Last Updated: 2017-03-06
We fell to 13-4-1 on the season with the Boise State going over the total in part thanks to a kickoff return for a touchdown by Northern Illinois, as special teams and defensive touchdowns played a big part in my dismal week. This week, we’ll look at the Armed Forces Bowl, which will take place on Tuesday between California and Air Force. The Golden Bears are favored by seven and the total has climbed all the way to 67.5.
This is another game that sees polar opposites, as the Bears like to throw the ball and the Falcons prefer to move the ball on the ground. California has had some extra time to practice for the Air Force option, which is an advantage, although the Bears’ scout team quarterback does not read the defense nearly as well as Karson Roberts.
Neither team is particularly adept at stopping the opposition’s strength. Air Force doesn’t have terrible numbers against the pass, but games against Army, Navy and New Mexico will make any team’s pass defense better than it is. Michigan State’s Connor Cook threw for four touchdowns against the Falcons, who also allowed a combined 660 yards to Utah State and Colorado State.
California’s run defense isn’t good no matter how you look at it, as the Bears allowed Grambling to rush for 127 yards. The Bears’ numbers are a bit misleading, as they allowed 477 yards to Oregon, but they did allow a minimum of 174 yards in each of their last seven games.
The game is being played in Fort Worth, Texas, so you can’t expect many California fans to make the trip, but Dyess Air Force base is just over two hours away, so the Falcons should have a bit of a crowd advantage.
These same two teams met in the 2007 and California came away with a 42-36 victory in an entertaining game, as Air Force’s quarterback Shaun Carney was injured and the Falcons’ offense came to a standstill.
California began the season going 5-0 and climbed into the rankings, only to go 2-5 down the stretch and end up in this game. The Bears did show a bit of mettle in bouncing back from a tough loss to Stanford to defeat Arizona State 48-46, but their only other win down the stretch came against Oregon State.
The Falcons have dropped two in a row, although the first was a meaningless game against New Mexico, but they did play San Diego State tough in the Mountain West championship game, falling 27-24.
Have to think the Falcons can keep this one close and will take the seven points.
For updated lines, check out BTB’s College Football Odds.