By Ryan Nelson (@TheRyanNelson_)
DALLAS -- North Texas (5-7) will face a familiar opponent on Tuesday when they take on Army (7-5) in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl. The Mean Green are in search of their first bowl win since a Heart of Dallas Bowl victory over UNLV in 2013.
In an Oct. 22 meeting between Army and North Texas, the Black Knights racked up 403 yards of total offense – 302 of which came on the ground. But seven turnovers by the Knights proved to be insurmountable.
The Mean Green earned a bowl-berth due to an impressive Academic Progress Rate, and a shortage of bowl-eligible teams at a 6-6 record or better.
The Mean Green totaled 4,034 yards of offense (118th in FBS), averaged 336 yards per game (118th in FBS), and 24.3 points per game (102nd in FBS).
RB Jeffrey Wilson is the Mean Green’s most productive offensive weapon. Wilson picked up 855 yards rushing on the season and 13 touchdowns. The junior tailback exploded for 160 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries against the Black Knights.
Run the Knight
As evidenced by their first meeting, the Mean Green defense will have its hands full in Dallas' Cotton Bowl -- and there’s nothing soft about this Army rushing attack.
By the numbers, Army boasts the third best rushing offense in the country. The Black Knights racked up 3,930 yards rushing (3rd in FBS), averaged 327.5 YDS/G (2nd in FBS), and scored 40 rushing touchdowns (T-4th in FBS).
QB Ahmad Bradshaw makes this offense tick. The junior signal caller gained 697 yards rushing and seven scores on the ground in Army's run-first offense. Bradshaw ran for a touchdown against the Mean Green, but threw four interceptions on the day. It will be interesting to see how often the Black Knights put the ball in the air this time around.
RB Andy Davidson leads the Black Knights in rushing with 905 yards and 11 touchdowns. Davidson had 70 yards in the October tilt with North Texas.
Army is looking for their first bowl win since a victory over SMU in the 2010 Armed Forces Bowl. The Black Knights are an 11-point favorite in this matchup according to Oddsshark.com.
Find the action live on ESPN at 12 p.m. ET.