CFB Gaming Previews

By Jeff Frank, Sports Analyst
Final 2014 Regular Season Record: 37-34-2; Percentage: 52%

Saturday, December 20, 2014

FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL

WESTERN MICHIGAN (8-4) VS. AIR FORCE (9-3), 3:00 PM (ET)

JUST THE FACTS


  • Stadium - Bronco Stadium
  • Capacity - (36,387)
  • Surface - Blue FieldTurf
  • Series Record - First meeting
  • Series Streak - First meeting
  • Last Meeting - First meeting
  • Television - ESPN

    TRENDS, HISTORY AND HINTS

  • Western Mich - 9-1 ATS L10
  • Western Mich - 4-0 ATS L4 as underdogs
  • Western Mich - 9-1 ATS L10 bowl games
  • Western Mich - 7-4 to the over L11
  • Air Force - 4-1 ATS L5
  • Air Force - 3-0 ATS L3 as favorites
  • Air Force - 3-1 ATS L4 bowl games
  • Air Force - 6-3 to the under L9

    WHO'S HURTIN

    Western Michigan - No significant injuries

    Air Force - RB Jacobi Owens (foot) is out. QB Kale Person (ankle), RB Jon Lee (eligibility) and TE Garrett Griffin (undisclosed) are questionable.

    GAME ANALYSIS

    Western Michigan opened as a 1.5-point favorite due to the questionable status of Air Force quarterback Kale Person, who missed last game with an ankle injury. The Falcons still beat Colorado State with their backup QB but Pearson expects to start on Saturday, which is probably why the line moved to Air Force's favor.

    It is very rare to see a team from the Mid-American Conference getting only one point from a club from the Mountain West Conference, especially when the latter team sports a better record. Still, bettors might notice that Western Michigan is ranked 37th nationally against the run (143 rushing yards per game), which should come in handy against a run-heavy squad such as Air Force. On the negative side, just five teams in the top 60 have allowed more yards per carry than the Broncos, so it is doubtful they will hold down Air Force's ground attack.

    Western Michigan's offense averaged 35 points per game this season, more than doubling last year's output of 17. However, the Broncos had a much easier schedule in 2014 without the likes of Michigan State, Iowa, Northwestern and Buffalo. In fact, they scored 250 points against the seven new teams on the schedule compared to only 101 versus the other seven teams (including the previously mentioned Big Ten squads) on the 2013 schedule.

    Perhaps the biggest thing in Air Force's favor is the poor record of Mid- American teams in postseason play. Clubs from the MAC are 2-10 both straight up and against the spread the last two years with the only two wins coming against teams from the Sun Belt Conference. Furthermore, Western Michigan has never won a bowl game in five chances.

    SPORTS NETWORK CHOICE: Take Air Force minus one point.



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