Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: Weekly Release: Sept. 7, 2017
TEAM USA VS. CONFERENCE USA
A game between Army West Point and a team from Conference USA makes for a fitting matchup for the 15th edition of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. The patriotic game has featured the armed forces theme since 2006, and is the only bowl to host all three service academies (Army, Navy and Air Force).
AND THEY WERE RUNNING
Army cruised to a 64-6 victory over Fordham in its opener. Army has now topped the 60-point mark three times in its last five home games. The Black Knights rolled up a national-best 513 rushing yards in the contest and did not complete a pass. Senior quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw had a career-best 177 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns.
WINNING AND GRINNING
Six Conference USA programs began their seasons with victories: Louisiana Tech, Marshall, North Texas, Old Dominion, UAB and Western Kentucky. UAB’s win was especially noteworthy, as it marked the Blazers’ first game (and win) since 2014.
A LONG AND WINDING ROAD
Only three of the 14 Conference USA schools (Southern Miss, Louisiana Tech and UTEP) play home games this week. LA Tech plays host to SEC foe Mississippi State in a Saturday evening matchup.
LET’S GET IT STARTED
Rice and UTEP will play the first league game of the 2017 Conference USA season Saturday night. Both are coming off games versus nationally-ranked opponents.
FOUR SCORE AND SEVEN MORE
After four Conference USA teams opened their seasons with games against schools from Power 5 conferences, half (7) of the league’s schools will face teams from those conferences this week. After playing Vanderbilt (SEC) last week, Middle Tennessee will travel to ACC country this week (Syracuse). A pair of nationally-ranked foes await for Florida Atlantic (No. 9 Wisconsin of the Big Ten) and Charlotte (No. 19 Kansas State of the Big 12).
FIU’s upcoming game against Alcorn State was originally scheduled to be played Saturday in Miami, Fla. However, it has been moved to a neutral site (Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala.) and will be played Friday night due to Hurricane Irma. FIU will now play its first four games away from home and will not play its inaugural home game under new head coach Butch Davis until Sept. 30 when the Panthers host Charlotte.
UTSA is opening its season a week later than scheduled after having last week’s game against Houston postponed due to Hurricane Harvey. The Roadrunners now get underway this Saturday night at Baylor.
WE GOT THE BEAT, YEAH WE GOT THE BEAT
A true must-read story comes from Corey Diaz of The News-Star, who goes in depth about the remarkable journey of LA Tech sophomore running back Jaqwis Dancy. Dancy scored a touchdown on Saturday in his first game for the Bulldogs since being diagnosed last October with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer. Read
Joseph Goodman of Al.com describes the emotions surrounding the Blazer Walk and the feelings of pride in Gene Bartow’s program as UAB football returned to play in front of an all-time UAB record crowd last Saturday. Read
Brett Vito of the Denton Record-Chronicle writes how important this week’s game is for North Texas against Metroplex rival SMU, and harkens back to the 1977 squad coached by legend Hayden Fry that secured an upset road win over SMU. Read
WE’D LIKE TO LOOK BACK FOR A MOMENT
Each week, the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl will take a look at highlights from its previous games as part of a “Top 15 Moments” package. Here’s No. 14 from the 2004 matchup between then-Conference USA member Cincinnati and current C-USA member Marshall. Watch