There shouldn’t be any heads hanging low heading into the Armed Forces Bowl. San Diego State went 10-2 and Army are fresh off a win against Navy and a 9-3 year. The tables seem to be turning, and Army are regaining traction over Navy. The Black Knights were a bad football team for what feels like forever, but they are back in the fold in a big way. It was their second win in a row over Navy after years of domination by the Midshipmen.
They look to conclude their year with a win in a bowl essentially named after them, the Armed Forces Bowl. The weather should cooperate a little better than it did against Navy. Navy and Army played in a snowstorm, which provided a wild ride between the two triple-option programs. I love the games that are played in nasty weather, so I wasn’t complaining too much. It also helped that we were on the UNDER in that one.
Rashaad Penny will lead the Aztecs into the Armed Forces Bowl. He will wrap up his epic year on Saturday afternoon. Penny was snubbed and didn’t get an invite to the Doak Walker ceremony. It was a foregone conclusion that Bryce Love was going to win the award, but Penny should have at least been at the table. After all, he led the country in rushing yards.
Penny is much more than a running back. He is a dynamic kick returner who can return a ball for 6 from anywhere on the field. The fact that he can returns kicks bumps his draft positioning up considerably. Any team in the NFL would enjoy the luxury of having Rashaad Penny in their arsenal. If the Patriots get their hands on this guy, Bill Belichick would have a lot of fun using him in multiple ways.
San Diego State shouldn’t worry about Penny graduating, though. They have another runner waiting in the wings, Juwan Washington. As the backup, Washington ran for 715 yards and 8 touchdowns. It didn’t come close to Penny’s 2,027 yards and 24 touchdowns, but in a main role next season, look for him to produce juggernaut numbers. I expect Penny to go out with a bang in the Armed Forces Bowl. Head below for our free San Diego State vs. Army pick in the Armed Forces Bowl on Saturday.
San Diego State Aztecs vs. Army Black Knights Betting Odds:
San Diego State -6.5(-110)
vs. Army +6.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
San Diego State vs. Army Pick:
It isn’t any secret what both of these offenses are going to want to do in this game. I can sum it up in a sentence or two. San Diego State will look to pound the rock behind their stout offensive line, while Army will work their magic with the triple-option. If you like air-raid offenses, this isn’t the game you’re looking for. It’s going to be old school football, pitting two of the best ground games in the nation against one another. Note that San Diego State finished 11th in the nation on the ground, and Army were 1st with 355.8 rushing yards per game.
The Black Knights are led by quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw. He’s proving that you can have zero passing skills and still put up massive numbers. Bradshaw has thrown 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. Many triple-option teams need a quarterback who can at least sling it around a little, but Army doesn’t need to. Bradshaw has rushed for 1,566 yards and 12 touchdowns. He completed 1 pass for 20 yards against Navy, and they still won the ball game.
San Diego State quarterback Christian Chapman will pass the ball. Not a lot, but when defenses start to creep in to stop Penny, it’s opening up opportunities downfield. Chapman has passed for 13 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Terrific numbers for a team who loves to run the ball. All Chapman is doing is playing pitch and catch after they establish the running game.
The Aztecs also have an excellent defense which ranked 11th in the country, allowing just 304 yards per game and 18.4 points allowed. They were fortunate enough to finish the regular season against a triple-option team, New Mexico. Army has a much better option attack, but it does help in preparations. The defense has been looking at triple-option film and looks in practice for about a month now. I can see a 30-20 win for San Diego State in the Armed Forces Bowl.