Air Force at Boise State
September 12, 2013
By Brian Edwards
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Match-up: Air Force Falcons at Boise State Broncos
Venue: Bronco Stadium in Boise, Idaho (FieldTurf)
Date: Friday, September 13, 2013
Time/TV: 8:00 PM ET - ESPN
Line: Boise State -23, Over/Under 57
Last Meeting: 2011, Boise State (-30) 37-26 vs. Air Force
This week’s Friday game takes us to the smurf turf in Idaho, where Boise St. (1-1 straight up, 1-1 against the spread) will take on Air Force in the Mountain West opener for both teams. As of late Thursday afternoon, most books had the Broncos installed as 24-point favorites with a total of 57. Gamblers can back the Falcons on the money line for a +1315 payout at 5Dimes (risk $100 to win $1,315).
Chris Petersen’s team had never been blown out during his tenure at BSU until Week 1 of this season. In his seven previous years, the Broncos were beaten by double digits just twice in losses at Washington (24-10) and at Hawaii (39-27) in 2007. But neither of those contests were blowouts.
When Boise St. went to Washington two weeks ago, however, it was woodshed treatment from the Huskies in the form of a 38-6 clubbing. UW took the cash as a 4.5-point home favorite, while the 44 combined points stayed ‘under’ the 54-point total.
BSU responded by stroking FCS foe UT-Martin 63-14 as a 35-point home favorite. Senior quarterback Joe Southwick connected on 17-of-25 passes for 234 yards and five touchdowns without an interception. The 77 combined points soared ‘over’ the 57.5-point total.
Jay Ajayi rushed 15 times for 80 yards and two TDs, while Shane Williams-Rhodes hauled in seven receptions for 89 yards and two scores.
Boise St. has struggled to hook up its betting supporters on the blue carpet recently, limping to a 3-11 spread record in its last 14 games as a home favorite.
Air Force (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS) started the season with a 38-13 win over Colgate as a 26.5-point home favorite. The Red Raiders posted a backdoor cover thanks to a one-yard TD run with 46 seconds remaining. The 51 combined points went ‘under’ the 66.5-point tally.
Jon Lee and Broam Hart combined for 231 yards on the ground and rushed for two TDs apiece.
In Week 2, Troy Calhoun’s squad got spanked 52-20 by Utah St. as an eight-point home underdog. The 72 combined points sailed ‘over’ the 57.5-point total.
Chuckie Keeton torched the Falcons secondary for 360 passing yards and five TDs. The Aggies generated 577 yards of total offense compared to only 270 for Air Force.
As a road underdog during Calhoun’s tenure, Air Force has compiled a 9-9-1 spread record in 19 such spots. The Falcons have been double-digit ‘dogs nine times on Calhoun’s watch, going 4-5 ATS.
When these programs met in Boise in 2011, the Broncos won a 37-26 decision but failed to cover the number as 30-point home ‘chalk.’ Kellen Moore threw for 281 yards and three TDs, while Doug Martin ran for 125 yards and one TD on 21 carries.
ESPN will provide television coverage at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
--Ohio St. QB Braxton Miller was upgraded to ‘probable’ on Wednesday for Saturday’s game at California. Miller sprained a ligament in his knee early in last week’s 42-7 win over San Diego St. Most books opened the Buckeyes as 16-point road favorites with a total of 66. They are 0-1 ATS in one road ‘chalk’ role under Urban Meyer.
--Much has been made about Vanderbilt’s loss of WR Chris Boyd, who is indefinitely suspended after his arrest in Nashville for allegedly helping his former teammates cover up an alleged sexual assault. Boyd had 50 receptions for 774 yards and five TDs last season. But another injury that might be even more important is the one to senior LB Chase Garnham, who is ‘out’ at South Carolina and might not be back for an extended period of time due to a leg injury. Garnham was Vandy’s second-leading tackler in 2012 when he had 84 stops, seven sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss and three QB hurries.
--Oregon St. has injuries galore along its offensive line going into Saturday’s game at Utah. The Beavers will only have seven o-linemen in uniform against the Utes.
--Ole Miss will be without four key players Saturday at Texas. LB Denzel Nkemdiche is ‘out’ until at least late September and starting cover CB Charles Sawyer is suspended for at least one game after his arrest last weekend for DUI. Starting OG Aaron Morris is done for the season along with tight end Christian Morgan. On the bright side, WR Vince Sanders will return after missing the first two games with a collarbone injury.
--Texas won’t have WR Daje Johnson due to a sprained ankle against the Rebels. There are some media outlets reporting that Longhorns QB David Ash won’t play due to a concussion, but most in Austin insist that it’ll be a game-time decision. Whatever the case, most books have Texas favored by just 2.5. UT smashed Ole Miss 66-31 in Oxford last year.
--LSU safety Craig Loston, a second-team All-SEC selection last year, suffered a leg injury in last week’s win over UAB. However, he has been upgraded to ‘probable’ and will start vs. Kent St. The Tigers are favored by 37 at most spots. Flashes star RB Dri Archer (ankle) has bee upgraded to ‘probable’ at LSU.
--Northwestern star RB Venric Mark remains ‘questionable’ vs. Western Michigan. Pat Fitzgerald shouldn’t be in any hurry to rush Mark back into the lineup. The Wildcats host Maine next week before an open date that precedes their Big Ten opener vs. Ohio St.
--Florida junior QB Jeff Driskel suffered a sprained knee in last week’s loss at Miami. Fortunately for the Gators, they have an open date this week. Driskel is expected to be ready next week vs. Tennessee.
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