Armed Forces Bowl opponent: San Diego State

Jeff Monken has watched limited game film on San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny.

Army’s coach has seen enough of the nation’s leading rusher to know that there will be long nights when preparing to play 10-win San Diego State team, which ranked as high as 18th this season, and Penny in the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 23 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.

“We saw a little bit of him when we were preparing for Air Force (which played San Diego State,” Monken said. “We haven’t had any other common opponents where we had a chance to really watch him which is probably a good thing. I’ll lose enough sleep when we get prepared for him next week. I don’t want to be losing any right now on account of him.”

College football’s Selection Sunday brought a bit of surprise in Army’s opponent for the Armed Forces Bowl. Most bowl projections had Army playing Texas-San Antonio (6-5) of Conference USA.

San Diego State (10-2) opened the season with six straight wins and was ranked as high as 18th in the Coaches Poll and 19th in the Associated Press poll. The Aztecs dropped back-to-back games to Boise State (31-14) and Fresno State (27-3) before finishing the regular season with four straight wins.

“We are extremely excited to announce that the United States Military Academy and San Diego State University will square off at Amon G. Carter Stadium this year,” Armed Forces Bowl executive director Brant Ringler said. “We are honored to host Army West Point for the second time (first in 2010) and to have a service academy playing in the game for the ninth time in the past 11 years. We also are very pleased to be able to bring in a strong San Diego State program that has enjoyed so much success this year and over the past decade.”

Penny poses one of the toughest challenge for Army’s defense this season. The senior has rushed for 2,027 yards and 19 touchdowns, caught 18 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns and returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.

The Armed Forces Bowl is Army’s third straight postseason game in the state of Texas. Army defeated SMU 16-14 in the 2010 Armed Forces Bowl in Dallas. The Black Knights outlasted North Texas 38-31 in the 2016 Heart of Dallas Bowl.

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and SoundCloud @salinterdonato. Started a Facebook page, solely for Army coverage. Here’s the link.

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    Sal Interdonato

    Award-winning writer Sal Interdonato has been on the Army football beat since 2007. He'll take you inside the huddle and into the lives of the Black Knights. Read Full
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