The Naval Academy football team will get a chance to right its ship after Saturday’s 14-13 loss to Army West Point in Philadelphia ... and the Mids won’t have to go far to do it.
Navy will face Virginia on Dec. 28 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman. It’ll be the Mids’ third appearance in the bowl and their second since the game moved to Annapolis from Washington, D.C., in 2013.
“It will be our seniors’ last game at home,” Navy senior linebacker and team captain D.J. Palmore said after Saturday’s second-straight rivalry loss. “We all want to go out the right way. I don’t think it is going to be hard to get the guys up for a bowl game.”
The bowl will mark the first meeting between the Mids and Cavaliers since 1994. They’ve played each other 39 times, with Navy holding a 28-11 series lead.
And while there will be a home-field edge, it’s not a home game. Navy fans can purchase tickets here, or donate seats that will be filled by service members and their families. More details on the Military Bowl’s donation program are available here, and through Navy’s athletics website.
The USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore, one of the games’ nonprofit beneficiaries, distributes the tickets. It is no longer accepting ticket requests “due to high demand,” per the group’s website. The game will air live on ESPN at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.
Navy’s qualified for a postseason bowl after each of its last six seasons. The Mids are 3-2 entering this year’s bowl; they fell 48-45 to Louisiana Tech in the Armed Forces Bowl last year.
The Military Bowl will celebrate its 10th anniversary this season. Navy defeated Pittsburgh in Annapolis in the 2015 game and lost to Wake Forest in what was then called the EagleBank Bowl in 2008 in Washington, D.C.
Air Force, the only other service academy to play in the Military Bowl, lost to Toledo in 2011.
Kevin Lilley is the features editor of Military Times.