(2-1, 1-2 ATS)
Air Force Falcons
(3-1, 2-2 ATS)
The first game in the Commander in Chief Trophy challenge will take place in Colorado Springs on Saturday afternoon, as the Navy Midshipmen and the Air Force Falcons engage in NCAA football wagering warfare.
The Middies just haven’t quite gotten the offensive production this year necessary to get anywhere near the Top 25. Against a relatively modest schedule, the Naval Academy is only accounting for 398.0 yards per game and has only scored more than 14 points once in a game. Two weeks ago, a 37-23 win over the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs was a bit surprising due to the fact that QB Ricky Dobbs threw for 200 yards! The triple option almost never features passing, but Dobbs was taking advantage of the La Tech secondary and single coverage to consistently nail deep passes. Dobbs has thrown for 376 yards and a TD this year, and he has 174 yards on the ground with three tuddies as well. Still, this is all a far cry from last season, when Dobbs accounted for 33 scores and over 2,220 total yards of offense. Watch for RB Vince Murray to shine on Saturday, as he leads the team in rushing with 224 yards and a TD on 37 carries.
When you have 14 different men that have at least ten yards rushing on the season, you’re certainly a well rounded ground attack. When you have nine guys with at least 58 yards, you’re bordering on ridiculous. But when you have four men that have at least 166 yards in just four games, you’re the Air Force Falcons. Yes, Air Force is just a few plunges shy of 400 yards per game on the ground, and as a team, it is averaging a ho hum 6.20 yards per carry on the season. Needless to say, QB Tim Jefferson has this triple option offense rumbling up and down the field on unsuspecting foes. The best part of the year for the Falcons is that the schedule has actually been fairly brutal. Dropping 65 points and 616 total yards on Northwestern State didn’t mean much, but aside from that, the Falcons have played three tough foes in the BYU Cougars, Oklahoma Sooners, and Wyoming Cowboys. The slate isn’t getting any easier either, so the Falcons had better get used to this. After a gimme with the Colorado State Rams next week, the schedule gets awfully brutal, awfully quickly. The San Diego State Aztecs, TCU Horned Frogs, and Utah Utes make up the Murderer’s Row of teams in the MWC to face off with.
The Falcons are strong, but Navy could really be just as strong if the offense gets rolling. Last week could have been the start of something big for the Middies, and if they can keep that sort of intensity going for this whole game, they’ll be fighting tooth and nail the whole way, just as they did in a 16-13 overtime victory last season against the Falcons. Go with the Middies for your NCAA football picks for Saturday.
Selection: Navy Midshipmen +10