Air Force Falcons vs. Utah State Aggies Pick
Air Force Falcons (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) vs. Utah State Aggies (1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS)
College Football Week 14
Date and Time: Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 9:30PM EST
Where: Maverik Stadium, Logan, Utah
TV: CBS Sports Network
Point Spread: AF -10.5/USU +10.5 (BAS - They let you bet on games at -105 instead of -110! This will save you THOUSANDS of dollars over the years!)
Over/Under Total: 51
The Air Force Falcons take on the Utah State Aggies in a Mountain West matchup on Thursday. This might come down to who can better overcome adversity. The virus has derailed Air Force’s season to a large degree, while it has also touched Utah State, who has a slew of other issues with which to deal. For what it’s worth, both teams each won their last game, but both of those wins came against a woeful New Mexico team. For a Utah State team that has endured all kinds of drama, their win last week over the Lobos, 41-27, was actually a meaningful triumph. Air Force beat New Mexico two weeks ago, 28-0, in their last game, before seeing last week’s game with CSU canceled. Who can get it done in Logan this week?
The State of Utah State
It must be reiterated that New Mexico has played rotten-to-the-core football in recent weeks—just unbelievably awful. Still, Utah State was a team in need of a positive development in a big way. They had canned their head coach Gary Andersen. Their starting quarterback was dismissed from the team with a behavioral issue. They weren’t just losing, but getting really bounced around and not even coming all that close to covering spreads. Therefore, one could understand why some would be optimistic about New Mexico last week, as they had at least shown some grit, albeit in losing fashion. It was surprising to see the Aggies surface in that good of shape last week.
We were also reminded that we’re getting into a time of the year where places like Logan aren’t entirely pleasant sites for a football game. That’s especially true for teams like Air Force, who have only played once away from home this season and, frankly, aren’t very good. The setting alone can play a role. And it’s not just where they play, as Utah State was actually effective with Andrew Peasley, throwing for three touchdowns and running for another one on 118 yards rushing in what proved to be a fruitful debut for the redshirt sophomore. Justin McGriff and Derek Wright had big days through the air, and Devonta’e Henry-Cole continues to contribute.
Utah State was in a tight one with New Mexico when a huge 28-point third quarter pretty much put it out of reach, as the Aggies cruised to the finish for their first win of the season. With all the scheduling snafus and whatnot, the Aggies have been at home for a month and get another one there this week. They’re nice and dug in as they await an Air Force team that may be out-of-sync, having played only one of their last four scheduled games.
Can Air Force Get it Together?
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It’s a little hard, not to mention unprecedented, to have to guess a football team’s state of mind under these conditions, seeing games dashed left and right. It’s even harder when dealing with student-athletes whose obligations run deep. And we’re dealing with a team whose results were mixed, to begin with, making the equation a bit murky, to be frank. They showed they’re not among the division elite with losses to Boise and San Jose. But with rollicking wins over Navy and New Mexico, they also showed they’re not softies with that big-time ground-attack—something that can certainly resonate against a Utah State defense that isn’t that great.
Utah State may have shown some defensive resilience last week, but it would appear to get more challenging this week. Air Force’s one-dimensional offense in its current state might not play at the upper levels of the Mountain West, but this is not that. Against a Utah State defense that has appeared to be winging it for most of the season, this is a spot where the rested legs of a Falcons’ ground-attack could conceivably manifest. And despite having played just four games, they already have a half-dozen players with triple-digits in rushing yardage, one of those being nimble QB Haaziq Daniels.
Air Force has been deceptively scrappy, even against a still-unbeaten San Jose State and a tough Boise State team. Boise is the only team to take this defense to task this season so far, as Air Force’s other three opponents have managed a combined 24 points. That would appear to put Utah State in a precarious position in this game. It’s not going to be swiss cheese for Peasley like it was last week. This Air Force “D” has a lot of muscle up-front, with a disruptive secondary that can make big plays with difference-makers like Elisha Palm and Corvan Taylor. If Air Force is able to pull this off, it will be this side of the ball that plays a big part in it.
Take the Road Favorite
I just have to think Utah State’s showing last week was part a testament to their resolve on some level, but more a byproduct of New Mexico just being bad. I think the context becomes more-difficult this week. It’s a tough place to play, and no one can really be sure how the inactivity has resonated with the Falcons. If they show up flat and Utah State picks up where they left off last week, this could turn out to be a mistake. And let’s face it, this isn’t a great Air Force team. It’s still an 11-win team from last season, and I think their defense and run-game will end up giving them the separation they need for the win and cover in Logan on Thursday.
Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Air Force Falcons minus 10.5 points. Bet your Week 14 NCAA football picks for FREE by taking advantage of a 100% REAL CASH bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $300 at MyBookie Sportsbook! (Must use bonus code PREDICT100)