Ahmad Bradshaw

AP Photo/Gregory Bull

CFT Previews: Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl

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WHO: Army (9-3) vs. San Diego State (10-2)
WHAT: The 15th Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
WHEN: 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
WHERE: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TX
THE SKINNY: If you like running games, the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl is for you this year. San Diego State rides into the bowl season with one of the nation’s top rushers in Rashaad Penny. On the other side of the field is Army’s signature option running game, led by quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw. Expect plenty of rushing yardage in this one.

Army is in a postseason bowl game for the second year in a row for the first time since 1984 and 1985. It’s been a long time coming for the Knights, who also look to reach the 10-win total for the first time since 1996. Jeff Monken has done a terrific job turning things around for the program, including having won back-to-back Army-Navy Games and securing the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy for the first time since the mid-1990s.

The Aztecs certainly had a great year as well, but San Diego State fell short of being able to play for the Mountain West Conference championship. Despite a Heisman-worthy season from Penny and a signature win over Bryce Love and Stanford, San Diego State is hoping to cap another otherwise successful season under Rocky Long with a shot at finishing in the AP top 25 for the second season in a row. San Diego State can also win 11 games in a season for a third straight season, which would be a remarkable accomplishment and a testament to the stability this program has achieved.

Army will be more likely to slowly pile up the offensive yardage, but do not be shocked if Penny breaks free for some quick long gains.

THE PICK: San Diego State 34, Army 28

Army beats Navy on missed last-second field goal, wins Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy

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Navy (6-6) came within mere feet of avoiding a second-straight loss to Army (9-3), but a last-second field goal fell just shy of crossing the goal post as time expired in a snowy Army-Navy Game in Philadelphia. As Bennett Moehring‘s 48-yard field goal attempt fell short, Army fans rushed the field for the second straight season following a victory over Navy, celebrating a 14-13 victory by making snow angels on the field and singing their alma mater second.

Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry rushed for a game-high 250 yards and a touchdown to help Navy take a 13-7 lead into the fourth quarter, but Ahmad Bradshaw and Army’s running game scored the only points in the fourth quarter. Bradshaw’s one-yard touchdown run with 5:10 to play gave Army its first lead since running the opening possession in for a touchdown at the start o the game. Darnell Woolfolk did the honors to get the game started.

The biggest play of the game for Navy was a 68-yard touchdown run in the second quarter by Perry. Perry also had a 46-yard run in the snow on the first possession of the second half, to help setup a field goal for the Midshipmen.

As expected, this was a game built on the running game. Army did not even attempt a pass until the second half, when Bradshaw completed a 20-yard gain to Calen Holt. The drive, however, ended with a missed field goal at the start of the fourth quarter. As a result, Navy held on to a 13-7 lead. But Navy was unable to tack on any extra points, and a handful of self-inflicted penalties on the final drive may have come back to bite Navy on the last-second field goal attempt.

Navy is now 10-1 in the Army-Navy Game when played in Lincoln Financial Field. Army had not beaten Navy in Philadelphia since the game was played in Veterans Stadium. This is also the first time Army has had back-to-back wins in the series since winning five straight from 1992 through 1996. Army is now hoping to earn its first 10-win season since 1996, when Army went 10-2.

Army also won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy for the first time since 1996 by virtue of beating both Air Force and Navy. Army has now won the trophy, which was presented by United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, for the seventh time in the history of the three-way trophy.

Next year’s Army-Navy Game will return to Philadelphia on Dec. 8, 2018. But the 2017 season will now continue for both service academies. Army will face San Diego State on the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas on Dec. 23. Navy will play Virginia in the Military Bowl (played in Navy’s football stadium) on Dec. 28.