North Texas Mean Green

Army quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw (17) hands the ball off to Army running back Darnell Woolfolk (33) during the first half of the Heart of Dallas Bowl NCAA college football game against North Texas Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016 in Dallas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Associated Press

Army holds off North Texas in OT for first bowl win since 2010

1 Comment

Consider Jeff Monken‘s turnaround of one of the three FBS service academies complete — at least, as far as what turned into a storybook 2016 season for the Black Knights is concerned.

After jumping out to a 24-7 lead in the first half of the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl, Army watched as North Texas scored a pair of touchdowns in the last three minutes of the second quarter to slice the deficit to just a field goal.  The second half turned into a defensive battle, with each team scoring a touchdown apiece before a late UNT field goal knotted the score at 31-all.

In the first overtime, Jordan Asberry‘s three-yard touchdown run gave Army a 38-31 lead.  Asberry’s defensive teammates took care of the rest, keeping the Mean Green out of the end zone on four straight plays to secure the service academy’s first bowl win since 2010.

It was also Army’s eighth win this season, the program’s most since a 10-win 1996 season and just the third time since 1988 they’ve won at least that many games in a season.

The story of the game likely could best be told by a drive that didn’t end in a score — and was quickly matched by one that did.

Taking over at their own 4-yard line and with 12:53 remaining in the fourth, Army proceeded to march 66 yards in 18 plays, bleeding a staggering 10½ minutes off the clock before turning it over to the Mean Green on downs.  UNT got the ball back at their own 30 with just over two minutes and three timeouts remaining, and proceeded to move into field-goal range with just over a minute left.  A pair of penalties, including a holding call, pushed them out of field-goal range; however, a pair of Alec Morris completions got them right back in range.

A 37-yard field goal by UNT’s Trevor Moore with :28 sent the game into overtime, setting the stage for Asberry’s game-winning touchdown.

Army, which came into the game second in the country in rushing (327.8 yards per game), totaled 480 on the ground on the afternoon. Morris, the former Alabama quarterback, passed for 304 yards and three touchdowns in a losing effort.

The win avenges Army’s 35-18 loss to UNT earlier in the season.

Also earlier this season, they snapped a 14-game losing streak to Navy.  With this win, it marks the first time since 1984 that the Black Knights beat their rival and won a bowl game in the same season.

Late North Texas scores keep Army from running away with Heart of Dallas Bowl

PALO ALTO, CA - SEPTEMBER 13:  Army Black Knights players wait with an American flag in the tunnel before their game against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium on September 13, 2014 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Army came into this afternoon’s Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl second in the nation in rushing.  Its opponent, North Texas, was 105th (out of 128 teams) in the country in stopping the run.  It didn’t take a rocket surgeon to see where this one was headed.

On the strength of 294 first-half yards on the ground, the Black Knights literally ran its way to a 24-21 halftime lead on the Mean Green.  The lead could’ve been a little larger as Army failed to cash in on all four point-afters — they missed the extra point kick after their first touchdown then failed on back-to-back-to-back two-point attempts on the next three scores.

All four of the service academy’s touchdowns came on the ground.  The Black Knights, which came into the game averaging just under 10 pass attempts per game, attempted just one pass the first two quarters — and that one was completed and went for 38 yards.

Seven Black Knight players were credited with at least one carry, with Darnell Woolfolk‘s 84 yards and Tyler Campbell‘s 80 (70 came on a first-quarter touchdown run) pacing the team.  Woolfolk accounted for two of the four rushing touchdowns.

Army’s defense was nearly the equal of its rushing offense in holding UNT’s offense to less than 100 yards prior to the last six minutes-plus of the half for the Mean Green.  Those last six-plus minutes, though, completely changed the complexion of the game.

A nine-play, 83-yard drive, capped off by Jeffrey Wilson‘s 22-yard touchdown pass from former Alabama quarterback Alec Morris with 2:26 left in the half, nearly doubled UNT’s offense output to 177 yards for the first two quarters and cut the deficit to two scores.  After UNT’s defense pushed Army into a three-and-out on the ensuing drive, Morris drove the Mean Green another 68 yards on a possession that ended with the quarterback’s second touchdown pass of the half, a 27-yarder to Rico Bussey, and sliced the margin to a mere field goal with 10 seconds left in the quarter.

Army is seeking to exact revenge for a 35-18 loss to UNT earlier this year in which the Black Knights committed seven turnovers, which the Mean Green turned into 21 points.  In this game, Army hasn’t turned the ball over once.

North Texas will receive the ball to open the second half.

CFT Previews: Your Dec. 27 Bowl Viewer’s Guide

ANNAPOLIS, MD - DECEMBER 03:  Members of the Temple Owls celebrate after defeating the Navy Midshipmen 34-10 win the AAC Championship game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on December 3, 2016 in Annapolis, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

Taking a quick-hit look at the Dec. 27 bowl menu, which features just the second ranked team to play in the postseason as well as two ACC teams along with one each from the Big 12 and SEC.

