Army improves to 3-0 with 66-14 victory over UTEP

UTEP quarterback Kavika Johnson just avoids Army's Andrew King of Army during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, in El Paso, Texas. (Mark Lambie/El Paso Times via AP)
AP

EL PASO, Texas (AP) Darnell Woolfolk ran for three touchdowns, Andy Davidson rushed for 106 yards and another score and Army routed UTEP 66-14 on Saturday night, days after sophomore defensive back Brandon Jackson was killed in a car accident.

Jackson was a starting defensive back for the Black Knights, and played in all 14 games since his arrival in 2015 and finished with 68 career tackles and three interceptions, two of which came against Wake Forest in 2015. He was killed Sunday, hours after Army beat Rice in its home opener.

“We made Brandon proud,” said senior linebacker and captain Andrew King. “And we're going to keep fighting for him. Brandon is going to be on our minds for the whole season, and for as long as we live.”

The battle of the nation's No. 4 running team against its No. 2 ball carrier never emerged in the Sun Bowl as Army steamrolled its way to a victory in the first meeting between the teams. Army is 3-0 for the first time since the 1996 season, when it started 9-0.

Army's Andy Davidson added 106 yards rushing and another score.

The Black Knights, who average 338 yards per game, conducted a triple-option clinic, rolling up 424 yards rushing on 72 attempts. Woolfolk had 15 carries for 71 yards, with all three scoring runs coming from inside the 10. Davidson had a 33-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to make it 31-0.

“They've been a good 1-2 punch the whole year,” Army coach Jeff Monken said about Woolfolk and Davidson.

“It was really good,” Woolfolk said of the way the team's wishbone attack clicked. “It just boils down to execution. Everyone was locked in and focusing.”

UTEP (1-2) allowed the most points at home since 2003. Aaron Jones, who entered the game as the nation's second leading rusher, finished with 67 yards on 11 carries and one score.

“My hat's off to Army,” UTEP coach Sean Kugler said. “In every phase, on offense, defense, special teams, they outcoached us, outhustled us, out did us in everything. I'd put them in the Top 25. I have a vote. I'll take care of that tomorrow.”

THE TAKEAWAY

ARMY: The Black Knights wishbone option rattled off 45 plays to UTEP's 15 and carried a 22:33 to 7:18 edge in time of possession into the break. They had the ball 10 times and scored on nine of those possessions. The defense added another score, Max Regan's 13-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

UTEP: Playing behind the entire way, the UTEP rushing game never had a chance to get Jones, the nation's No. 2 runner, on track. He had just five carries for 13 yards in the first half.

UP NEXT

ARMY: The Black Knights travel to Buffalo on Saturday.

UTEP: The Miners open their Conference USA schedule at home Saturday against Southern Miss.