Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Notes: Week 8
TIC-TAC-TOE THREE IN A ROW
Army (5-2) won its third straight game on Saturday, holding off Eastern Michigan, 28-27. The Black Knights thwarted the Eagles’ two-point conversion attempt in the final minute to earn the one-point victory. Quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 171 yards and a touchdown to lead Army’s triple-option attack that racked up all 413 of its total yards on the ground.
MAKING A POINT
At 5-2, Army West Point needs just one win to gain bowl eligibility in 2017. If achieved, Army would make its sixth all-time bowl appearance, and second in a row. Last year, the Black Knights picked up a victory in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl. It would be the first time the Black Knights have made the postseason in back-to-back seasons since 1984-85. Army would also become the sixth team ever to play in the Armed Forces Bowl multiple times.
AMONG THE ELITE
With its 11 a.m. kickoff on Saturday, Army has a chance to become one of the first dozen bowl-eligible schools in the nation. Only nine teams have reached six wins to this point--Alabama, Memphis, Penn State, San Diego State, TCU, USC, USF, Washington State and Wisconsin. Two others (Marshall and Colorado State) have opportunities on Friday night.
THE VIEW FROM THE TOP
North Texas’ big win over UTSA gave the Mean Green the league’s best conference mark at 3-0. In the East, Marshall (2-0) and Florida Atlantic (2-0) also remain undefeated in league play. Marshall owns the best overall record at 5-1. Five more C-USA teams have four wins thus far.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Week 8 provides several key matchups between teams fighting for bowl positioning. One win shy of bowl eligibility, Marshall faces a Middle Tennessee team looking to return to .500. Meanwhile, North Texas and Florida Atlantic clash, meaning that one will fall from the league unbeatens. In addition, tradition-rich programs Southern Miss (4-2, 2-1) and LA Tech (3-3, 1-1) find themselves in a pivotal game.
Each week, the bowl is celebrating its 15th anniversary by taking a trip down memory lane with the “Top 15 Moments” from its previous games. Here’s No. 8 from the 2010 game that featured Army picking up its first bowl win since 1988 by downing SMU, 16-14. Watch
DON’T WORRY, THEY’VE GOT IT COVERED
The Denton Record-Chronicle’s Brett Vito returns with an in-depth look at the potential for a high-octane showdown Saturday when offensive gurus Seth Littrell of North Texas and Lane Kiffin of Florida Atlantic go head to head. Read
Cory Diaz of The News Star says that even though five weeks of the season remain after this weekend, league title and bowl implications are on the line Saturday night in Ruston, La., when longtime rivals Louisiana Tech (3-3, 1-1) and Southern Miss (4-2, 2-1) meet for the 49th time in the “Rivalry in Dixie” matchup. Read
PROJECTING THE PARTICIPANTS
Despite the fact that Week 8 is upon us, projections about who will be playing in Amon G. Carter Stadium on Dec. 23 are still shifting on one side of the field. All six experts below continue to believe that Army will qualify for the Armed Forces Bowl. However, five different C-USA teams earned nods, with WKU the only school receiving multiple votes (two).
Kyle Bonagura (ESPN)
North Texas vs. Army
David M. Hale (ESPN)
Marshall vs. Army
Brett McMurphy (The Score)
WKU vs. Army
Jerry Palm (CBS Sports)
WKU vs. Army
Eric Single (CNNSI)
Southern Miss vs. Army
Erick Smith (USA Today)
Middle Tennessee vs. Army