Washington D.C. is the venue of the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman, being played in the shadow of the Pentagon.
In this season’s version of the game, the U.S. Air Force Academy will be making its debut in this bowl contest as it represents the military against MAC power Toledo.
These two teams have never met before on the gridiron.
The latest Miliatry Bowl odds list Toledo as a 3-point chalk, while the over/under sits at 70 points.
After a 1-3 start, Toledo recovered with seven victories in its last eight games to tie Northern Illinois for the MAC West Division title (7-1). Most recently, Toledo posted consecutive road wins over Central Michigan (44-17) and Ball State (45-28) en route to a 4-2 mark on the road (winning the last four).
The Toledo offense lists a stellar eighth nationally in scoring (42 points per contest), racking up 493 yards per contest (272 via the pass, 221 via the run). Adonis Thomas and Morgan Williams pace the running attack with a combined 1,634 yards and 22 touchdowns on 5.8 yards per tote.
Terrance Owens and Austin Dantin have combined to connect on 68 percent of their attempts for 3,210 yards and 30 scores with just six interceptions. The offensive line has allowed nine sacks. Eric Page is one of the national receiving leaders with 112 catches (76 more than anyone else on the team) for 1,123 yards and 10 scores.
Toledo lists just 89th in the country in points allowed (31 ppg), giving up 401 yards per game (278 passing, 123 rushing) while recording 22 sacks and generating 28 turnovers three of which were returned for scores (Dan Molls and Robert Bell, two fumbles; Jermaine Robinson, interception).
Desmond Marrow anchors this unit with 78 tackles and three interceptions, while Bell has 70 stops to go with a team-best four forced fumbles, a team-high three recoveries, an interception and a sack. Ben Pike has five sacks, 11 tackles and a forced fumble, with Molls recording three fumble recoveries and 58 stops.
The Falcons won four of their last five games to end up fifth in the conference (3-4) and to win the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for a second consecutive year with a 2-0 record vs. Army and Navy. Most recently, Air Force notched wins over UNLV (45-17) and Colorado State (45-21). The Falcons are 3-2 as a visitor, winning the last two.
With one of the top rushing offenses in the country, Air Forced ranks 22nd nationally in points (34 ppg) while compiling 459 yards per game (320 via the run, 139 through the air).
The triple-option offense is paced by the three prongs Asher Clark (1,036 yards, six scores, 7.3 yards per attempt), Mike Dewitt (543 yards, 10 touchdowns, 4.9 ypc) and Tim Jefferson (492, 10, 3.5 ypc), while Jefferson connects on 61 % of his attempts for 1,478 yards and 12 touchdowns with six interceptions. The offensive line has surrendered nine sacks. Jonathan Warzeka and Zack Kauth lead the receiving corps with 55 catches for 935 yards and seven touchdowns.
Defensively, Air Force lists 67th in the nation in points surrendered (27 ppg), surrendering 391 yards per contest (228 on the ground, 163 passing) while recording 17 sacks and forcing 24 turnovers.
Brady Amack leads the defense with 125 total stops (36 more than any other player), adding a team-best four forced fumbles, one sack and a fumble recovery. Alex Means has six sacks, 71 tackles, three forced fumbles, two blocked kicks, two fumble recoveries and an pick, while Davis has four picks, 89 stops, a forced fumble and recovery.
Military Bowl Free Pick: Over 70
It seems ridiculous to bet ‘over’ 70 on two teams that run the ball so often, but I don’t see either defense stepping up and making stops. The triple option is very tough to defend and Air Force’s defensive line will be overmatched by the Rockets o-line. Look for a high scoring game here.
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