The 2016 Heart of Dallas Bowl free pick offers the Army Black Knights playing the North Texas Mean Green. Army, which surprised many, including Navy at the end of the season, plays only its second bowl game in 20 years. North Texas comes to the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl having won just five games this season and would like this to be their sixth victory. North Texas and Army met earlier this season, and the Mean Green came out ahead 35-18.
The Army Black Knights (7-5) ran off three early wins beating Temple, Rice and UTEP. They lost a big game near the end of the season to Notre Dame 44-6. The topped the season off with a thrilling 21-17 defeat of Navy.
For the North Texas Mean Green (5-7 Overall, 3-5 Conference USA), it was a tough season. They finished fourth in C-USA West. Like Army, they faced Rice and UTEP, They beat Rice but did not beat UTEP.
Army Black Knights
Ahmad Bradshaw (43.2 COMP%, 4 TDs, 9 INTs) is about as close to a pure running quarterback as you can get. Bradshaw has run the ball 167 times for 697 yards and seven scores. Top RB Andy Davidson (178 ATT, 905 YDs, 5.1 AVG, 11 TDs) leads the team in touchdowns, while Darnell Woolfolk is averaging 5.5 YPA and has scored seven times. Edgar Poe (15 REC, 321 YDs, 21.4 AVG, 3 TDs) is Army’s top receiver.
Army is scoring 29.3 PPG while allowing 18.9. The D is tough in the pass, having grabbed 15 picks and defended 29 passes. They offer a solid pass rush and have 25 sacks. Against the run, they’ve notched 67 TFL.
North Texas Mean Green
The Mean Green are averaging 24.2. QB Alec Morris (53.7 COMP%, 6 TDs, 6 INTs) will be looking to connect with WR Thaddeus Thompson (40 REC, 524 YDs, 13.1 AVG, 2 TDs). Jeffrey Wilson (149 ATT, 855 YDs, 5.7 AVG, 13 TDs) and Willey Ivery (89 ATT, 490 YDs, 5.5 AVG, 6 Tds) lead the ground attack.
They have 26 sacks and an equal number of QB hurries. The D has made 14 interceptions and broken up 36 passes while forcing 12 fumbles. But teams have scored 45 TDs against them as they are allowing 32.2 PPG.
2016 Heart of Dallas Bowl Free Pick
When these two teams met earlier this season it was on a very wet day. The Black Knights had seven fumbles, giving up three, and Bradshaw tossed four interceptions. Those seven turnovers gave North Texas everything they needed for a victory.
We think this game will be different. We look for Army to play a much better game. Our 2016 Heart of Dallas Bowl free pick is Army at -10.5. We’re also taking the over at 48.5 points.
The 2016 Heart of Dallas Bowl will be played on Tuesday, Dec. 27 with kickoff at 12 p.m. ET. The game will be played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas and aired on ESPN.