(1-0, 1-0 ATS)
Air Force Falcons
(1-0, 0-1 ATS)
Though the TCU Horned Frogs and Utah Utes are stealing the show right now in the Mountain West, the next two best teams in this conference are going to square off in Colorado Springs in college football betting action on Saturday, as the BYU Cougars take on the Air Force Falcons.
The Cougs are deploying a pair of quarterbacks, and it appears as though that’s the way that it’s going to stay for at least the foreseeable future. We can’t separate what QB Jake Heaps and QB Riley Nelson really accomplished last week in a victory against the Washington Huskies. Heaps threw for 131 yards on 13-of-23 passing, while Nelson went 11-for-17 for 131 yards and two TDs. He also was the second leading rusher on the team with 45 yards. The star of the show was probably RB JJ Di Luigi, who is stepping into the shoes of RB Harvey Unga with gusto. Di Luigi ran for 69 yards and caught four passes for 83 yards and a TD. Still, this remains one of the youngest teams in the conference, if not in the entire country, and BYU knows that it has a ton of work to do if it has BCS dreams dancing in its head this year.
The Falcons probably surprised Northwestern State last week by throwing the ball a little bit more than usual. However, Air Force really trusts QB Tim Jefferson this season, as he is now in his third year of directing the triple option offense. He threw for 179 yards on just seven completions, two of which went for TDs. Jefferson was one of a whopping 18 players who picked up at least one carry in a 65-21 beat down of NWST. It should come as no surprise that RB Asher Clark and RB Jared Tew both led the way offensively. Clark had 84 yards and a TD on 12 carries, while Tew rushed the ball 13 times for 65 yards. However, of those 18 players with at least one rush, 12 reached double digits in yards on the ground. All told, the Falcons rushed for an astounding 437 yards on 61 carries, which is more yards than most teams had with their entire offense last week. Still, we have to remember that Air Force did allow Northwestern State to score 21 points in the first half and rack up 311 yards overall, which could be a bad omen.
One look at the history of these programs suggests that the Cougs are going to roll to yet another win in this series. After all, the L/6 have all gone their way, each by at least double digits, and they have successfully covered the spread in all six. However, there is a lot of experience here on the side of the Falcons, particularly offensively, and if the youthful ‘D’ of the Cougars can’t figure out this triple option, it is going to be up to Nelson, Heaps, Di Luigi, and a relatively inexperienced offense to keep up with the scoring. Add in there the fact that the Falcons would love to give BYU one more swift kick in the butt out of the door of the Mountain West, and the recipe is there. You might think you’re getting a bargain with BYU. We know better, though. Fly with the Falcons on Saturday.
Selection: Air Force Falcons -1