officer cadets and boats playing in Saturday’s Army-Navy game were just toddlers during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

However, they understand what it means to remember that day when they meet this weekend at MetLife Stadium for the 122nd renewal of one of college football’s biggest rivals.

“It’s great to be here to pay tribute to the firefighters, the police and everyone who was there,” said Navy senior defender Diego Fagot. “To play in such an environment at MetLife is humbling and I’m honored to be a part of it.”

Army (8-3) has been on this series since Jeff Monken took over as coach in 2014 and began rebuilding a program that has lost 14 in a row to the Navy. The Black Knights have won four of their last five, including a 15-0 win last year when the game was played at West Point because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most of the games are over.


Monken was an assistant in the Navy under Paul Johnson from 2002-07. He said getting back into the game at 14 was an experience.

“You walk out and just feel like ‘This is it,'” said Monken, who is heading to Armed Forces with the Black Knights to face Missouri on December 22.

Defeating the Navy is the only goal this week. Lose?

“Devastated! Horrible season! ‘ Monken said.

This will be the last game of the season for the Navy (3-8). Ken Niumatalolo’s team is facing its 11th-placed team, a group that includes Cincinnati and Notre Dame.

“This will be the legacy we will leave with the program,” said Navy senior Chance Warren.

Fagot, playing in his fourth Army-Navy game, said a feeling he’s always had is that everyone in the country is supportive of the game.

“I don’t know if it’s for the Army or the Navy but they’re watching the game, they’re cheering and very patriotic,” he said. “You can definitely feel the love and honor for that game. We end up playing on the court and then we serve each other, so that’s special. ”



Two blue-chip warriors who excel at disrupting fouls will take center stage. Fagot led the Midshipmen with 85 tackles, including 11 saves. Army student Andre Carter II leads the nation in covers per game (1.32) and comes second overall with 14 1/2. Fagot is 6 feet-3 tall and weighs 240 pounds; Carter is 6-7 tall and weighs 250. Fagot made five tackles in last year’s game at Michie Stadium. Carter, who made two starts in his first year, had one tackle.


Army winger Jakobi Buchanan is fourth on the team for high dash with 412 yards. He averages 3.9 yards tall, the lowest average among the top nine defenders listed in the team’s statistics.

But in the 5-foot-9 and 260-pound, Buchanan leads the Black Knights with 11 touchdowns. He also has 233 consecutive runs without losing yards. That’s why the ball was in his hands last December in the fourth game and the goal from Game 1 against the Air Force was just over a minute away, and he did, giving Black Knights won 10-7 and Team Commander- Captain Cup.



The military will wear uniforms in recognition of US Army Special Forces soldiers who began the fight against the Taliban in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The helmet has a lightweight camouflage design.

The Navy will wear fighter-inspired uniforms. The left side of the helmet features the Navy’s most used multirole fighter, the Super Hornet. The right side of the helmet and the shoulder of the shirt show a circle. This emblem adorns aircraft from all branches of the military. The back of the helmet has three sporty wings.


President Joe Biden is not expected to attend the match, but the White House reiterated his strong support for the US military.

“The President is very proud to be the Commander-in-Chief of such an incredible group of warriors,” said the White House’s chief deputy press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre.


AP Sports writer John Kekis and AP White House correspondent Darlene Superville contributed to this report.



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Huynh Nguyen

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