In an era of college football where big-armed quarterbacks are all the rage the best bowl game of the 2017 season might end up being one that had a total of 31 passing yards.
Army beat San Diego State 42-35 on Saturday in the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, TX.
With all the rushing yards San Diego State and Army piled up, this game could have been played in 1946 but no matter what decade it happened in it was awfully fun to watch.
As has been the case all season Aztecs All-American Rashaad Penny was the best player on the field. Penny scored on his first carry of the game, an 81-yard touchdown run in the 1st quarter to put SDSU on top 7-0. Penny also scored on runs of 32, 49 and four yards to finish with 221 yards on 14 carries.
Penny not only broke former teammate Donnel Pumphrey's program single-season rushing record, he gave himself the 5th-most prolific rushing year in major college football history. Here's the list of backs Penny passed to move from 24th to 5th:
Derrick Henry, Alabama
Troy Davis, Iowa State
Andre Williams, Boston College
LaDainian Tomlinson, TCU
Tony Dorsett, Pitt
Mike Rozier, Nebraska
Donnel Pumphrey, San Diego State
Matt Forte, Tulane
Ricky Williams, Texas
Ron Dayne, Wisconsin
Larry Johnson, Penn State
Donald Brown, Connecticut
Lorenzo White, Michigan State
Damien Anderson, Northwestern
Rashaan Salaam, Colorado
Charles White, USC
Tevin Coleman, Indiana
Ron Dayne, Wisconsin
D'Onta Foreman, Texas
That's an awfully impressive list and puts Penny behind San Diego native Marcus Allen on the all-time single-season rushing yards list. Penny's final score put the Aztecs on top 35-28 late in the 4th quarter but his his big-play ability turned out to be, in a way, a detriment to the Aztecs because while they were scoring fast the Black Knights were methodically moving the ball down the field.
Army ran an astonishing 91 plays, 87 of them on the ground, earning 31 first downs. The Aztecs ran a total of 31 plays. The constant ground attack kept the SDSU defense on the field for 46:00 minutes. Their final play came with 18 seconds left when Darnell Woolfolk scored from the 1-yard-line to make it a 35-34 game.
Knowing they had worn down the Aztecs defense Army went for the 2-point conversion and Kell Walker scored to put the Black Knights on top 36-35. San Diego State tried a desperation multiple backwards pass play on the final snap of the game and the last toss was stolen by Elijah Riley and returned 29 yards for another Army TD.
SDSU and Army finish with 10-3 records.