Flyovers. Fanfest. Next-level talent.
And, there’s a high-octane game too.
Army (9-3) will face San Diego State (10-2) in the 15th annual Armed Forces Bowl on Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kickoff is 2:30 p.m.
Army, the nation’s top rushing team, is appearing in the Armed Forces Bowl for the second time. The Black Knights won the 2010 game 16-14 over SMU.
San Diego State, led by dynamic running back Rashaad Penny, is making its first appearance in the Armed Forces Bowl and first appearance in a bowl game in the state of Texas.
Here are some angles, facts and figures on the Armed Forces Bowl:
The pregame flyover will feature helicopters from the legendary 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), more commonly known as the Night Stalkers. Various aircraft from the regiment, including the MH-60 Black Hawk assault helicopter made by Sikorski, which is owned by Lockheed Martin.
The Armed Forces Bowl championship trophy is comprised of donated parts from each branch of the military. From the Navy, a structural fitting from the USS Fort Worth, built by Lockheed Martin. The Air Force supplied an equipment panel from a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft that was deployed in the Middle East. The Marine Corps gave engine components from an F-18A Hornet fighter plane and the Army provided engine components from a UH-IH Helicopter.
The Armed Forces Bowl announced its 15th anniversary all-bowl team recently.
Among those named to the team was former TCU linebacker Josh Goolsby and former Arlington Grace Prep and Cal Bears running back Justin Forsett.
Goolsby had 13 tackles and an interception as Boise State clipped the Horned Frogs 34-31 in the inaugural game in 2003.
Forsett played 12 seasons in the NFL. He had 140 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries (6.1 yards per carry) in the 2007 game, which the Bears won 42-36 over Air Force.
Looking for someone you know on either team?
Well, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll recognize someone as both teams are loaded with players or coaches with Texas connections, including Army defensive lineman Jon King of Fort Worth Nolan Catholic and San Diego State’s Mark Brown of Fort Worth Arlington Heights.
Tarrant County is also represented on the Army squad by long snapper Caleb McKee of Arlington High and lineman Luke McCleery of Keller Grapevine Faith.
San Diego State’s Tarrant County players are quarterback Cam Roane of Colleyville Heritage, quarterback Ryan Agnew of Southlake Carroll, running back Juwan Washington of Kennedale, linebacker Caden McDonald of Justin Northwest and offensive lineman Nick Gerhard of Mansfield Timberview.
San Diego Diego State coach Rocky Long once coached defensive backs at TCU.
There’s plenty of fun to be had long before the kickoff and the majority of the action will be centered at the Tailgate Outpost.
The Tailgate Outpost opens at 10:30 a.m. and closes before kickoff. The Tailgate Outpost features a free concert with Coffey Anderson, a team pep rally at 1 p.m. and an exhibition of military hardware, interactive displays, and games.
Who’s the home team?
Army will be the home team. The Black Knights will be using the east sideline and the south end zone locker room.
San Diego State will be the visitors and will be located on the west sideline and the northwest corner locker room.
Sixty-six players who participated in the Armed Forces Bowl since the inaugural game in 2003 have been selected over the past 14 NFL drafts, including three Louisiana Tech players in 2016.
The Cal Bears have the most with 16. A total of 15 schools that have participated in the game have had players drafted.
Only Air Force and Army have not.
Five former Armed Forces Bowl participants were NFL first-round picks, highlighted by Cal quarterback Jared Goff, the No. 1 overall pick by the Los Angeles Rams in 2016. Other former first-rounders include: Kansas defensive back Aqib Talib (2008), Cal center Alex Mack (2009), Cal defensive tackle Tyson Alualu (2010) and BYU defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (2013).
Bag check in affect
Don’t forget your clear bag or risk getting turned around at the gate.
Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and not exceeding 14 inches by 14 inches are one of several items permitted to enter the stadium. Here are the others:
▪ One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).
▪ One unopened small bottle of water.
▪ Small clutch bags with or without a handle or strap can be taken into the venue with one of the clear plastic bags.
▪ Small clutch bags must be approximately the size of a hand.
▪ Exceptions will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at stadium/arena gates.
▪ Backpacks, diaper bags and other similar bags will not be allowed.