Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#197 Fresno State 51.5 vs.
#198 Air Force -3
Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 7:00pm EDT
Falcon Stadium, Colorado Springs
Written by Chris Kubala

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#197 California State University, Fresno
#198 Air Force Academy
2-2
3-2
1-2-1
2-3
2-2
3-2
30
32
26
23

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A pair of teams from the Mountain West lock up in a crossover matchup looking for a victory out in the Rocky Mountains. The Fresno State Bulldogs are on the road as they make the trip to face the Air Force Falcons Saturday night. Fresno State was off last week: they defeated New Mexico State 30-17 on the road in their previous contest on September 28. Air Force was defeated 34-25 on the road by Navy in their previous contest last Saturday. The Falcons lead the all-time series 6-3 and have taken the last two meetings, including a 31-21 road win in the last matchup on October 28, 2016.

Fresno State Bulldogs Seek Third Straight Win

Fresno State had last week off, giving them an extra week to prepare for the Air Force triple option. The Bulldogs are in search of a third straight win and to climb above .500 on the season. Fresno State bolted to a 24-0 lead late in the first half and held off a New Mexico State rally to earn the win. The Bulldogs had a 386-315 edge in total offense, a slight 18-17 advantage in first downs and dominated time of possession by a 36:01 to 23:59 margin. Fresno State forced three turnovers, including a pick-six, while committing only one turnover in the game.

The Bulldogs are 55th in the nation in passing offense with 254.3 yards per game while the team is 65th in rushing offense with 161.8 yards per contest. Fresno State is 64th in the FBS in scoring offense with 30.5 points per game and stand 66th in scoring defense by allowing 26.5 points per contest. Jorge Reyna has completed 91 of 146 passes for 1,017 yards with seven touchdowns and three interceptions this season: he is second on the team with 105 rushing yards and a score. Josh Hokit misfired on his lone pass attempt: he has run the ball 26 times for 116 yards and three scores. Ronnie Rivers leads the team with 53 carries for 208 yards and a touchdown while Jalen Cropper (10 carries, 161 yards, TD) has contributed as well. Zane Pope leads the team with 18 catches for 195 yards this season. Rivers (12 receptions, 77 yards, two TD), Derrion Grim (12 catches, 203 yards, two TD) and Chris Coleman (nine grabs, 158 yards, TD) are next in line. Cesar Silva has hit all 12 extra point attempts and eight of 12 field goal tries with a long of 48 this season.

Air Force Falcons Look to Regroup After Loss

Air Force was unable to build off their win over San Jose State as they were stunned on the road against Navy. The Falcons now need to regroup and pick up the win in order to avoid falling back to .500 after what would be a third loss in their last four games. Air Force rallied from a 21-9 deficit after three quarters to lead 25-21 with 3:15 to play but gave up the winning score with 23 seconds to go. The Falcons were outgained 376-354 in the contest and gave up 16 first downs while picking up 15. Air Force did hold a 32:09 to 27:51 edge in time of possession while both teams committed three turnovers: the Falcons gave up a fumble return for a score on the game’s final play that closed the scoring.

The Falcons, as is typical of most service academy teams, are heavily skewed toward the run: the team is 124th in the nation in passing offense with 137.2 yards per game through the air and fifth in rushing by averaging 287.8 yards per contest. Air Force is 48th in the FBS in scoring offense with 32.6 points per contest while the team is 49th in scoring defense by allowing 23.6 points per game. Donald Hammond III has hit 28 of 57 passes for 574 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions while adding 212 yards and six scores on the ground. Isaiah Sanders is three of three for 71 yards this season. Kadin Remsberg is second on the team with 67 carries for 351 yards and three scores. Taven Birdow (79 attempts, team-high 378 yards, three TD) and Timothy Jackson (26 carries, 128 yards, two TD) are effective options. Geraud Sanders leads the team with 16 receptions for 335 yards plus three scores: Benjamin Waters (eight catches, 239 yards, TD) is the only other player with more than four receptions. Jake Koehnke is 15 of 19 on extra points and seven of seven on field goals with a long of 49. Tevye Schuettpetz-Rohl hit his lone extra point try and has not attempted a field goal this season.

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This one is going to be a challenge for Air Force, who is reeling after their last-minute loss to Navy. The defeat washed away the good feelings of their fourth-quarter comeback to take the lead and now they have to face a rested Fresno State team. The Bulldogs have won two straight contests and they have been tough against the run. Fresno State has held the opposition to 109.5 yards per game on the ground and only 3.4 yards per carry this season. That is going to be an uphill climb for the Falcons, who aren’t equipped for an aerial assault. Give the Bulldogs the advantage in this contest.

 

 

Prediction: Fresno State Bulldogs +4.5

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Fresno State has won two straight coming into this one and they had last week off to give them two weeks to prepare for the triple-option of Air Force. The Falcons have to shake off their last-minute meltdown that wiped out their fourth quarter comeback against Navy. Fresno State has at least 23 points in each of their games this season and that included a contest against USC in their opener. Air Force has given up at least 23 points in each of their last four games after walloping Colgate 48-7 in the opener. The Falcons are at home but can they find a way to deliver the victory in conference play?

The under is 4-0 in the Bulldogs' last 4 games following an ATS loss, 4-0 in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record, 7-1 in their last 8 games in October and 6-1 in their last seven on the road. Given the fact that Fresno State is a tough defense and that both teams like to control the clock, there may not be a ton of possessions in the game. That means unless there are some quick strike scores, it will take some time and effort to put points on the board. That helps keep this one under the total.

Prediction: Under 50.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.