The West dominated the East in the 14th annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl by winning in impressive fashion, 28-6. It was the West's third victory over the East in the last five meetings.
While a lot of the attention was given to recruits who were expected to make their decisions throughout the game, the performance on the field should have also caught your attention. Not every school was in the running for a top player, so being given a sneak peek from some of the kids who already committed was the next best thing.
The game was really offensively challenged, so only a couple of stars stood out statistically. However, let's take a look at the complete box score and break it down anyway.
|2014 US Army All-American Bowl Line Score|
|Score by Quarter||1st||2nd||3rd||4th|
|US Army All-American Bowl|
The first quarter got off to a slow start for both teams, but it didn't take long for the West to get things rolling.
It scored two rushing touchdowns in the second quarter and then piled on in the third to pretty much put the game away. The East had a hard time finishing drives throughout the game but did punch it in early in the fourth quarter. Freeman Jones ended up missing the extra point.
As you can tell from the line score itself, the competitiveness of this game was really lacking. It was all Team West from the start of the second quarter.
|2014 US Army All-American Bowl Scoring Summary|
|Qtr - Time||Play||W-E|
|2nd - 10:32||WEST - Freeman, Royce 3 yd run (Hatfield, Clayton kick)||7-0|
|2nd - 02:28||WEST - Mixon, Joe 3 yd run (Hatfield, Clayton kick)||14-0|
|3rd - 04:46||WEST - Freeman, Royce 1 yd run (Hatfield, Clayton kick)||21-0|
|4th - 11:54||EAST - Michel, Sony 1 yd run (Jones, Freeman kick failed)||21-6|
|4th - 00:30||WEST - Freeman, Royce 9 yd run (Hatfield, Clayton kick)||28-6|
|Army All-American Bowl|
Oregon commitment Royce Freeman was the obvious star of the game offensively. He scored three touchdowns for the West, pretty much winning the game by himself. His size and combination of power and speed made him a nightmare for the East to defend in goal-line situations.
The other West touchdown came from running back Joe Mixon, who committed near the end of the game to Oklahoma. He fought hard to get into the end zone from three yards out and gave a Johnny Manziel celebration after crossing the goal line:
The play of the game was a defensive touchdown by Ohio State commit Jalyn Holmes. However, due to his celebrating before getting into the end zone, the refs decided to take the score away.
Even after the penalty, Georgia commit Sony Michel was able to finish the drive and score the lone touchdown for the East, as he crossed the goal line from one yard out. With the fourth quarter just getting underway, the score did breathe a little bit of life back into the game, but a missed extra point really rained on that parade.
There was very little scoring, and wide receivers didn't get much love in the red zone, as all five touchdowns came on the ground.
|2014 US Army All-American Bowl Rushing Stats|
|J. Heard (Texas)||8-63-0||E. Hood (North Carolina)||4-16-0|
|R. Freeman (Oregon)||5-21-3||S. Michel (Georgia)||3-9-1|
|N. Starks (N/A)||3-17-0||N. Chubb (Georgia)||3-4-0|
|KD. Cannon (Baylor)||1-5-0||W. Grier (Florida)||5-4-0|
|J. Mixon (Oklahoma)||1-3-1||J. Park (Georgia)||1- -1-0|
|US Army All-America Bowl|
Surprisingly, Jerrod Heard easily led the way with 63 rushing yards. Um, he's a quarterback, folks. Texas fans have to be excited knowing they have a dual-threat signal-caller who is so fast and explosive. The Longhorns haven't had a playmaker at the quarterback position like this since some guy named Vince Young.
Royce Freeman's 21 rushing yards were the most among running backs. When you at this to his three rushing touchdowns, you end up with the player of the game. The East really struggled running the football, as North Carolina's Elijah Hood led the way with 16 rushing yards. Due to the West's overwhelming lead throughout the game, the East was forced to throw the ball more during the second half, which also didn't help the rushing total.
As a team, the West averaged 2.8 rushing yards per attempt, but that's still better than the lousy 0.9 per rush that the East finished the game with.
|2014 US Army All-American Bowl Passing Stats|
|K. Allen (Texas A&M)||12-18||183-0-0||J. Park (Georgia)||1-8||6-0-1|
|D. Barker (Kentucky)||4-6||54-0-0||W. Grier (Florida)||4-8||109-0-0|
|J. Heard (Texas)||0-3||0-0-0||C. Henderson (North Carolina)||1-2||-2-0-0|
|US Army All-American Bowl|
There wasn't a single passing touchdown! Really? The game featured some of the top high school quarterbacks in this recruiting class, and nobody could lead a receiver into the end zone?
That was quite disappointing.
Anyway, one player who wasn't a disappointment was Texas A&M commit Kyle Allen. The guy who many expect to eventually replace Manziel led the way with 183 passing yards and completed 12 of his 18 pass attempts. He was on fire with nearly every throw.
Florida commit Will Grier finished second in the game with 109 passing yards, but 51 of those came on a deep pass to wide receiver Demarre Kitt. Besides that bomb, none of the East quarterbacks could find a rhythm, and they all struggled with pressure in their faces.
While the stats may not be pretty, don't start panicking just yet if one of these kids committed to your favorite team. Quarterbacks need to be familiar with their receivers for them to truly blossom. It's tough to expect a kid to go out and fire on all cylinders playing with a bunch of guys he just met. Of course, Allen didn't help matters.
|2014 US Army All-American Bowl Receiving Stats|
|KD Cannon (Balor)||3-65-0||D. Kitt (Clemson)||1-51-0|
|J. Brown (Oregon)||3-45-0||S. Michel (Georgia)||2-33-0|
|B. Dixon (USC)||2-42-0||J. Dixon (Ohio State)||2-24-0|
|F. Iheanacho (Texas A&M)||2-17-0||A. Scott (Clemson)||1-5-0|
|J. Mixon (Oklahoma)||1-26-0|
|M. Pack (Ole Miss)||1-16-0|
|C. McCaffrey (Stanford)||1-15-0|
|T. Quinn (LSU)||1-6-0|
|M. Andrews (Oklahoma)||1-3-0|
|A. Roberts (UCLA)||1-2-0|
|US Army All-American Bowl|
Although no receiver on either side hauled in a touchdown, there were still plenty of big plays in the passing game. The West had six players produce catches of at least 15 yards, while the East had the biggest play of the game with a 51-yard strike.
Baylor's KD Cannon led the way with 65 receiving yards on only three receptions. He showed Bears fans his explosiveness and the ability to stretch the field. He's a playmaker who is going to be a joy to watch for the next couple of years. Oregon's Jalen Brown and tight end Bryce Dixon, who committed to USC during the game, each finished with more than 40 yards for the West.
If you paid attention to the East's passing statistics, you'd know not to expect much from the receivers. In fact, Michel (a running back) was the second-leading receiver on the team, with 33 receiving yards. Clemson's Kitt had the biggest game for the East, while Ohio State's Johnnie Dixon also had a nice game, with two receptions for 24 yards.
Of course, we would have liked to see more from the passing game, but many receivers still showcased their abilities in limited action.
Click here to check out all of the statistics from the Army All-American Bowl.