Looking at just the box scores, Air Force seems to have more of an air raid offense than a triple-option offense. They are currently averaging 35.7 points per game and are 1st in the country in yards per pass attempt (12.6). If you dig a little deeper though, you’ll notice that Air Force has benefited from playing some awful defenses in Colorado (122nd in YPP allowed), Hawaii (116th), & San Jose State (89th).
The only good defense they’ve faced so far is Navy, and they were held to 25 points, which is 10.7 less than their average. Utah State has the 39th ranked defense in yards per play allowed, and more importantly, the 17th ranked rush defense (3.2 yards allowed per rush attempt). Air Force also has questions of who will run their offense this week after Hammond left with an injury in the Hawaii game & 3rd stringer Mike Schmidt balled out. Despite how good he looked throwing the ball, I don’t think he is as good of a runner as Hammond & that’s ultimately what Air Force wants to do.
As for Utah State’s offense, they’ve struggled lately & are currently ranked 78th in yards per play. They too have had some huge offensive performances, but I take those with a grain of salt, as they were against Wake Forest, Colorado State, & Nevada. Utah State will attempt to push pace, but I don’t see that as a huge factor when Air Force usually dominates time of possession (10th in avg. time of possession).
Utah State’s first two games against Wake Forest & Stony Brook both flew over 58 points, but none of their games since have topped that number (40 pts, 58, 48, and 46). I expect that trend to continue, as they’ll lean on their strong run defense in this one & limit the big plays that Air Force has thrived on.
Utah State // Air Force UNDER 58
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NCAAF: 22-10-2 for +13.83 units