Utah State vs Air Force Odds
Friday, September 15
8 pm Eastern Time
CBS Sports Network
|Utah State Odd|
-110o / -110u
|Air Force Odd|
-110o / -110u
We’re back for another Friday Night Lights showdown.
This week the Utah State Aggies travel to Falcon Stadium to battle an undefeated Air Force team.
This matchup features a fun contrast in styles between a Utah State offense that wants to push the pace (20th nationally in seconds per play) and an Air Force triple option that will look to dominate possession (132nd nationally in seconds per move).
To determine which style will prevail, let’s look at the odds and make a prediction for the Air Force Falcons against the Utah State Aggies on Friday, September 15.
Blake Anderson enters his third season at the helm of the Aggies with question marks on both sides of the ball. Utah State ranks 123rd nationally in net TARP with just four returning starters on offense and five on defense.
This lack of production is particularly concerning for a defense that allowed 31.2 points per game in 2022 and ranks 87th nationally in defensive success rate through the first few weeks of this season.
Offensively, the Aggies are led by junior quarterback Cooper Legas, who returns after a 2022 season in which he posted an average QBR of 53.9.
Legas will try to improve his numbers despite losing his two best weapons at skill positions: running back Calvin Tyler and wide receiver Brian Cobbs. That wide receiver duo racked up 2,045 yards of total offense along with 12 touchdowns.
Unfortunately for Utah State, they will have to improve quickly as they will face an Air Force defense that features eight starters.
Their experienced staff is primarily the reason the Falcons rank 10th nationally in success rate allowed. The Falcons held Sam Houston State and Robert Morris to just seven points combined.
The Air Force defense ranks second nationally in passing success rate allowed, which will be critical against a Utah State offense that ranks 31st nationally in passing rate.
Expect Air Force to use its experience on the defensive end, making life difficult for Legas and a Utah State offense that wants to find consistent success through the air.
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It’s no secret that the Air Force team wants to establish the run with its triple-option attack.
Head coach Troy Calhoun must like his team’s chances, as Air Force will run behind an offensive line that features six returning players with starting experience.
Air Force has the highest rushing game rate in the country with the 40th highest rushing success rate.
That’s big, given that Utah State’s defense has been the weakest against rushes, ranking 66th nationally in rush success rate allowed. The Aggies also rank 66th nationally in tackles, and will have to do better if they hope to prevent the Falcons from creating explosive plays on the ground.
Although Air Force will lean heavily on its running game, the Falcons surprisingly have the highest passing explosiveness in the country (3.28). They make teams pay for selling out against the run.
I expect Air Force’s triple-option rushing attack to be successful against a Utah State defense with significant turnover and a history of inconsistency. Also, don’t be surprised if the ground attack generates deep shots in the air.
Utah State vs Air Force
Analysis of confrontations
Toggle the dropdown menus below to hide or show how Utah State and the Air Force match up statistically:
Utah State Offense Versus Air Force Defense
Air Force Offensive Against Utah State Defense
Pace of play/Other
|Approach to PFF||66||1|
|SP+ Special Equipment||23||5|
|Seconds per play||23.1 (15)||34.1 (132)|
|Rush rate||46.1% (104)||95.0% (1)|
Utah State vs Air Force
Bet selection and prediction
It’s not always good to back a favored service academy for a touchdown, but I think it’s the smart play here.
Air Force will attack this inexperienced Utah State defense on the ground early and often behind one of the most talented offensive lines Calhoun has ever had during his tenure.
On the other side of the ball, I love the Air Force defense. The Falcons limited production in their first two matchups with inferior opponents, and I think this success will translate against a Utah State offense looking to replace a significant amount of production.
Choose: Air Force -9.5 (Play up to -11)
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