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Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: San Diego State Aztecs at Army Black Knights

Two Top Rushing Offenses Battle in the Armed Forces Bowl

The second bowl game to be played on Dec 23 is set to kick off at 3:30 p.m. E.T. Our San Diego State plays Army 2017 Armed Forces Bowl pick offers the Aztecs at -6.5 and the over/under at 45.5 or 46.0. The San Diego State Aztecs (10-2) finished second in the Mountain West Conference West Division with a 6-2 record. They won their final four games of the season. The Army Black Knights (9-3), one of four Independents, were 4-1 over their final five. That included a 14-13 win over Navy.

San Diego State Overview

The Aztecs are scoring on average 30.4 PPG. Of their 410 YPG of offense, 252 is on the ground. The top rusher in the country, senior Rashaad Penny, will play in this game, and that’s good news. This season, Penny has rushed for more than 2,000 yards, averaging 7.4 YPG and scoring 19 TDs. Penny also has 18 pass catches and two receiving TDs. QB Christian Chapman (60.1 COMP%, 13 TDs, 3 INTs) offers solid leadership and accuracy. Senior wideout Mikah Holder with 43 catches is his top receiver.

SDS is tough versus the rush, giving up just 110 YPG, while they’ve been allowing 193 through the air. The D brings over 50 TFL to this game. Players like LB Ronley Lakalaka, DL Noble Hall, and DL/LB Jay Henderson, who together have 23 TFL, will challenge the Army running game. They San Diego State defense is allowing 18.4 PPG to opponents.

Aztecs Summary

  • Top-notch rusher in Penny
  • Chapman’s a reliable passer
  • Tough rush D

Army Overview

Army is scoring on average 29.8 PPG. Of their 385 yards of offense per game, only 30 yards are on the ground. QB Ahmad Bradshaw has tossed just 40 passes all season. Primarily a rushing quarterback, Bradshaw has 210 carries for 1,566 yards and 12 TDs. RB Darnell Woolfolk has made 136 carries, gaining 725 yards, and scoring 12 TDs. Sophomore RB Kell Walker is averaging 7.3 YPA, rushing for a total of 592 yards and six TDs.

The Black Knight defense is giving up 20.9 PPG. Of the 355 YPG they have allowed to opponents, 166 yards in on the ground. LBs Alex Aukerman (68 TCKLs, 6.0 SCKs, 14.5 TFL), James Nachtigal (98 TCKLs, 5.0 SCKs, 7.5 TFL), and Jon Voit (31 TCKLs, 5.5 SCKs, 7.5 TFL) are tough, steady, and smart. They’ll try to contain Penny. Additionally, the Army defense may have trouble with the SDS passing game.

Black Knights Summary

  • Bradshaw and others will run
  • No pass attack
  • Good rush defense but pass D is weak

Three Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Takeaways

For our San Diego State plays Army 2017 Armed Forces Bowl pick we provide these three takeaways-

  1. Edge on D to SDS
  2. Edge on rush attack to SDS
  3. Pass attack advantage SDS

Our 2017 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Picks

In this game that will feature a lot of running and some fairly good rush defenses, we do like the fairly low over at 45.5. Also, we’re going with the Aztecs at -3.0. That’s our San Diego State plays Army 2017 Armed Forces Bowl pick.

Summary San Diego State at Army Picks- Aztecs at -3.0 and over 45.5


Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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