College Football

Army Blitzes Houston in Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl

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FORT WORTH, Texas — A sellout crowd at TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium and national TV audience on ESPN witnessed an epic beatdown when the Army Black Knights dominated the Houston Cougars for the entire afternoon, from kickoff to the final gun ending the game, scoring a lopsided 70-14 victory. The game was played in perfect football weather, with bright sunshine and temperatures in the 60’s.
Army, which plays as an Independent, earned its fourth straight bowl victory.
 
Army quarterback Kelvin Hopkins, Jr. was selected as the bowl MVP for his 170 rushing yards and 70 passing yards on 3-3 passes completed. Army runs the triple option offense, which features rushing far more than passing. On this day, the Black Knights didn’t need much of a passing attack, with the huge numbers they put up on the ground. They gained 592 total yards, including 507 rushing yards.
 
After his 77-yard touchdown jaunt through the entire Houston secondary late in the first quarter, Hopkins described it as “…this huge convoy of guys right there while I was running in. I thought it was Houston, and [then] I realized it was gray jerseys. It was a really good team win.”
 
Army had five total rushing touchdowns for the game.
 
Army (11-2) won its ninth consecutive game after a close loss to Oklahoma. Houston was 7-1 at midseason, but lost four of its last five games in a season marred by numerous injuries to key players, including starting QB D’Eriq King.
 
Houston head coach Major Applewhite talked about his team’s late season swoon.
 
“That’s the hardest part to swallow, you’re 7-1. I’m proud of the way our kids fought. I’m not proud of losing the games at the end of the season the way we lost them.”
 
The Black Knights’ defense also contributed greatly to the win. Cameron Jones returned a fumble for a touchdown after James Nachtigal forced the turnover when he sacked UH quarterback Clayton Tune.
 
Tune was 21-32 for 230 total yards, but he suffered 10 sacks. He threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Romello Brooker in the second quarter, and ran for a 6-yard TD late in the fourth quarter.
 
Cougar defensive tackle Ed Oliver, predicted by many as a first round NFL draft pick, decided not to play.
 
Army is an AP Top 25 team for the first time since 1996, when the Black Knights won 10 games. “I knew we had something special going on in our program”, Army head coach Jeff Moncken said.
 
Applewhite didn’t blame the loss on the injuries and Oliver not playing. He gave all the credit to Army.
 

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