Thursday, November 30, 2000

After 110 years Army, Navy nearly neck and neck

The first Army-Navy game was played at West Point in 1890, and Red Emrich, with touchdowns for four points each, led Navy to a 24-0 shut-out over Army. That was the beginning of not only one of the most storied rivalries in college athletics, but of one of the most evenly matched series.

One hundred games have been played since then, and as the two teams prepare to meet Saturday in Baltimore, a closer look at this rivalry reveals just how close they are in most vital statistics.

As far as wins and losses are concerned, Army leads the series with 48 wins to Navy's 45, and the game has been tied seven times.

The total points scored by each side are quite close. Navy leads with 1,205 points to Army's 1,080. That is a difference of only 125 points in 100 games.

Navy has scored on six safeties and Army on five during the 100 contests.

The total yards for the rivalry are just as close. Navy leads with 21,728 or 250 total yards per game to Army's 20,045 and 232 yards a game average.

The Cadets have averaged 164 yards a contest to lead in rushing 14,352 to the Midshipmen's 161 per game and a total of 13,789. Navy leads Army in first downs 1,212 to 1,033.

Navy's Eddie Myers holds the single game rushing record with 279 yards in 1979. Midshipman Napoleon McCallum's 217 yards in 1985 and Chris McCoy's 205 yards in 1997 are the other Navy players to rush for over 200 yards in a game during the series.

Lynn Moore was the only Cadet to run for 200 yards when he gained 206 in 1969.

Myers ran for 144 yards in 1980 to garner the highest two-game rushing total in the storied game with 423 yards. McCallum ran for 182 yards in 1983 for a total of 399 yards.

Midshipman Jim Kubiak had the first and fourth highest passing yards in the series with 361 in 1994 and 208 in 1993. Navy's Bob Misch's 280 yards passing in 1984 and John Cartwright with 240 in the 1967 games round out the top four.

Army quarterback Earle Mulrane in 1978 passed for 190 yards, the most of any Cadet player.

Even the turnovers are almost equal after 110 years. Army has had 214 to Navy's 199. That is an average of three a game for each squad.

Punting is another category that is almost a dead heat. Army has booted 575 punts to Navy's 592, which equals out to seven punts a game for each side.

The two academies have even been penalized an equal amount of yards. Navy leads that dubious category with 2,962 yards to Army's 2,840. That is an average of 36 yards in penalties a game for Navy and 35 for Army.

The legendary Army Coach Earl "Red" Blaik's record reflects the equality of the rivalry. Blaik led Army to three national championships in 1944, 1945 and 1946 but ended up with a .500 record against Navy. Blaik's teams went 8-8-2 in 18 contests.