Thursday, December 30, 2010

Armed Forces Bowl 2010: Army Tops SMU 16-14 in Dallas

(Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loco Photography, Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved)

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications

DALLAS, TEXAS (December 30, 2010) With the weather cloudy and the game time temperature in the mid 60s, the Army Black Knights (7-6 Overall, Independent) downed the SMU Mustangs (7-7, 6-2 C-USA) 16-14 in the 2010 Armed Forces Bowl played at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas.

The Black Knights wasted no time getting on the scoreboard early in the first quarter when Chad Littlejohn sacked SMU quarterback Kyle Padron, causing a fumble.

The ball was picked up by linebacker Josh McNary and returned 55 yards for the touchdown.

With Alex Carlton kicking the extra point, Army took the lead 7-0 at the 13:33 mark.

They came back eight minutes later to score their first offensive touchdown on a 13-yard run by running back Malcolm Brown. Carlton’s kick was blocked to take the score to 13-0 in favor of Army.

Army increased their lead to 16-0 late in the second quarter with Carlton’s attempt of a 44-yard field goal was good.

SMU finally found pay dirt at the 2:56 mark in the third quarter. Pardon found wide receiver Aldrick Robinson open over the middle and connected on an eight yard pass for the score.

Matt Szymanski kicked the extra point to cut Army’s lead to nine.

SMU again found the end zone with 9:20 left in the game. Pardon hit Darius Johnson on a 28-yard pass and combined with another Szymanski PAT, cut the score to 16-14.

Szymanski tried to give SMU the lead at the 4:10 mark in the game with a 47-yard field goal attempt. The kick was wide left, giving Army a 1st in 10 on their 30-yard line.

Army spent the last minutes of the game running out the clock to preserve their first bowl victory since 1985.

In that game, the Black Knights defeated Illinois 31-29 in the Peach Bowl.

The Most Valuable Players of the Game were Army linebacker Stephen Anderson and SMU wide receiver Jeremy Johnson.

Anderson had 14 tackles, with 10 of them being solo, combined with Josh McNary for a sack, and tallied one interception.

Johnson caught nine passes for 152 yards and one touchdown, averaging 16.9 yards a catch.

Army had 229 yards of total offense compared to 413 yards for SMU. The difference was in rushing yards, where Army led (199 to 111) and passing yards, where SMU held the advantage (302-30).

The loss was SMU’s first in a bowl game since 1983 when they went down to Alabama 28-7 in the Sun Bowl.

SMU is now 5-7-1 in bowl games, dating back to January 1, 1925 when they lost the Dixie Classic Bowl, 9-7 to West Virginia Wesleyan at Fair Park in Dallas.

The bowl was phased out after the 1934 game, with only three games played (1922, 1925, and 1934) in favor of the Cotton Bowl

With the win, Army goes to 3-2 in bowl games, going back 26 years to their win, 10-6 over Michigan State in the Cherry Bowl in the Pontiac Silverdome.

The bowl was only played for two years (1984 and 1985) due to a lack of financially viability.

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