WHO: Army (7-5) vs. North Texas (5-7)
WHAT: The 6th Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl
WHERE: Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas
WHEN: Noon ET on ESPN
THE SKINNY: This is one of those unique bowl games in which there’s very tangible recent history on which to look back on — North Texas easily handled Army 35-18 in Denton in Week 7 of the 2016 season, thanks in very large part to a whopping seven Black Knight turnovers.  Since that win, UNT has stumbled while Army hasn’t, with the former going 1-4 down the stretch and the latter 3-2.  Army is easily one of my favorite stories of the 2016 college football season, though, with the service academy winning at least seven games — two of those came against FCS teams, it should be noted — for the first time since 2010 and just the third time in nearly three decades; an eighth win would be the program’s most since going 10-2 during the 1996 season.  They capped off this bounceback regular season in the best way possible, too, beating Navy and snapping a 14-game losing streak in the rivalry game in the process.  While it came in a sub-.500 season, the Mean Green will be playing in a bowl game to cap 38-year-old Seth Littrell‘s first season as a head coach, with UNT going bowling for the first time since 2013.  This is likely the most relevant stat for this game: Army is second nationally in rushing yards per game at 327.8, while UNT is 105th (out of 128 teams) in the country in stopping the run at 219.2 ypg.  Army ran for 303 yards in the loss to UNT earlier in the season, but the Mean Green scored 21 points off Black Knights turnovers to secure the 35-18 win.  Here’s to guessing that more than a half-dozen turnovers aren’t on Army’s bowl agenda and they get that eighth win.  Plus, #Merica, which goes without saying
THE LINE: North Texas, +10
THE PREDICTION: Army 27, North Texas 17

__________

WHO: Wake Forest (6-6) vs. No. 24 Temple (10-3)
WHAT: The 9th Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman
WHEN: 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
WHERE: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland
THE LINE: Wake Forest, +11½
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

__________

WHO: Minnesota (8-4) vs. Washington State (8-4)
WHAT: The 39th National Funding Holiday Bowl
WHEN: 7:00 PM ET on ESPN
WHERE: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California
THE LINE: Minnesota, +10
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

__________

WHO: Baylor (6-6) vs. Boise State (10-2)
WHAT: The 28th Motel 6 Cactus Bowl
WHEN: 10:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
WHERE: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
THE LINE: Baylor, +7½
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

Behold: The full 2016-17 college football bowl schedule is here

LOUISVILLE, KY - SEPTEMBER 17: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Louisville Cardinals runs with the ball during the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)
Getty Images
21 Comments

The College Football Playoff and New Year’s Six lineups are set, but there’s much more to bowl season than the top line games. Running 40 games deep and stretching from Dec. 17 to Jan. 9, the 2016-17 bowl schedule came together Sunday afternoon, which we’ve compiled here for your viewing enjoyment.

Let’s dive right in.

Saturday, Dec. 17
Gildan New Mexico Bowl (2 p.m. ET, ESPN): UTSA vs. New Mexico
Las Vegas Bowl presented by Geico (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC): Houston vs. San Diego State
Raycom Media Camelia Bowl (5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): Appalachian State vs. Toledo
AutoNation Cure Bowl (5:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network): Central Florida vs. Arkansas State
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (9 p.m. ET, ESPN): Lousiana-Lafayette vs. Southern Miss

Monday, Dec. 19
Miami Beach Bowl (2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): Central Michigan vs. Tulsa

Tuesday, Dec. 20
Boca Raton Bowl (7 p.m. ET, ESPN): Memphis vs. Western Kentucky

Wednesday, Dec. 21
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (9 p.m. ET, ESPN): BYU vs. Wyoming

Thursday, Dec. 22
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (7 p.m. ET, ESPN): Idaho vs. Colorado State

Friday, Dec. 23
Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (1 p.m. ET, ESPN): Old Dominion vs. Eastern Michigan
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): Louisiana Tech vs. No. 25 Navy
Dollar General Bowl (8 p.m. ET, ESPN): Ohio vs. Troy

Saturday, Dec. 24
Hawai’i Bowl (8 p.m. ET, ESPN): Hawaii vs. Middle Tennessee

Monday, Dec. 26
St. Petersburg Bowl (11 a.m. ET, ESPN): Mississippi State vs. Miami (Ohio)
Quick Lane Bowl (2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): Boston College vs. Maryland
Camping World Independence Bowl (5 p.m. ET, ESPN2): NC State vs. Vanderbilt

Tuesday, Dec. 27
Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (noon ET, ESPN): Army vs. North Texas
Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 24 Temple vs. Wake Forest
National Funding Holiday Bowl (7 p.m. ET, ESPN): Washington State vs. Minnesota
Motel 6 Cactus Bowl (10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): Boise State vs. Baylor

