Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#423 Air Force -3 vs.
#424 Hawaii 64.5
Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 11:00pm EDT
Aloha Stadium, Honolulu
Written by Chris Kubala

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#423 Air Force Academy
#424 University of Hawaii at Manoa
4-2
4-2
3-3
3-3
4-2
3-3
34
36
23
32

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It’s a battle of teams from the Mountain West Conference in a crossover matchup coming to you from the Hawaiian Islands. The Air Force Falcons make the trip westward as they take on the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Saturday night. Air Force comes in off a 43-24 home win over Fresno State in their previous contest last Saturday. Hawaii was beaten 59-37 on the road on the blue turf at #14 Boise State last Saturday in their most recent action. The Falcons lead the all-time series between the teams 12-7-1 but it was the Rainbow Warriors claiming a 34-27 road win in the most recent matchup October 22, 2016.

Air Force Falcons Try to Build Off Home Win

Air Force bounced back from a disheartening loss at Navy as they rolled past Fresno State at home in their last contest. The Falcons now go on the road in search of a second straight conference victory here. Air Force trailed 24-22 at the half but outscored Fresno State 21-0 in the second half to earn the victory. The Falcons rolled up a 421-268 edge in total offense, racked up a 28-12 edge in first downs and dominated time of possession by a 39:29 to 20:31 margin in the contest. Air Force forced the game’s lone turnover: for good measure, they turned it into a pick-six.

The Falcons, as is typical of most service academy teams, are heavily skewed toward the run: the team is 126th in the nation in passing offense with 127.8 yards per game through the air and second in rushing by averaging 296.5 yards per contest. Air Force is 37th in the FBS in scoring offense with 34.3 points per contest while the team is 50th in scoring defense by allowing 23.7 points per game. Donald Hammond III has hit 30 of 60 passes for 655 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions while adding 249 yards and eight scores on the ground. Isaiah Sanders is three of three for 71 yards this season. Kadin Remsberg is second on the team with 78 carries for 440 yards and three scores. Taven Birdow (97 attempts, team-high 451 yards, four TD) and Timothy Jackson (46 carries, 245 yards, three TD) are effective options. Geraud Sanders leads the team with 17 receptions for 363 yards plus three scores: Benjamin Waters (nine catches, 292 yards, two TD) is the only other player with more than four receptions. Jake Koehnke is 20 of 24 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.

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Look to Bounce Back at Home

Hawaii was overmatched and ended up on the wrong end of a shootout against #14 Boise State on the road in their last contest. The Rainbow Warriors hope to bounce back at home and earn a fifth win of the season. Hawaii trailed 31-7 in the second quarter and 52-21 after three before gaining a little ground in the fourth. The Rainbow Warriors were outgained 518-438, gave up 29 first downs while picking up 24 and lost the time of possession battle by a 32:42 to 27:18 margin. Hawaii was hurt by turnovers as they committed four while recording only one takeaway in the contest.

The Rainbow Warriors are 4th in the nation in passing offense with 351.5 yards per game through the air and stand 106th in rushing offense with 122 yards per contest. Hawaii is 26th in the FBS in scoring offense by averaging 37 points per game while they stand a miserable 106th in scoring defense by allowing 32.7 points per contest. Cole McDonald is 154 of 231 passing for 1,880 yards with 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions while rushing for 155 yards plus a score. Chevan Cordeiro is 17 of 33 for 215 yards with two touchdowns and one interception plus 30 yards on the ground. Miles Reed leads the team with 54 carries for 237 yards and three scores while Fred Holly III contributes 31 carries for 145 yards this season. Cedric Byrd leads the team with 46 receptions for 572 yards and nine touchdowns. Jared Smart (32 catches, 377 yards, TD), JoJo Ward (28 catches, 418 yards, six TD) and Jason-Matthew Sharsh (31 grabs, 330 yards, TD) are quality secondary options. Ryan Meskell has hit all 27 extra point attempts but is only three of eight on field goal tries with a long of 44.

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Hawaii is prolific offensively but their inability to make any concerted efforts at extended stops on the defensive side of the ball leaves them in situations where they have to put up big point totals in order to have a chance at success. In a game against a team like Air Force, who loves to run the ball, it can make it that much more difficult because the Falcons will bleed the clock on their long drives. The Rainbow Warriors have allowed 5.3 yards per carry and 13 touchdowns on the ground this season. One other daunting stat: Hawaii is a staggering -12 in takeaway/giveaway with 19 turnovers this season. Air Force is a -4 in that department but they are more disciplined about making bad miscues: look for the Falcons to soar and fly home with a victory.

Prediction: Air Force Falcons -3

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The Air Force offense is one of those ones that is tough to game plan for, as outside of Navy, Army and possibly Georgia Tech, there aren't many teams that even remotely tinker with the triple option. Air Force has been pretty effective at moving the ball and putting points on the board, which is going to test a Hawaii defense that has given up at least 38 points in three separate games. The Rainbow Warriors have a prolific offense but their defense has kept them from rolling over teams. Can Hawaii find a way to not turn the ball over and get some stops on the defensive side of the ball in order to pick up the home win?

The over is 4-0 in the Falcons' last 4 games in October, 5-1 in their last 6 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game and 7-2 in their last 9 games on fieldturf. Hawaii has seen the over go 5-2 in their last 7 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game. The teams have gone over the total in four of the last five meetings: look for this one to have plenty of offense to push things over the number.

Prediction: Over 64
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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.