Thursday, December 29, 2016

Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl: North Texas 31, Army 38

Since the NCAA started allowing teams with 5-7 records (and high APR scores) to participate in bowl games last season, every team with a losing record had, remarkably, won their bowl game.

Of course, it had to be North Texas to come along last Tuesday and break that streak. 

The 2016 Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl was actually entertaining. The Mean Green rallied from a ten-point deficit to send the game into overtime, but - alas! - couldn't answer the Black Knights' touchdown on their first overtime possession.

North Texas beat Army in the regular season, 35-18, but then went on to lose four out of their next five games and the Mean Green were clearly struggling as they entered this bowl game. UNT ends the season with a 5-8 record, which doesn't sound great but nevertheless represents as many wins as they've accumulated in the last two seasons combined. Here's to hoping that North Texas can continue improving next season.

Army, on the other hand, ends their season on a high note, winning their first bowl game since 2010 only a few weeks after breaking their 14-year drought over arch-rival Navy.

Incidentally, this isn't the first time a 5-7 UNT team has gone bowling. In 2001, they went to the New Orleans Bowl with that record because they won the Sunbelt Conference in spite of their overall losing record. They were then dispatched by Colorado State, 20-45.

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