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Sports Army vs. San Diego State for Fort Worth's Armed Forces Bowl; other...

Army vs. San Diego State for Fort Worth’s Armed Forces Bowl; other bowl matchups

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Armed Forces Bowl Matchup

By The Associated Press

Army (8-4, Independent) vs. San Diego State (10-2, Mountain West), Dec. 23, 3:30 p.m. EST (ESPN)

LOCATION: Fort Worth, Texas.

TOP PLAYERS

Army: QB Ahmad Bradshaw, 1,472 yards rushing, 11 touchdowns; LB Alex Auckerman, 14.5 tackles for loss, 6 sacks.

San Diego State: RB Rashaad Penny, leads nation with both 168.9 yards per game rushing and 224.8 yards per game all-purpose.

NOTABLE

Army: The Black Knights earned their way into the Armed Forces Bowl with their win over Temple on Oct. 21. They’re playing in back-to-back bowl games for the first time since the 1984-85 seasons.

San Diego State: The Aztecs finished on a four-game win streak and beat Pac-12 runner-up Stanford earlier in the season.

LAST TIME

San Diego State 42, Army 7 (Sept. 8, 2012)

BOWL HISTORY

Army: The Black Knights are 4-2 in bowls and making a second appearance in the Armed Forces.

San Diego State: The Aztecs will be playing in this bowl for the first time and are 5-6 all-time in bowls.

“We are extremely excited to announce that the United States Military Academy and San Diego

State University will square off at Amon G. Carter Stadium this year,” Executive Director Brant Ringler said. “We are honored to host Army West Point for the second time and to have a service academy playing in the game for the ninth time in the past 11 years. We also are very pleased to be able to bring in a strong San Diego State program that has enjoyed so much success this year and over the past decade.”

Army (8-3) leads the nation in rushing at 368.1 yards per game (6.2 yards per carry) and has scored with 43 touchdowns on the ground. The Black Knights won six straight games earlier this season and own a 4-2 mark in games decided by a touchdown or less.

Jeff Monken is in his fourth year as head coach of the Black Knights. Over the past two years, Army is 16-8, including 11-3 in the past 14 games, and is making back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time since 1984-85. If Army, which shut out Air Force last month (21-0), defeats Navy on Saturday, it would claim the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for the first time since 1996.

This will mark the program’s seventh all-time bowl appearance. Army is 4-2 in previous games, and those six postseason appearances have been decided by a total of 19 points, and all by a

touchdown or less. The most recent contest was a 38-31 overtime win last year at the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl.

San Diego State (10-2, 6-2 Mountain West) ended the regular season on a four-game winning streak. Earlier in the year, the Aztecs defeated nationally-ranked Stanford, the eventual Pac-12 runner up by the final of 20-17. Walter Camp Award finalist Rashaad Penny leads the nation in rushing yards (2,027) and all-purpose yards (2,698).

The matchup will be televised nationally on ESPN. It also will be aired in both English and Spanish

on the Armed Forces Bowl Radio Network.

The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl is one of 14 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN

Events, a subsidiary of ESPN.

___

New Orleans Bowl Matchup

By The Associated Press

North Texas (9-4, 7-1 C-USA) vs. Troy (10-2, 7-1 Sun Belt), Dec. 16, 1 p.m. (ESPN)

LOCATION: New Orleans

TOP PLAYERS

North Texas: QB Mason Fine. He’s thrown for 3,749 yards, 28 touchdowns and 13 interceptions this season. Seven different receivers have caught at least 24 passes.

Troy: LB Tron Folsom. He leads the team with 77 tackles and also has nine tackles for a loss and an interception.

NOTABLE

North Texas: The Mean Green set several single-season program records, including scoring, total offense, passing yards and passing touchdowns. They won eight of their last 10 games.

Troy: The Trojans’ biggest moment of the season was when they beat LSU 24-21 on Sept. 30.

LAST TIME

Troy beat North Texas 14-7 in 2012. Troy has won eight of 10 vs. North Texas.

BOWL HISTORY

North Texas is in its 10th bowl game and has 3-6 record in previous bowls.

Troy is in its seventh bowl game and has a 3-3 record in previous bowls.

___

Texas Bowl Matchup

By The Associated Press

Missouri (7-5, Southeastern Conference) vs. Texas (6-6, Big 12), Dec. 27, 9 p.m. EST

LOCATION: Houston

TOP PLAYERS

Missouri: QB Drew Lock, 3,695 yards passing, national-best 43 passing touchdowns.

Texas: LB Malik Jefferson, team-high 110 tackles, including six games with double-digit tackles this season.

NOTABLE

Missouri: After starting the season 1-5, the Tigers closed by winning their final six games — averaging 51.3 points per game in those wins. Missouri’s margin of victory was 30 points during its winning streak, and the school is trying to become the second in history (Rutgers, 2008) to win eight games after starting the season 1-5.

Texas: The Longhorns are led by first-year coach Tom Herman, who will make his return to Houston after leaving the Cougars after last season for Austin. Texas clinched a bowl berth with a 28-14 win at West Virginia on Nov. 18 before closing the regular season with a home loss to Texas Tech.

LAST TIME

Missouri 17, Texas 5 (Nov. 12, 2011)

BOWL HISTORY

Missouri: The Tigers are playing in their first bowl since the 2015 Citrus Bowl, and it’s their second appearance in the Texas Bowl following a 35-13 loss to Navy in 2009.

Texas: The Longhorns are making their first bowl appearance since 2014, when they lost 31-7 to Arkansas in the Texas Bowl.

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