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Army crushes Houston in Armed Forces Bowl

Army capped off one of its best seasons in years with a win to finish the season 11-2 while Houston finished the season 8-5. | Corbin Ayres/The Cougar


Houston went into Armed Forces Bowl looking to finish a disappointing season with a high note. Instead, the Cougars disappointed fans and were torn apart by Army’s run game in the 70-14 loss.

The Cougars’ defense was underwhelming and unprepared as the Black Knights ran for 507 yards and eight touchdowns in the game.

It was true freshman Clayton Tune’s second game as starting quarterback in the place of injured junior D’Eriq King and he struggled under the pressure. Army’s defense preyed on Tune and had five sacks in the first half and five in the second.

Houston had a chance to score but the pass was dropped in the end zone and the team had to punt.

Army took the field with its signature wishbone triple option and slowly, but steadily moved up the field. It took almost eight minutes, but the Black Knights ran 14 plays, mostly runs, for 80 yards and a touchdown run to end up.

Junior quarterback Kelvin Hopkins had a field day against Houston as he ran for 170 yards and five touchdowns in the game. His highlight play came at the end of the first quarter as Hopkins dodged and weaved through defenders for a 77-yard touchdown run.

On the next drive, Tune fumbled the ball while trying to throw it and Army returned it for a touchdown as Army took a 21-0 lead.

Houston finally got the ball rolling on its next drive and Tune made completion after completion and finished a 77-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown pass to senior Romello Brooker.

It would be the highlight of Houston’s game as it was all Army for the rest of the night.

After a failed onside kick, the Black Knights caught the Cougars off guard with a rare pass for 54 yards to start its next drive and then dove for the final yards to score on a quarterback run.

Army led 42-7 at the half, but pumped the brakes in mercy in the second half. Army scored three more touchdowns while Houston scored one near the end of the game.

Army broke the Armed Forces Bowl record for points in a game that was previously held by California, which scored 55 against Air Force in the 2015 bowl.

The 56 point defeat also tied the largest margin of victory in bowl game history. The previous was 56 points when Tulsa beat Bowling Green 70-14.

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