Under bettors thought it was a lock, and the Army-Navy game was finished. It should have been.
But thanks to some disastrous prevent defense, and an intentional safety on the last play of the game, the pregame total of 27.5 ends up being the under for only the second time in 11 games between the ancient rivals.
And it was because there were three seconds remaining on the clock.
Trailing 17-9, Navy tries a QB sneak with Tai Lavatai. The Army defense holds.— The Comeback (@thecomeback) December 9, 2023
The Black Knights took an intentional safety on the final play and prevailed with a 17-11 win.
Doesn't get much closer. pic.twitter.com/wFsSzATdKf
One of the greatest overs in our country’s history— Booner (@boonersports) December 9, 2023
OVER 27.5 ✅
Safety for the over in one of the greatest rivalries of all-time pic.twitter.com/L550zGg4dU
It absolutely never should have come to this, as a scoop-and-score with 4:49 remaining gave the Cadets a 17-3 lead. With Navy’s glacial and ineffective offense all season, allowing one more score seemed unlikely. And two nearly impossible.
But Army did it for the drama, playing hilariously bad prevent defense that allowed a seven-play, 59-yard TD drive by the Midshipmen to make it 17-9. The Mids for some reason went for two, but came up short.
After a failed onsides kick, and two pre-snap penalties that were very un-academy like, the Mids got the ball back with 1:39 on their own 27-yard-line. After a run to start th edrive, quarterback Tai Lavatai was allowed to throw for 58 yards by going 4-5 on the next five snaps. It came down to 1st and goal from the six-yard line, but Army finally got the stop they needed.
But now needing to kill off three seconds and in the shadow of their own goal post, they chose to take the safety with no room to kneel. It’s simply a brutal beat for under bettors, who clearly had the correct side on the day.
But that’s why it’s gambling. And so we give thanks and our best wishes to the young men on that field, who will go on to defend our right to take brutal beats like this in the future at home and abroad.
Because that’s true freedom.