For the second straight week, the #7 ranked Michigan Wolverines are heavy favorites at home as they play host to the Air Force Falcons in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Kickoff inside Michigan Stadium is at 12 P.M. ET. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
The Air Force Falcons (1-0) have had two weeks to prepare for this battle against the Wolverines. Although they put up some impressive numbers in their first game (663 total yards), don’t expect that same success against Michigan.
The Wolverines (2-0) had a rather unemotional game against the Bearcats last week. They were favored by 34 points at home, but didn’t even come close to covering the spread in their 36-14 victory. Will the Wolverines come out on fire against Air Force or will they play down to their opponent’s level of talent and have another lackluster performance?
The spread opened with Michigan a -26 point favorite. It has since come down to 24.5 points. There are still a few books listing Michigan as a 25 to 26 point favorite. So, if you are looking to lay on Air Force and the points, then snatch that 26 point listing. The Over/Under opened at 57.5 points, but has come down to 53.5 total points.
Michigan is clearly better than Air Force. The one question or concern about this game is whether or not the Wolverines will come out and play with the same intensity they did in Week 1 against Florida or come out and play uninspired football like they did last week against the Bearcats.
After being burned by the Wolverines inability to cover 34 points last week, one would think to stay away from the large spread this week. But, I just can’t see Harbaugh allowing this team to play lackluster football two weeks in a row. Let’s chalk up last week’s ho-hum performance to the team coming down from their emotional high of Week 1’s crushing of Florida.
Air Force’s only game this season was a glorified scrimmage against VMI. They won 62-0 and racked up 473 yards on the ground. Their rushing attack is the bread and butter for this offense and they look to keep it operating at a high level this week in Ann Arbor. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen.
The Wolverines are only giving up 39.5 yards rushing per game and have the defensive personnel to really shut down Air Force’s ground game. In fact, you can bet that Michigan will make Air Force into a one dimensional offense by taking away the run and then forcing turnovers or getting sacks with their impressive pass defense.
On offense, the Wolverines have a balanced attack with 219 passing yards per game and 204 rushing yards per game. Expect the Wolverines to move the ball at will on this outmatched Air Force defense. Despite the Falcons being a 10 win team a year ago, they have had to replace their entire defense except for one starter and that’s a recipe for disaster in Ann Arbor.
Air Force is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games on the road. Michigan is 1-1 ATS this year.
Look for the Wolverines to shut down that Air Force triple option and “force” the Falcons to throw the ball. I expect the Wolverines to make some big plays on defense and potentially even score a touchdown. Speight and Isaac are more than enough fire power for the Wolverines to steamroll Air Force. Let’s just hope they don’t put it in cruise control like last week.