San Diego State Aztecs (10-2) at Army Black Knights (9-3)
College Football: Saturday, December 23, 2017 at 3:30 pm (Amon Carter Stadium)
The Line: Army Black Knights +7.5 -- Over/Under: 49.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The San Diego State Aztecs and the Army Black Knights face off in the Armed Forces Bowl on ESPN.
The San Diego State Aztecs reached the Armed Forces Bowl thanks to their 10-2 regular season record, including a 6-2 record in Mountain West conference play, good for a tie atop the Mountain West’s West Division, missing out on a berth in the conference championship thanks to a tiebreaker with Fresno State. Christian Chapman threw for 1,848 yards, 13 touchdowns and 3 interceptions on 140 of 234 passing, good for a 59.8% completion percentage. Rashaad Penny led the team in rushing, racking up 2,027 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground, while Juwan Washington added 715 yards and 7 TDs. Mikah Holder led the Aztecs with 43 catches for 602 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Kahale Warring led the team with 3 receiving scores this season. The Aztecs also boasted one of the toughest defensive units in the country, holding opponents to the 11th-fewest yards of total offense per game, allowing just 304.5 yards, including 110.8 yards of rushing offense per game, the 8th-lowest mark in the country while giving up just 18.4 points per game this season.
The Army Black Knights got to the Armed Forces Bowl thanks to a 9-3 record, including wins in 7 of their last 8 games down the stretch, including a 14-13 win over Navy in their season finale. The Black Knights are well known for their run-heavy offensive attack, which is why Ahmad Bradshaw led the team in passing with just 279 yards, a touchdown and 2 interceptions on 13 of 40 passing. Bradshaw also led the team in rushing with 1,566 yards and 12 touchdowns, while Darnell Woolfolk added 725 yards and 12 scores of his own. Kell Walker chipped in 592 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns, while also leading the Black Knights with 111 receiving yards and a team-high 5 catches this season. Andy Davidson added 546 rushing yards and 4 TDs, while Connor Slomka added 4 rushing scores of his own. In terms of defense, Army averaged 356.5 yards of total offense against per game, to go along with 20.9 points against per game this season.
San Diego State is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall and 33-16-2 ATS in their last 51 games following a win while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 bowl games. Army is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games against the Mountain West while the under is 35-16-1 in their last 52 games against a team with a winning record.
The Aztecs come into this one rested after not having to play a championship, but I think something has to be said for that much time off. Army has one of the toughest offenses in the country to figure out, as they come at you from all angles with the option, not to mention that the Black Knights have been in good form for a longer period of time. All in all, I think it’ll take San Diego State some time to get back into the swing of things, and if Army can score early, I can see the Black Knights at worst covering the spread, so I’ll take the free touchdown and the hook.