USAFA (KXRM) — Service academy rivalry games always bring a special atmosphere into the stadium in which they’re played. This Saturday’s Air Force-Navy game will do just that when the two teams play at the home of the Midshipmen — Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
The 54th football meeting between the two programs will mark the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, so this game has a lot of meaning to the players, coaches, fans and all service academy members, both of the past and present.
Navy (0-1) heads into the contest coming off a 49-7 loss to the Marshall Thundering Herd. The scoreboard shows a blowout, but Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun knows Navy played a lot better than what the score indicates. The Midshipmen ran for over 330 yards, and had more first downs (24) than the Thundering Herd (23), but scored just once in five trips into the red zone.
“You look in between the 20s, they marched and made a ton of first downs,” Calhoun said. “I don’t have the final numbers in front of me, but hey, they had no problem moving the football.”
Air Force (1-0) took down Lafayette in their season opener, rushing for 370 yards and converting all five of their trips to the red zone.
“I feel like we have more weapons this year with Micah Davis, Izzy Daniels coming back, Brad Roberts is the fullback,” Air Force tight end Kyle Patterson said. “(We have) a lot of weapons we can use, and I feel like if we establish the run game really early against Navy, we’ll be able to open the ball up and make more plays.”
The Falcons will debut the Air Power Legacy Series uniforms, which pay tribute to the B-52s that flew in Operation Linebacker II. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. on CBS.