FORT WORTH, Texas (Dec. 3, 2017) – The Army West Point Black Knights and San Diego State Aztecs have officially accepted invitations to play in the 2017 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, Brant Ringler, the bowl’s executive director, announced Sunday.
The 15th edition of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl will be played Saturday, Dec. 23, at TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT (3:30 p.m. ET).
“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,” Ringler said. “We are honored to host Army West Point for the second time 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.”
Army (9-3) leads the nation in rushing at 355.8 yards per game (6.1 yards per carry) and has scored with 45 touchdowns on the ground. The Black Knights won six straight games earlier this season and own a 5-2 mark in games decided by a touchdown or less.
Jeff Monken is in his fourth year as head coach of the Black Knights. Over the past two years, Army is 17-8, including 12-3 in the past 15 games, and is making back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time since 1984-85. With victories over Air Force (21-0) and Navy (14-13), Army claimed the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for the first time since 1996.
This will mark the program’s seventh all-time bowl appearance. Army is 4-2 in previous games, and those six postseason appearances have been decided by a total of 19 points, and all by a touchdown or less. The most recent contest was a 38-31 overtime win last year at the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl.
San Diego State (10-2, 6-2 Mountain West) ended the regular season on a four-game winning streak. Earlier in the year, the Aztecs defeated nationally-ranked Stanford, the eventual Pac-12 runner up by the final of 20-17. Walter Camp Award finalist Rashaad Penny leads the nation in rushing yards (2,027) and all-purpose yards (2,698).
Head coach Rocky Long is in his seventh season at the helm of the program. Long has amassed the most victories (64-28, .696) of any Mountain West head coach since the league's inception in 1999. His teams have now reached double-digit wins in each of the past three seasons.
The Aztecs will be playing in their 12th major college bowl game and eighth straight. The team is 5-6 in those games. It is the first time that San Diego State will play in the Armed Forces Bowl.
“This promises to be an exciting matchup between two talented, well-coached teams,” Ringler said. “We are looking forward to welcoming both programs and their great fans to Fort Worth in a little over two weeks.”
The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, played in honor of the armed forces of the United States, is the only collegiate football bowl game that has hosted all three U.S. Military Academy football teams. Air Force has appeared in the game five times (2007, 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2015), while Navy has played twice (2013, 2016). Army, which made its debut in 2010, will be making its second appearance.
The annual game has featured the “armed forces” theme since 2006. Patriotic overtones recognizing all five branches of service are prevalent throughout the game. Past Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowls have included fan-fest adventure areas showcasing armed forces hardware; flyovers; demonstrations by several of the military's top skydiving teams; custom homes awarded to wounded warriors; on-field induction ceremonies; armed forces bands and honor guards; and the annual Great American Patriot Award presented by Armed Forces Insurance.
Tickets range from $30 for general admission seating to $75 for lower bowl reserved seats. A limited number of seats are also available in the exclusive Champions Club located on the west side of the stadium. At $125, these tickets include premium seating, complimentary food and beverages, and access to the inside of the club level.
The matchup will be televised nationally on ESPN. It also will be aired in both English and Spanish on the Armed Forces Bowl Radio Network.
The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl is one of 14 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN.