Armed Forces Bowl Pits SMU Vs. Army

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Frank Heinz

    Army will take the field against the SMU Mustangs who are making their second straight bowl appearance under head coach June Jones.

    The line favors SMU (7-6) by 7 over the Black Knights (6-6). The teams haven't played since 1967, when Army put a whoppin on the Mustangs in a 24-6 win. Army leads the series 2-0.

    The game is traditionally played at TCU's Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, but was moved to Gerald Ford Stadium at SMU due to construction at Amon Carter.

    The game is sold out, but if you don't have a ticket you can still watch the game on ESPN.

    WHAT'S AT STAKE
    Army is trying to finish with a winning record for the first time since 1996, which was also the last time the Black Knights played in a bowl. A year after SMU ended a 25-year bowl drought with a trip to Hawaii, the Mustangs play a bowl on their home field. They are trying for consecutive seasons with at least eight wins for the first time since 1983-84.

    KEY MATCHUP
    With its triple-option offense, Army picks up most of its yards on the ground. SMU prefers moving the ball through the air. The Black Knights have cracked 3,000 yards rushing for the first time since 1998 and have 33 rushing TDs, 20 more than last year. SMU is 22nd nationally with 274 yards passing a game with QB Kyle Padron throwing 29 TDs and only 12 interceptions. Army allows only 191 yards passing a game, 24th nationally.

    PLAYERS TO WATCH
    Army:
    FB Jared Hassin, who began his career at Air Force and then had to sit out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, has a team-high 931 yards rushing. He also has nine touchdowns and is a crushing blocker.

    SMU: WR Aldrick Robinson has TD catches in seven consecutive games, and his 13 this season are a school record. The senior is the only SMU player ever with two 1,000-yard receiving seasons and has been involved in two of the three longest pass plays in school history (96 and 94 yards).

    FACTS & FIGURES
    The Armed Forces Bowl is usually played on the TCU campus in Fort Worth, but Amon G. Carter Stadium is undergoing a $105 million modernizing renovation. It was announced before the season that this year's bowl would be played at SMU, long before it was known the Mustangs would be in the game. ... Army has lost 22 games in a row against teams with a winning record since 2005. ... SMU has only four seniors among its 22 starters. ... Mustangs sophomore LB Ja'Gared Davis has nine sacks, third in Conference USA.