Army vs. North Texas: Score and Reaction for 2016 Heart of Dallas Bowl

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistDecember 27, 2016

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 27:  Rico Bussey Jr. #8 of the North Texas Mean Green is brought down after the catch by the Army Black Knights defense during the 1st half of the Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl on December 27, 2016 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

On Oct. 22, the Army Black Knights didn't have enough offense to pull out a win against the North Texas Mean Green.  

On Tuesday, the Cadets remedied the woes that plagued them in that 17-point loss and churned out a 38-31 overtime win over North Texas in the Heart of Dallas Bowl to finish the season 8-5.  

The victory, which Jordan Asberry sealed on a three-yard touchdown run on the first possession of overtime, represented Army's first in a bowl game since 2010. 

The Times Herald-Record's Sal Interdonato broke down the historical significance of the win: 

In a showdown that featured a true clash of styles, Army's run-first, run-always approach was wildly effective. The Black Knights rushed for a Heart of Dallas Bowl-record 480 yards, and the distribution of that gaudy total was a sight to behold. 

Quarterback and game MVP Ahmad Bradshaw carried the ball 18 times for 129 yards, and his 65-yard touchdown run with 7:41 remaining in the third quarter was a major boost for the Black Knights after the Mean Green pulled to within three following back-to-back scores before halftime. 

Sophomore running back Darnell Woolfolk added a team-high 22 carries for 119 yards and two scores, while Tyler Campbell (88 yards) and the burly Andy Davidson (56 yards) were both staples of the rushing attack with one touchdown apiece. 

According to the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Twitter, Tuesday marked the first time all season that Army had two separate rushers top 100 yards in the same game. 

CBSSports.com's Ben Kercheval provided a breakdown of the scheme that allowed Army to flourish against North Texas:

Army's physicality at the point of attack was evident throughout, and it served as a stark contrast against North Texas' finesse aerial stylings.

Mean Green quarterback Alec Morris did a nice job of attacking Army's secondary with deep shots. He completed 26 of 38 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns to help keep his side alive after North Texas had fallen behind 24-7 midway through the second quarter. 

Morris' third touchdown toss of the day narrowed the deficit to three entering the fourth quarter, and he received the ball back with 2:18 remaining in regulation following an 18-play Army drive that killed more than 10 minutes in the final frame. 

Morris proceeded to work the Mean Green into Black Knight territory quickly, and a 37-yard field goal from Trevor Moore with 32 seconds remaining in regulation forced overtime. 

However, Morris and the Mean Green couldn't come up with a score to match Army in the extra session, and Army was able to celebrate the end of its most successful regular season in 20 years. 

And with wins over Navy and North Texas in tow, the Black Knights can head into the offseason riding high as they try to produce more spectacular results in 2017. 

Postgame Reaction

After Army's win, the game's official Twitter account posted a picture of the team hoisting its new hardware: 

On the flip side, the North Texas Daily's Reece Waddell relayed a soundbite from Mean Green head coach Seth Littrell: 

"What a game today," Littrell added, per the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Twitter. "I had more fun than I've had in a long time."

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