The stage may be different and unique but Jeff Monken expects the same intensity for the 121st edition of the Army-Navy game.
Army is the true home game as college football’s best rivalry shifts from Philadelphia to Michie Stadium. West Point hosts the game for the first time since 1943.
“It’s always such a hard-fought battle,” Monken said. “We’ve prepared for just a really hard-fought football game. The emotion that charges everybody with trying to be their very best just makes it an incredible competition.”
The rivalry isn’t lost on Monken when said practice cones in the word “Beat” were placed next to Navy’s end zone in the north side of Michie Stadium.
Army (7-2) puts its eight-game home winning streak on the line Saturday. Underclassmen look to erase a 31-7 loss to Navy last year. Navy (3-6) has lost four straight games and hasn’t won since Oct. 17, a 27-23 victory over East Carolina.
“It would be extra special to be able to beat them on their home field,” Navy senior captain Cameron Kinley said. “Initially, we were disappointed that we had to go to Army but we shifted our mindset and it would be very special to beat them at their home stadium.”
Monken hasn’t named a starting quarterback when asked a few times this week. Would be a surprise if sophomore Tyhier Tyler doesn’t get the nod.
Navy is likely to start freshman Xavier Arline, who was recruited by Army.
“We know what a great athlete he is,” Monken said of Arline. “You can see the explosiveness that he has.”