Army-Navy Game 2019: Record, Roster and the History of the Game

The Army Black Knights and Navy Midshipmen will face off for the 120th time on Saturday and an Army victory would allow West Point seniors to graduate knowing they never lost to their long-time rivals.

Saturday's game is set to be played at 2 p.m. ET at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles, marking the 87th time Philadelphia will host the game. With West Point located in New York and the Naval Academy in Maryland, the City of Brotherly Love is about equal distance from both schools, serving as an accessible, neutral location for both teams.

The rivalry is one of the longest in college football history and is one that at least 10 U.S. presidents have attended. President Donald Trump's first experience at the game was in 2016, about a month before his inauguration. Trump flipped the coin before the 2018 matchup and he's scheduled to attend this year's game, as well, according to White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere.

In 2016, the Black Knights broke Navy's 14-year winning streak and the victory was the catalyst to a three-year streak of Army's own.

Record

Army and Navy have faced off on the gridiron a total of 119 times since the first games in 1890, according to the Army, not including Saturday's game. Yes, those who just did the math are correct, an annual matchup beginning in 1890 would require 129 games to be played.

However, there were 10 times that the Army-Navy game did not take place. After the 1893 game, an Army general and Navy admiral got into a heated argument that almost ended in a duel, prompting a competition hiatus from 1894 to 1898, according to Army.

army navy game record history
Darnell Woolfolk of the Army Black Knights carries the ball as Taylor Heflin of the Navy Midshipmen defends at Lincoln Financial Field on December 8, 2018 in Philadelphia. Over the years, the Navy has won more games against Army, but Army is on a three-year winning streak going into Saturday's game. Elsa/Getty

Along with that interruption in game play, the matchup didn't occur in 1909 after Cadet Eugene Byrne died from an injury he received during a previous game. In 1917 and 1918 the War Department ordered the games to be canceled because of World War I.

Then, in 1928 and 1929, the two institutions failed to reconcile player eligibility standards, thereby canceling the game.

Navy has more victories in the series, winning 60 of the games played compared to Army's 52 wins. Army may have fewer victories under its belt, but the school's been on a bit of a winning streak, being victorious in the last three matchups.

However, Army doesn't have a winning record this season at 5-7. Navy, on the other hand, sits at 9-2 for the 2019 season.

"We've just got to find a way to get one more stop, or score on one more drive, complete a drive, and you change the game," Army head coach Jeff Monken told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "You change the course of the season. So, it's been hard on our team, because we came into the season with very high expectations."

Roster

Lots of college football players dream of playing in the NFL after graduation and the NCAA reported Elijah Riley, who plays defensive back for West Point, could go pro. Riley, according to the NCAA, leads the Black Knights in tackles-for-losses and in sacks this season.

On the Navy side, fans should keep an eye on quarterback Malcolm Perry. On December 4, the American Athletic Conference named the senior as offensive player of the year. In 2019, Perry had one of the best years of any Navy quarterback in school history; he needs 88 rushing yards to surpass Napoleon McCallum's record.

"We came into a program that was on a 14-game winning streak," Perry told the Inquirer, referencing the Navy's previous winning streak against Army. "Being the first group to lose that game, that builds up a lot inside of you. And losing the next two years, that builds up inside of you naturally as a competitor. Beating our rival, just being the last game, I think urgency might fit there, but more so it's just a burning desire."

Full rosters for the Army and Navy teams can be accessed on their websites here and here.