Don’t look now, but the #25 ranked Boise State Broncos are on a 6 game winning streak, poised to win their MWC division, possibly the conference game and make a run at a big time bowl game. This weekend, the Broncos host the Air Force Falcons on the blue turf in a game that has post season ramifications for both teams. Kickoff inside Albertsons Stadium is at 10:15 PM ET.
These two teams have faced off against each other 5 times with Air Force posting a 3-2 record against Boise State. The Falcons have ripped off 3 straight victories over the Broncos, including the last time these two teams squared off on the blue turf in 2015.
Air Force (4-6, 3-3 MWC) is coming off two straight losses and has been eliminated from contention for the division title. The Falcons are looking to pull off the huge upset this weekend and break their current two-game losing streak, while extending their overall winning streak against Boise State to 4 straight games.
Boise State (8-2, 6-0 MWC) can clinch the MWC division this weekend with a win over the Falcons. Last weekend, the Broncos had to come back from a 25 point deficit to take out Colorado State. That comeback saved Boise State’s shot at the MWC title game and a top shelf bowl game. The Broncos have struggled against Air Force over the last 3 years and are focused on taking down their nemesis.
The spread opened with Boise State favored by 17 points. Since then, the spread has gone up to 17.5 points. The Over/Under opened at 57 total points and has remained unchanged.
Let me start off by saying that I believe Boise State will win this game. However, I don’t think they will win by more than 17 points. That’s a large spread for the Broncos to cover, especially at home versus the Falcons.
Boise State is 2-12 ATS in their last 14 home games. Even more eye opening is the fact that they’re 0-5 ATS against Air Force. The Underdog is 5-0 ATS in their 5 meetings.
So, after taking a look at these numbers ATS and the history between these two teams, it’s hard to take Boise State and this large of a spread.
We all know that Air Force will bring their triple option to the table and the #5 ranked rushing attack. Boise State failed to stop Air Force last year as the Falcons ripped off 314 yards against the Broncos.
This year, Boise State is allowing 122 ypg on the ground and their rush defense will be put to the test. Now, you can look back to their game against SDSU and point out how Boise’s defense stopped a powerful rush offense. But, Air Force seems to be this team’s kryptonite and I don’t think that BSU can completely stop the Falcons run game.
I do believe BSU will win this game because they will outscore the Falcons even though both teams are averaging almost the same amount of points per game: AF at 32ppg and BSU at 33.9 ppg. The difference is that BSU is the top scoring team in the Mountain West conference and they’re only giving up 20ppg. Air Force is giving up 35+ ppg in MWC play and that will be why BSU wins this game.
For as good as Air Force is at running the ball, they’re terrible at stopping the run. The Falcons are giving up 260 rushing yards per game and that bodes well for Boise State’s rush game. Look for running back Alexander Mattison to run through and over the Falcons as he’s already totaled 919 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns on the season.
Don’t forget Boise State’s running quarterback Montell Cozart who comes in on package plays and near the end zone. He’s the second leading rusher for the team with 329 yards. He also has completed over 64% of his passes, which makes him a dual threat that Air Force has to game plan for.
And, just when Air Force commits to stopping BSU’s run game, starting quarterback Brett Rypien will rip the Falcons apart. Last weekend he threw for 331 yards and 4 touchdowns, including 2 TD’s in the final minutes of the game to lead Boise State all the way back.
In the end, BSU’s offense will be too much for Air Force to handle and I expect them to pull away late in the game. Boise State wins 37 – 24.