Wednesday, Dec. 28
New Era Pinstripe Bowl (2 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 23 Pittsburgh vs. Northwestern
Russell Athletic Bowl (5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 16 West Virginia vs. Miami
Foster Farms Bowl (8:30 p.m. ET, FOX): Indiana vs. No. 19 Utah
AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl (9 p.m. ET, ESPN): Texas A&M vs. Kansas State

Thursday, Dec. 29
Birmingham Bowl (2 p.m. ET, ESPN): South Florida vs. South Carolina
Belk Bowl (5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): Arkansas vs. No. 22 Virginia Tech
Valero Alamo Bowl (9 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 10 Colorado vs. No. 12 Oklahoma State

Friday, Dec. 30
AutoZone Liberty Bowl (noon ET, ESPN): TCU vs. Georgia
Hyundai Sun Bowl (2 p.m. ET, CBS): No. 18 Stanford vs. North Carolina
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 21 Tennessee vs. Nebraska
Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl (5:30 p.m. ET, Campus Insiders): South Alabama vs. Air Force
Capital One Orange Bowl (8 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 6 Michigan vs. No. 11 Florida State

Saturday, Dec. 31
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl (11 a.m. ET, ABC): No. 20 LSU vs. No. 13 Louisville
TaxSlayer Bowl (11 a.m. ET, ESPN): Georgia Tech vs. Kentucky
CFP Semifinal at Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (3 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 4 Washington vs. No. 1 Alabama
CFP Semifinal at PlayStation Fiesta Bowl (7 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 2 Clemson

Monday, Jan. 2
Outback Bowl (1 p.m. ET, ABC): No. 17 Florida vs. Iowa
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (1 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 15 Western Michigan vs. No. 8 Wisconsin
Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual (5 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 9 USC vs. No. 5 Penn State
Allstate Sugar Bowl (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 14 Auburn vs. No. 7 Oklahoma

Monday, Jan. 9
College Football Playoff National Championship (8 p.m. ET, ESPN): ALA/WASH vs. CLEM/OSU

2016 College Football Bowl Projections after Week 13

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 26:  Darrius Sims #6 celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the University of Tennessee Volunteers during the second half at Vanderbilt Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. Vanderbilt defeated Tennessee 45-34.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Getty Images
12 Comments

As we exit a wild Thanksgiving week filled with rivalry game upsets and head toward the final week of the regular season, it’s crazy to think that college football is over for a lot of teams. At the same time, there are dozens of others wondering what’s next on the docket with the postseason picture still slowly coming into focus. Most teams are left wondering just how the bowl picture will shake out and it could come right down to the end for several teams looking to find a spot from the College Football Playoff on down.

With all that in mind, CFTalk decided to peer into our crystal ball and see how every game the rest of the year plays out and which teams wind up in certain bowl games. Running through all the scenarios, here’s how the bowl picture could play out from the final four to the very first one on December 17:

College Football Playoff

Bowl Teams
Peach Bowl No. 1 Alabama No. 4 Washington
Fiesta Bowl No. 2 Clemson No. 3 Ohio State

New Year’s Six

Bowl Teams
Rose Bowl Wisconsin USC
Sugar Bowl Oklahoma Florida
Orange Bowl Florida State Michigan
Cotton Bowl Penn State Western Michigan

2016 FBS Bowl Games

Bowl Teams
New Mexico Bowl UTSA New Mexico
Las Vegas Bowl North Texas+ San Diego State
Cure Bowl UL-Lafayette UCF
Camellia Bowl Arkansas State Central Michigan
New Orleans Bowl Southern Miss Appalachian State
Miami Beach Bowl Tulsa Toledo
Boca Raton Bowl Western Kentucky Houston
Poinsettia Bowl BYU* Wyoming
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Colorado State Miami (OH)
Bahamas Bowl Old Dominion* Eastern Michigan*
Armed Forces Bowl Navy* Mississippi State+
Dollar General Bowl Troy Ohio
Hawaii Bowl Middle Tenn. State Hawaii
St. Petersburg Bowl South Florida Army
Quick Lane Bowl Maryland Boston College
Independence Bowl South Carolina N.C. State
Heart of Dallas Bowl Louisiana Tech South Alabama
Military Bowl Wake Forest Temple
Holiday Bowl Iowa Stanford
Cactus Bowl Baylor Air Force
Pinstripe Bowl Northwestern Pitt
Russell Athletic Bowl Virginia Tech West Virginia
Foster Farms Bowl Indiana Washington State
Texas Bowl Texas A&M Kansas State
Birmingham Bowl Vanderbilt Memphis
Belk Bowl Georgia Tech Kentucky
Alamo Bowl Oklahoma State Colorado
Liberty Bowl Tennessee TCU
Sun Bowl North Carolina Utah
Music City Bowl Minnesota Georgia
TaxSlayer Bowl Miami (FL) Arkansas
Outback Bowl Nebraska LSU
Citrus Bowl Louisville Auburn
Arizona Bowl Idaho Boise State

*Accepted bowl invite
+ 5-7 team selected based on APR