College Football Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl Preview: Army Vs North Texas
After knocking off Navy for the first time in 15 years, Army (7-5) finds themselves bowl eligible for the first time in six years, and just the second time in 20 years. They face North Texas (5-7) in Dallas on Tuesday afternoon. The Black Knights beat Navy, 21-17, in their annual matchup, while North Texas dropped four of five to finish the regular season, and they only qualified for a bowl because there were not enough six-game winners in the regular season. These two teams actually played earlier this season, as the Mean Green beat Army, 35-18, on the road back in October. Take a look at our research on this game as well as our college football betting odds on the rest of the bowl games this year.
College Football Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl Preview: Black Knights Vs Mean Green
When: Tuesday, December 27, 2016, 12:00pm ET
Where: Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX
Radio: Army Black Knights Sports Network / MeanGreenSports.com
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
NCAAF Odds: Army (-10), O/U 49
— Heart of Dallas Bowl (@HODBowl) December 25, 2016
Why should you bet on the Black Knights?
Army does have momentum coming into this game, as they roared out to a 14-0 lead over Navy and held on to win by four, as they scored the winning touchdown on a dominant fourth-quarter drive. They held the ball for more than 40 minutes, which helped them counteract four turnovers (as did their three takeaways). Army runs the triple option, averaging 5.5 yards per attempt and 327.7 yards per game. They only permit 18.9 points per game, good for #14 in the nation. Tailback Andy Davidson is their top runner, with 905 yards and 11 touchdowns on 178 attempts. While Army did lose to North Texas back in October, they also turned the ball over seven times. It is quite unlikely that Army will commit the same number of miscues once again — although they did cough it up four times against the Midshipmen.
Why should you put your money on the Mean Green?
North Texas did finish the season on a major downslide, taking a rout from Texas-El Paso in their finale. They allowed 555 total yards on offense and permitted a blocked punt for a touchdown. UTEP trailed 7-3 in the first quarter but then ran off 28 straight points to take a 31-7 lead, and the rout was on. You have to look back to the teams’ meeting in October to get a better handle on this matchup, though. North Texas rumbled all over the Army offense to take a 17-point win.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
This is a bewildering line for me, given the fact that North Texas won at Army and Army had a difficult time with Navy’s second string. The game takes place 30 miles from North Texas’ home campus, and Army doesn’t have much of a sense of ball security.