Army accepts bid to Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl

By Matt Faulkner Army Athletic Communications

December 8th, 2016 | Army and Community Sports, Sports
The Army West Point Football team is heading back to Texas after accepting a bid to the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl held at the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas on Dec. 27.  Courtesy Graphic by Army Athletic Communications

The Army West Point Football team is heading back to Texas after accepting a bid to the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl held at the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas on Dec. 27.

Army will face off against North Texas with kickoff scheduled for 12 p.m. Eastern Time. The game will be carried live on ESPN.

“We are proud to accept an invitational to play in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl and represent the United States Military Academy,” said Army West Point Athletic Director Boo Corrigan. “The players, coaches and staff have put in a lot of hard work this season and to be rewarded by playing in the postseason for the first time since 2010 is extremely special. I know Coach Monken and his team are thankful for the opportunity given to them by ESPN Events and Zaxby’s, along with all the partners of the game and look forward to playing in the great city of Dallas.”

Army started the season 3-0 with victories over Temple, Rice, and Texas-El Paso, before taking wins against Lafayette, Wake Forest and Morgan State to remain in the hunt for a bowl bid.

“Our team is excited about representing the United States Military Academy in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl,” Army head coach Jeff Monken said. “We are thrilled to be back in the postseason as it is a goal of ours each year to play in a bowl game. This opportunity to play in the Heart of Dallas Bowl is representative of a tremendous effort by our players and staff throughout this season.”

Tickets in the Army allotment are $75 each (plus applicable fees) and are located on the Army sideline.  Seat locations within the Army allotment will be determined by Army A Club priority.

Fans can also purchase tickets in the Army allotment to be donated to cadets and local Soldiers. At 10 a.m. Monday, all fans can purchase tickets via GoArmyWestPoint.com, 1-877-TIX-ARMY or at the box office window located at Gate 3 of Michie Stadium.

The ticket office encourages all Army fans to purchase tickets through our office in order to ensure they are seated within the Army allotment.

“We are excited to announce that North Texas and Army will be playing in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl this year,” Brant B. Ringler, the bowl’s executive director, said. “Congratulations to both the Mean Green and Black Knights for their outstanding seasons. This promises to be a thrilling matchup at historic Cotton Bowl Stadium. Fans from both programs are in for a special time in Dallas.”

Army enters its regular-season finale against rival Navy on Dec. 10 with a 6-5 overall record, the program’s highest win total since the 2010 squad finished 7-6.

The Black Knights rank second in the nation in rushing offensive with 328.9 yards per game.

That attack is led by sophomores Andy Davidson and Darnell Woolfolk, along with junior quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw.

The Black Knights also boast the fifth-ranked defensive team in the country, allowing just 288.9 yards per game.

The unit led by seniors Andrew King and Jeremy Timpf have also given up only 164.5 passing yards per game, which has them sixth nationally.

Army and North Texas have already met once this season with the Mean Green taking a 35-18 victory at Michie Stadium.

The Black Knights are currently 2-1 against Conference-USA teams so far this season.

Army is 3-2 in five previous bowl appearances.

The Black Knights made their postseason debut in the 1984 Cherry Bowl (Pontiac, Mich.) with a 10-6 victory over Michigan State.

The following year Army defeated Illinois, 31-29, in the 1985 Peach Bowl (Atlanta, Ga.). The Black Knights then suffered two losses by a total of four points in their next two bowl appearances at the hands of Alabama (1988 Sun Bowl—L, 29-28) and Auburn (1996 Independence Bowl—L, 32-29).

The Black Knights’ most recent bowl game was in 2010 when Army defeated SMU 16-14 to win the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. Army forced three turnovers, including a 55-yard fumble return for a touchdown by then senior Josh McNary in that game, to build a 16-0 halftime lead, before hanging on for the two-point victory.