Welcome to the seventh edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” During the offseason I will be featuring some of the most important games of 2017 Mountain West season. This week we will be featuring the 2017 Armed Forces bowl featuring San Diego State and Army.
Penny showed why he would later become a first round draft pick. He was unstoppable against a run heavy team and gave the Aztecs a chance in a game where Chapman struggled mightily. Penny was a workhorse in his last game as an Aztec, he carried the ball 14 times for 221 yards and four touchdowns.. That is an average of over 15 yards per carry! You can’t ask for a more dominating game from your running back. Penny’s longest run was an 81 yard touchdown early in the first quarter.
He may have only thrown the ball three times but Bradshaw was a force on the ground. He anchored the Army offense that dominated time of possession and wore down the Aztec defense. Bradshaw is the classic triple option quarterback as he displayed his elusiveness and strength over the course of the game. Bradshaw finished the game with 32 carries for 180 yards and two touchdowns.
Time of Possession and the Aztec Defense
The Black Knights had 91 plays to the Aztecs 31. The Aztecs were able to score quick at times, but a few turnovers by the Aztec offense in the second half and short possessions in the second half proved to be more than the Aztec defense could overcome. The Black Knights showed their muscle on the final drive when the marched down the field for a touchdown and completed a two point conversion to win the game.
The Aztec defense gave up 446 yards (440 on the ground) to an Army team that prides itself on managing the clock and grinding out games. The most alarming stat came in time of possession where the Black Knights held on to the ball for 46 minutes to the Aztecs 14.
Chapman struggled mightily in a game where he wasn’t asked to do much. Chapman completed six passes on only ten attempts for 25 yards. Chapman also struggled with ball security as he threw an interception and lost a fumble in the fourth quarter. Chapman is going to have to be better this coming season if the Aztecs are going to once again become a dominant force in the western division of the Mountain West.
This was one of the most exciting games of the bowl season, which is odd considering there were only 13 passes thrown. The game moved fast and was filled with drama. The Aztecs had high hopes entering the 2017 season and ended the season with a bowl loss. Can the Aztecs once again become the class of the West division in 2018? Stay tuned, next week we will be featuring the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl.