Film Room: Army vs North Texas Re-Match in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl

Army and North Texas are aligned for a rematch in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl on 12/27 at 9am (noon eastern). North Texas won round 1 35-18. On the S&P+ Army is ranked 81 while North Texas is ranked 111. Regarding turnover margin (my favorite stat after S&P+) North Texas is ranked 52nd, Army was ranked 92nd in that stat. I can see Army beating North Texas, even after losing in the regular season, because Bradshaw the Army QB has gotten into a better groove (see: Army/Navy) and won’t throw 4 interceptions this time around, and Army hopefully won’t lose 3 fumbles.


North Texas likes 20 personnel and using a zone based running scheme. Below, you can see an outside zone lead play with the FB picking up anyone that gets close called the MDM or most dangerous man.

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Below, you can see a 10 personnel trips open formation, and a leveled combination. #1 runs a hitch, #2 runs a shallow cross, #3 runs a 10 yard dig. The QB really misses on the open shallow cross and throws into the deep dropping WLB with a safety helping over the top.

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Below, you can see a 20 personnel formation with 3 in the route. It’s a bad ball but the WR makes a great adjustment and the Army DB’s aren’t aware of where the ball is and North Texas scores on a deep throw.

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On Defense

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North Texas brought a 5-2 defense against Army to try to stop the triple. Army rushed for 300 yards but did have 7 turnovers in the game.

As many people know, Army has adopted the flexbone triple option. The Fullback is a feature of the Army triple where as the QB/SB are the feature of the Navy triple. Expect to see a ton of work with the FB on midline, trap, and zone dive as well as the typical inside veer triple option you see below:

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Below, it looks a bit like a QB Follow play, but the guard ripping through looks like midline. On midline- the QB reads the 3-tech (DT), if he sits give to the FB, if he bites on the dive, pull and run through the B-gap.

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This should feel familiar for you old school wing-t guys. Army motions towards the boundary and the Knights run a wing-counter to the field with the guard and tackle pulling to lead the way.

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On defense

The Army Knights will run the same 3-4 defense that Navy runs. Against 20 personnel teams they’ll bring 4. At the bottom of the screen you can see a little robber type coverage playing 3 over 2.

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