Oct. 31, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army sprint football will travel to Annapolis, Md., on Friday night to battle against Navy in a game that will determine not only the winner of the annual “Star,” but also the College Sprint Football League champion. Both teams show undefeated 6-0 records, including 5-0 against CSFL foes. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m., at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• For the fourth consecutive year, the College Spring Football League (CSFL) title will be decided by the season-finale Army-Navy Star Game. The Black Knights won their 31st CSFL title (sharing it with Penn) in 2010 following a 32-30 Star Game win in Annapolis, while Navy won the 2009 and 2011 Stars and titles at West Point. The Midshipmen captured last season’s crown with a 28-6 victory at Shea Stadium.
• Friday’s matchup pits Army’s top-ranked offense against Navy’s No. 1-ranked defense. The Black Knights boast a CSFL-best 521 yards per game average, while the Midshipmen D allows a stingy 162.8 yards per game. On the contrary, Army’s defense lists second in the CSFL (177 ypg), while Navy’s offense stands at an unimpressive fifth (311 ypg).
• A season ago, Army was a pass-first team. In 2012, things have shifted to a much more balanced attack. Senior RB Marquis Morris boasts a league-best 93.2 rushing yards per game average to lead the Black Knights’ ground game which collects just shy of 190 yards per contest. But don’t sleep on Army’s air game which tallies over 333 yards per contest, anchored by the arm of senior QB Javier Sustaita and wide outs Cody Nyp, Tom Jeffers and John Herina.
• Sustaita has thrown 20 touchdowns this season and 1,824 yards. Of his 228 passes, 150 have been completed and only one has been intercepted. Sustaita shows a 161.1 efficiency rating entering Friday’s game.
• One of the biggest changes from a season ago for the Black Knights has been their defense. Army has cut its opponents’ yards per game average by over half (380 ypg in 2011 to 170 in 2012), while doubling the number of sacks (15 in 2011 to 30 in 2012). The Black Knights have also shown an increase in tackles for a loss and interceptions with still one game remaining on their schedule.
• The Black Knights have won 31 CSFL titles, including 23 outright. The Mids own 35 conference championships, 28 outright. Army and Navy have shared the title four times.
• In the 55 years in which the Black Knights have been playing sprint football, Army or Navy have either won or shared the league title 51 times. Cornell is the most recent non-service academy to win the CSFL title, doing so in 2006.
• Army head coach Lt. Col. Mark West is in search of his first victory against Navy. West, who was serving a tour of duty in Iraq during the 2010 season, is in his fourth year with the program and owns a 19-8 overall record. He is 0-4 against the Midshipmen as Army dropped both contests against Navy in the 2011 season.
• Fans can follow Friday’s action via free live stats or watch the video stream via Navy Sports All-Access, a prescription-based service, all found at www.NavySports.com.
• Series notes:
Navy leads all-time series: 40-31-1
Longest win streak: 11, Navy, 2004-09
Current streak: Navy, two games
Army’s record at home: 15-13-1
Army’s record at Annapolis: 10-17
Army’s record at neutral sites: 6-10