Hawaii Warriors (1-8 SU, 2-7 ATS) vs. Air Force Falcons (5-5 SU, 3-7 ATS)
College Football Week 12
Date/Time: Friday November 16th, 2012. 9:30PM Eastern
Where: Falcon Stadium USAF Academy, C.O.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: HAW +22.5/AF -22.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
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Friday night football returns this week when the Hawaii Warriors travel to Colorado to meet the Air Force Falcons on ESPN2. The Falcons have had a slightly below average type season hovering at the .500 mark with a 5-5 SU record. However, the Air Force will be rather sizeable favorites when they host the 1-8 SU Warriors this Friday as the Falcons look to become bowl eligible for the 6th straight season under Coach Troy Calhoun.
The visiting Warriors have suffered a disastrous season under new head coach Norm Chow. Hawaii’s typically respectable offense has all but vanished under Chow averaging just 295 total yards per game (117th in FBS). The Warriors only win this season came against Lamar 54-2, which is a team out of the FCS, in the 2nd game of the year. Hawaii’s 7 game losing streak is tied for the 2nd longest in school history and the Warriors have been outscored 388-122 against FBS opponents. Needless to say if things do not turn around quickly, Chow’s first season as head coach on the island could be his last.
Last week Chow benched starting QB Sean Schroeder after completing just 10 of 19 passing for 100 yards and an interception. Schroeder has struggled severely this season completing just over 50% passing with 10 scores and 9 picks. As a result of those numbers, Hawaii has been one of the least productive teams in the country averaging just 195 yards through the air. Backup sophomore Jeremy Higgins could get the start this Friday night after hitting 7 of 11 passing in relief efforts against Boise State. Higgins has attempted just 22 passes all season with 0 touchdowns and 1 pick. Therefore I would not be willing to bet he will make a huge difference for the offense. However, Higgins is a change at the quarterback position and perhaps ‘change’ is just what the offense needs to find a spark.
On the other side of the field, the Air Force has an offense that rarely throws the ball around. Instead, the Falcons run a unique option style running offense that can be difficult to defend. On the year, Air Force has averaged an outstanding 335 yards per game on the ground (2nd in FBS). Running back Cody Getz leads the team averaging 6.7 yards per carry. Getz has actually already eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark on the season and has 8 touchdowns to his resume. QB Connor Dietz is 2nd on the team in rushing with 606 yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground. In the passing game, Dietz has completed 62.5% passing for just 1,095 yards with 7 scores and 3 picks. While Dietz has made a few plays in the passing game this year, Hawaii will have to prove they can stop the run first and foremost.
The Warriors rush defense has been horrible this season giving up over 200 yards per game (106th in FBS). While Hawaii has averaged just 2.9 yards per carry on offense, they have given up over 6 yards per carry on defense. That does not sound comforting against a team like Air Force that runs the ball extremely well. The Falcons have proved they can run the ball against everyone this season and shown that their offense can be truly difficult to defend even against solid defenses. Therefore, Hawaii has an uphill challenge as they look to snap their 7 game losing streak and capture their first Mountain West Conference win of the season.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I am not confident Hawaii can contend in this game and this could easily turn into yet another blowout loss. The Warriors are just 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 games while going 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games. On the flip side, Air Force doesnt exactly light it up either. When in doubt, take the underdog. I’m betting Hawaii plus the points.
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