Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Notes: Week 9
THE FIRST ONE IN
Army West Point (6-2) picked up a dramatic 31-28 overtime win against Temple in come-from-behind fashion Saturday. Down seven with 1:31 left in regulation, backup quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. came off the bench to pass for 67 yards and the game-tying score with :01 on the clock. Darnell Woolfolk had a career-best 132 yards and three rushing scores. Immediately after the game, Army became the first team to accept a bowl bid in 2017.
COUNT ON A CLOSE ONE
Army West Point will be making its seventh all-time bowl appearance, and second in a row. It is the first time the Black Knights have made the postseason in back-to-back years since 1984-85. Army sports a 4-2 record in bowl games, and those six postseason appearances have been decided by a total of 19 points, and all by a touchdown or less. The latest was the first overtime game, a 38-31 win by the Black Knights last year at the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl.
HONORED TO HAVE THEM BACK
The Black Knights will be the sixth team ever to play in the Armed Forces Bowl multiple times, joining Air Force (5), Houston (4), California (2), Navy (2) and Tulsa (2). It is the first time that Army has played in the game in Fort Worth, however. The Black Knights’ lone appearance came in 2010, when the game was played at SMU’s Ford Stadium due to renovations at TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium. Army’s most recent trip to Fort Worth came in 2005, when the Black Knights lost to No. 25 TCU, 38-17.
A TRIP AROUND C-USA
Florida Atlantic (4-3, 3-0) knocked North Texas (4-3, 3-1) from the league unbeatens, 69-31, on Saturday. As a result, Florida Atlantic and fellow 3-0 team Marshall own the best league records in Conference USA. Southern Miss (5-2, 3-1) has now moved into a share of first place in the West with North Texas. At 6-1 overall, Marshall is the first bowl-eligible team in C-USA. Southern Miss and WKU are just one win away, while five other schools need just two more victories to reach six.
HE’D NEVER GIVE US THE HEISMAN
Tim Brown, 1987 Heisman Trophy winner from Notre Dame and a 2015 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will serve as the keynote speaker at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Kickoff Luncheon on Dec. 22, the bowl announced Thursday. Tickets are $50. Read
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. 7 from 2011 when BYU football pulled off a fake spike touchdown with 11 seconds left to give the Cougars a 24-21 win over Tulsa. Watch
DON’T WORRY, THEY’VE GOT IT COVERED
Grant Traylor of The Herald-Dispatch states some of the reasons why Marshall has turned around its fortunes this year. The Thundering Herd went 3-9 in the 2016 season, but has already doubled its season win total in a 6-1 start to 2017. Read
Jason Munz of the Hattiesburg American tells the story of 2016 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl MVP Trent Taylor (Louisiana Tech) paying off his friendly bet to former Southern Miss quarterback and fellow San Francisco 49er Nick Mullens. Read
PROJECTING THE PARTICIPANTS
With Army already committed, it’s time to focus the predictions on who will be playing the Black Knights on Dec. 23 in Amon G. Carter Stadium. This week, five different C-USA teams earned nods from the seven experts, with UTSA and WKU the only schools receiving multiple votes (two apiece).
ESPN (Kyle Bonagura) - Marshall
College Football News (Pete Fiutak) - UTSA
ESPN (David M. Hale) - WKU
The Score (Brett McMurphy) - UTSA
CBS Sports (Jerry Palm) - WKU
CNNSI (Eric Single) - Southern Miss
USA Today (Erick Smith) - Middle Tennessee