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West Virginia climbs over Army for Liberty Bowl victory

WVU was able to slow down the triple option, and the Black Knights are unable to find a third double-digit win season in four years.

Army Black Knights quarterback Tyhier Tyler during the first half against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Liberty Bowl Stadium. Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The West Virginia Mountaineers held the Army Black Knights, one of the most potent rushing offenses in the country, to just 3.1 yards per carry in a 24-21 win in the 2020 Liberty Bowl on Wednesday evening in Memphis, Tennessee.

WVU’s quarterback tandem of Jarret Doege and Austin Kendall combined for 23-42 passing for 280 yards and three touchdowns and an interception. Eight different receivers caught a pass, but the Mountaineers (6-4) were forced to the air because they managed just 42 yards on 27 carries.

Army (9-3) completed another terrific season in this era of renaissance at West Point, but were unable to move the ball out of their triple option offense efficiently. The Black Knights ran the ball 59 times for just 182 yards, far below their season average of 281.

Usually Jeff Monken’s team needs to win the war of the clock and limit opponent opportunities, but they couldn’t today with just 33:41 in possession, and a combined 6-16 on third and fourth down. But that shouldn’t take away from a terrific season for a squad that won the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy, as well as surpassed nine wins for the third time in the last four years.