Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl: Army Black Knights vs. North Texas Mean Green
Date: Dec. 27, 12 p.m. ET on ESPN
Location: Cotton Bowl | Dallas
Army Black Knights
Best moment: Army set the tone for its breakout season with a 28-13 win over Temple. Army racked up 329 rushing yards against the Owls, who would go on to win the American Athletic Conference East Division.
Lowest moment: On Nov. 5, the Black Knights could not hang with Air Force, as the Falcons dominated the second half on the way to a 31-12 victory. The score resulted in Air Force’s claiming the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. Army hasn't won the trophy since 1996.
Key player: Linebacker Andrew King leads the Black Knights’ defense with 88 tackles, including 10.5 for loss, to go along with five sacks and two forced fumbles.
Motivation level: Army has been to only one bowl in the last 20 years, so the Black Knights should be fired up to put an exclamation point on what has been a terrific season. -- Jake Trotter
Best moment: Facing the second-rated defense in the nation at the time, Jeffrey Wilson rushed for 160 yards and three touchdowns and North Texas beat Army 35-18 on a rainy field. It was the Mean Green’s first victory over Army in five tries.
Lowest moment: With a chance to get to six wins and clinch their bowl eligibility the official way, the Mean Green were routed in their regular-season finale at UTEP, 52-24. North Texas had no answer for Aaron Jones, who ran for 301 yards and four touchdowns, both career highs.
Key player: Nate Brooks finished the regular season with four interceptions, which ranks second in Conference USA for a North Texas pass defense that finished the regular season as the third-best statistical pass defense.
Motivation level: Having won only five games, the Mean Green have to be thrilled with the opportunity to play in a bowl game. The opportunity should give Seth Littrell and his program plenty of momentum going into 2017. -- Jake Trotter