Air Force vs. Utah State Odds, Picks & Predictions for Week 6: Saturday College Football Betting Preview
Photo by Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Cooper Legas (Utah State)
Air Force vs. Utah State Odds
Last year, Utah State's Calvin Tyler Jr. ripped off a 63-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to seal off a comeback victory over Air Force.
That matchup propelled Utah State to the Mountain West Championship and left Air Force on the outside looking in.
Fast forward to the first month of this season, and the tables have turned quite significantly.
Utah State has lost its last four games in a row by an average of 26 points per game. Among those four losses was a 35-7 defeat to FCS opponent Weber State.
Meanwhile, Air Force has looked like a juggernaut — a 4-1 record while winning by an average margin of 20 points per game.
Those trends are set to continue in this game, as Air Force will be fired up to avenge last year’s loss.
You wouldn’t expect it from a service academy, but this Air Force offense is an absolute wagon.
The group does most of its damage on the ground, as it ranks first in the nation behind an 89% rush rate. That has led the offense to put up 370 yards on the ground per game while averaging 6.4 yards per carry.
Air Force ranks first in the entire country in Rushing Success Rate. Much of that can be attributed to an offensive line that ranks sixth in the nation in Line Yards.
Quarterback Haaziq Daniels has only thrown the ball seven times a game, but is averaging over a dozen yards per attempt. He’s completed 50% of his passes with four touchdowns and no interceptions, but he does more with his legs in this offense, putting up 3.7 yards per carry.
Brad Roberts is the workhorse running back who averages 6.3 yards per carry and 115 per contest. Roberts has found pay dirt seven times this season and continues to be the engine behind this offense.
The Air Force defense will need to focus on the aerial attack of Utah State. The Aggies have found most of their success (eight of 10 scores) through the air.
The Falcons have allowed only one opponent to exceed 165 passing yards through the air this season.
This is a prime matchup for Air Force to get back to its blowout victories.
What happened to the Utah State football program that won the Mountain West last season? The defending champions are 1-4 on the season and have lost four in a row.
To make matters worse, head coach Blake Anderson confirmed that starting quarterback Logan Bonner's playing career is done at Utah State.
The injury – sufffered near the end against UNLV – was just too much to overcome to continue to play.
Fought his tail off to come back from an ACL. Great dude with a helluva family. Brought a MWC title to Logan and should always be consider one of the best to play QB at USU https://t.co/VRngnWeqBH
— Scott Garrard (@ScottyGZone) September 30, 2022
The keys have been handed over to junior quarterback Cooper Legas. In his first start against BYU, he completed 19-of-31 passes for 188 yards (6.0 yards per attempt). He threw two touchdowns to go along with a pair of interceptions in that matchup.
Utah State’s offense has been reliant on the arm of Bonner, who set five single-season passing records in 2021.
But the Aggies lost their top three wide receivers in the offseason, which has led to a massive decline in offensive efficiency. The program now ranks 123rd in Passing Success Rate.
Coupled with a non-existent rushing attack that averages only 3.6 yards per carry, and we can see how the program has dropped off so significantly. The running game ranks 117th in Rushing Success Rate and has only found two runs of over 20 yards this season.
Air Force vs. Utah State Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Air Force and Utah State match up statistically:
Air Force Offense vs. Utah State Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Utah State Offense vs. Air Force Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||50||36|
|Seconds per Play||32.5 (130)||22.9 (15)|
|Rush Rate||89.1% (1)||55.3% (55)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Air Force vs. Utah State Betting Pick
Utah State lost its first four games of the season against the spread by an average margin of 17 points per game. It took some late magic from Legas to secure its first cover of the season.
But that will be short-lived, as now Air Force is looking for revenge from last season.
Air Force led by 11 points late in the fourth quarter before allowing two unanswered Utah State scores to choke away that game. That loss is what kept Air Force out of the Mountain West Championship, and Troy Calhoun will surely not let this matchup get away from the Falcons.
I anticipate Air Force to continue its dominance and keep its foot on the gas pedal in this matchup. Utah State has hit rock bottom and with Bonner announced as out for the season, it’ll be challenging for the Aggies to show much of a fight for the remainder of 2022.
Play Air Force to win big in this revenge spot.