When and where: November 10, 2018, Falcon Stadium, US Air Force Academy, CO, 3:30 PM ET
A battle between the two worst teams in the Mountain West Conference will ensue on Saturday when the New Mexico Lobos travel to Colorado to face the Air Force Falcons. The Lobos have lost their last four straight games, including a 31-23 loss last Saturday to San Diego State. Air Force, on the other hand, is coming off back-to-back losses to Army and Boise State.
Fourth quarter mistakes cost Lobos an upset win
Everything appeared to be going right for the Lobos in their game against San Diego State last Saturday. A game that was initially projected to be a blowout came down to the wire with the struggling Lobos ahead 23-14 in the fourth quarter. The Lobos defense did its job in limiting the big plays that had cost them in so many other games this season. They also benefitted from playing a San Diego State team that simply didn’t have its best stuff.
— New Mexico Lobos (@UNMLOBOS) November 4, 2018
The stars were aligned for the monumental upset, and in a blink of an eye, they rearranged and showed the Lobos who they really were as a football team.
Aztecs quarterback Christian Chapman marched 75 yards down the field on offense to punch the ball into the end zone. Not long after that drive, a special teams blunder and a roughing the passer penalty led to a lead change after an Aztec field goal. There was no rallying moment for New Mexico in the waning moments of the game—just more mistakes from a team that’s made them all season.
A critical interception thrown by quarterback Coltin Gerhart put the ball back into the hands of Chapman, who handed the ball off to running back Juwan Washington for a 50-yard touchdown run to ice the game.
Looking backwards won’t help the Falcons
After Air Force dropped another loss to Army, quarterback Donald Hammond III vowed to defeat the Knights the next time the two teams met. It would have served as a galvanizing moment for the team, if that vehement promise actually had anything to do with this season. Army is the better football team, and regardless of the game being close, they still managed to make the plays that mattered to come away with the victory.
It’s time to move on. You can rest assured Army has already done so.
Hammond finished the game with seven completions for 120 yards on a day when the running game was stagnant. The leading rusher for the Falcons was fullback Cole Fagan, who ran for only 37 yards on 10 carries.
The stalled backfield put all of the pressure on Hammond to make something happen with his arm and his legs. Even Isaiah Sanders came in for a few plays, and all he mustered was five completions for 77 yards and one interception. It’s safe to say it was a rough weekend for the Falcons.
Perhaps the only good news Air Force received in the last few days is the full recovery of their mascot, Aurora the falcon, who was subjected to a prank gone wrong over the weekend.
- Falcons are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games after allowing less than 20 points in the previous game.
- Falcons are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games
- Falcons are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games played on grass
- Falcons are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games played at home
- Lobos are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games played on grass.
- Lobos are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after an ATS win
- Lobos are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games
- Lobos are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games after accumulating less than 170 passing yards in the previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Hammond vowed to defeat the Knights, but he might have to settle for only defeating the Lobos. Air Force shouldn’t have any problems finding opening running lanes against the Lobos defense, which is allowing an average of 170.3 rushing yards per game. Hammond should also have opportunities to throw the ball down field with the defense giving up an average of 296 passing yards.
Fagan will be key for the Falcons. If he’s able to get it going on the ground early, it will be much easier for the offense to get into a rhythm. It can shorten the field and keep them out of third-and-long situations. Hammond’s ability to scramble for extra yards will also be crucial for the Falcons to keep the chains moving.
On the defensive side of the ball, they should be able to make plays on one of the more turnover-prone teams in college football. The decision to move on with Gerhart over Sheriron Jones at quarterback hasn’t looked like much of an improvement considering Gerhart threw the interception to lose the game against San Diego State.
Turnovers will be equally as critical on the road against Air Force.
Prediction: Air Force Falcons (-13.5)
Full-Game Total Pick
The over is 5-0 in the last five head-to-head games between these two teams. New Mexico has given up 127 points combined in their last three games in a year where they are allowing 35.1 points per game. Air Force has a better scoring defense, but they are also far from a defensive juggernaut. Both offenses should be able to move the ball easily and run up the scoreboard in this game.
Prediction: Over (56.5)