- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Dec. 30, 12 p.m. ET (ESPN)
This is Army's first bowl appearance since 1996, and Trent Steelman and Jared Hassin have led the way with the triple option this season. Steelman has made tremendous strides, rushing for 620 yards and 11 touchdowns while throwing for 837 yards and five touchdowns, while Hassin is a transfer from the Air Force Academy and leads the team with 881 yards on the ground.
This is actually a great matchup between two of the most diverse offenses you can think of because SMU uses the run 'n' shoot. But don't sleep on the Mustangs’ running game. Zach Line leads Conference USA in rushing, and SMU has done a good job of relying on him to help open up the passing game. But Saturday in the C-USA championship game, SMU managed just seven points. Quarterback Kyle Padron has been inconsistent this season and the biggest reason is his inability to hit the big plays downfield.
Coach June Jones has said they if had been able to hit some of those long balls, receiver Aldrick Robinson would be averaging 35 yards a catch.
Instead, he's averaging just less than 20. This is a very young team with only four senior starters. It’s also the first time SMU is in back-to-back bowl games since 1983-84. This also serves as a home game for SMU because the game was moved to its home field, Gerald Ford Stadium, while renovations to TCU home field Amon G. Carter are completed. SMU has had trouble stopping the Navy triple option, losing to the Midshipmen two straight seasons.