Three Keys: Army vs Navy

Trent Steelman (AS/Sheldon Y.)

When the Army and Navy squads take to the field this Saturday at the Link in Philadelphia it will mark the 113th meeting between these two branches of the Armed Forces. Though the game may not have the National Championship and Heisman Trophy luster of days gone by it is still treated to a spot all of its own on the final day of the season for a reason.

When the Army and Navy squads take to the field this Saturday at the Link in Philadelphia it will mark the 113th meeting between these two branches of the Armed Forces. Though the game may not have the National Championship and Heisman Trophy luster of days gone by it is still treated to a spot all of its own on the final day of the season for a reason. Last year's meeting drew 80,000 fans, and just as importantly a 4.0 TV rating, as even the most neutral of armchair fans can get into the tradition and pageantry on display for one afternoon. Here are the three keys which will help Army finally take down the Naval Academy for the first time in a decade.

1) Keep the Trent Steelman rushing streak going

Their 2-9 record will tell you that Army has not been very good this year. There has, however, been one constant bright spot on the Black Knights team, the running ability of quarterback Trent Steelman. Steelman has 1,152 yards rushing on the season, the most ever for a Black Knight quarterback, and he has rushed for a Colin Klein-esque 16 touchdowns. Steelman has also been red hot of late and he has rushed for over 100 yards in each of Army's last five games. Though he is apt to break a long run at any time Steelman is at his most dangerous in the red zone. He is one of those players who has the ability to make his frame as small as possible to scoot through any holes or gaps. For Army to have any shot at winning then Steelman has to be ultra productive, rushing for at least 100 yards and a couple of scores.

2) Stop Gee Gee Greene

Navy may boast a solid all around offensive game, but none of their players is as effective with his touches as Gee Gee Greene. Greene doesn't jump off of the stat sheet at you because he does a little bit of everything in the multifaceted Midshipmen offense. Looking deep though you see that he averages almost 100 yards in total offense per game and that he is averaging an insane 7.1 yards per carry which is the second best total in program history. Add in the experience and intangibles that come with being an upper classman and you can see why Greene needs to be stopped.

Against Air Force the Army defense was hungry, quick to the ball, and assignment sound. Now facing another option attack they must do the exact same and ALWAYS know where Greene is on the field. He is a master at those six yard gains on second and long which keep drives going. Perhaps even more than quarterback Keenan Reynolds he is the player that Army needs to keep quiet.

3) Enjoy the moment

This is less quantifiable than most keys put up here but in this game it is just as important. For many on the field this will be the last meaningful football game of their lives. This game is not about draft picks or stock building, but it is a throwback to when the only thing that mattered was beating your rival. It is the only time the Army players get to be the focus of the national sporting world and it is up to the Black Knights to represent their comrades and bring the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy back to West Point for the first time since 1996.

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