Thanks in very large part to the legs — and right arm, surprisingly — of Kelvin Hopkins Jr., Army had very little problem dispatching Eastern Michigan in a 37-22 win Saturday afternoon in Ypsilanti. The Black Knights never trailed in the game, and the closest the Eagles could get was within two points in the middle of the third quarter before the service academy scored 21 of the next 29 points to win going away.
Army came into the game second nationally at 318.3 yards rushing per game, and finished slightly under that number at 289. Hopkins led all rushers with a game-high 105 yards on the ground — EMU as a team managed just 34 — while also passing for 126 yards and a pair of touchdowns. It marked the third 100-yard passing game of the year for Hopkins, the first Army quarterback to do that since Trent Steelman did it four times time during the 2010 season.
The win pushes the Black Knights to 6-2 and makes them bowl-eligible for the third straight season, the first time in the academy’s storied history that’s ever happened. Just one other time have they ever been to back-to-back bowl games, and that came way back in the 1983-84 seasons.
Just where the football-independent Army will play this postseason, though, remains to be seen.
In two-plus seasons with the Black Knights, Jeff Monken has posted a 23-10 record. In the seven seasons prior to his arrival, Army won a combined 26 games.