College Football Week #7 Picks: San Diego State Aztecs at Air Force Falcons

San Diego State Aztecs at Air Force Falcons
Falcon Stadium – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Thursday, October 10, 2013, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS Sports Network
Opening Line: San Diego State -5
Current Line: San Diego State -4 (-115)
Opening Total: 55 1/2
Current Total: 55
Opening Money Line: SDSU -170 / Air Force +145
Current money Line: SDSU -175 / Air Force +150 

San Diego State is a 4 point favorite on the road Thursday night at Air Force in Mountain West action.
San Diego State is a 4 point favorite on the road Thursday night at Air Force in Mountain West action.

Both the San Diego State Aztecs and Air Force Falcons have appeared in bowls the last several seasons but those streaks are in jeopardy as the Aztecs are 2-3 this season and the Falcons are 1-5. San Diego St is 1-0 in the Mountain West and Air Force is 0-4. The Falcons lead the series 19-12 including 11-5 in Colorado Springs. San Diego St has won the last 3 in the series including 28-9 last year in San Diego.

San Diego State is coached by Rocky Long. The Aztecs opened the season 0-3 with losses at home to Eastern Illinois 40-19, at Ohio State 42-7 and at home to Oregon State 34-30. San Diego State has won 2 straight games at New Mexico State 26-16 and last week at home against Nevada 51-44 in overtime in the MWC opener for the Aztecs. San Diego St is 2-3 ATS and the total is also 2-3 this season. The Aztecs were 6 point favorites against Nevada and the total was 60.5.

SDSU was up 44-23 last Friday against Nevada going into the fourth quarter, but the Wolf Pack scored 21 fourth quarter points to force overtime. The Aztecs scored a touchdown on their overtime possession, but Nevada was unable to score on their possession securing the win for San Diego St. The Aztecs had 541 total yards including 255 rushing yards. Nevada had 570 total yards including 393 passing yards. SDSU had one turnover and Nevada had two.

San Diego St is being outscored 35-27 this season. The Aztecs are averaging 405.4 total yards per game, including 145.4 rushing and 260 passing yards. On defense, the Aztecs are giving up 4442.8 yards per game including 306.2 passing and 136.6 rushing. SDSU is 96th or worse in all defensive categories except rushing defense. San Diego St is averaging 61 penalty yards per game, but opponents are averaging 61 as well. The Aztecs are -5 in turnovers with 13 giveaways. SDSU is 33/96 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 41/94. The Aztecs have allowed 15 sacks and forced 7 this season. San Diego St is 15/19 scoring in the red zone with 9 touchdowns and opponents are 18/18 with 17 touchdowns. The Aztecs have allowed a punt return for a touchdown and a pick six this season.

San Diego St quarterback Quinn Kaehler has completed 65.4% of his passes for 982 yards with 6 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He has been sacked 11 times. Running back Donnel Pumphrey has 44 carries, 332 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 8 catches, 86 yards and a touchdown. Adam Muema has 75 carries, 252 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 8 catches for 50 yards. Chase Price usually gets a few carries, but he is doubtful with a shoulder injury. Receiver Ezell Ruffin has 24 catches for 369 yards. Colin Lockett has 21 catches for 279 yards and a touchdown, along with 2 carries for 52 yards and a rushing touchdown. He is probable with a concussion Four Aztec defenders are listed on the injury report including 2 linebackers.

Air Force is coached by Troy Calhoun. The Falcons pasted Colgate 38-13 to open the season, but have since lost 5 straight games. Air Force lost at home to Utah State 52-20 and Wyoming 56-23, and lost at Boise State 42-20 and at Nevada 45-42. The Falcons lost at service academy rival Navy last week 28-10. Air Force is 2-4 ATS and the total is 2-4. Air Force was a 13.5 point underdog at Navy and the total was 56.

Air Force was up 10-7 at halftime against Navy but the Midshipmen outscored the Falcons 21-0 in the second half. Navy had 327 total yards including 273 rushing yards. Air Force had 313 total yards including 231 rushing yards. The Falcons had 3 turnovers and the Midshipmen had none.

Air Force is being outscored 39-26 in 2013. Air Force is 90th nationally in scoring and #119 in points allowed out of 125 teams. The Falcons are averaging 379.5 yards per game including 285.2 rushing and 94.3 passing yards. Not surprisingly, the triple option Falcons are #11 in rushing nationally and the passing game is #123  Air Force is giving up 493 yards per game including 270.5 passing and 222.5 rushing yards. Air Force is #101 or worse in all defensive categories.  The Falcons are -5 in turnovers with 6 takeaways. Air Force is 48/97 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 61/93. The Falcons are averaging 38 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 46.  Air Force is 20/21 scoring in the red zone with 14 touchdowns and opponents are 28/30 with 27 touchdowns. The Falcons have forced 4 sacks and allowed 3.

Quarterback Kale Pearson tore his ACL in the first game of the year and is out for the season. Back-up Jaleel Awini threw  for 275 yards in 4 games with no touchdowns and a pick, along with 220 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns. However he was suspended indefinitely for violating the Academy’s honor code.  Karson Roberts started the last two games and will be the starter going forward. Roberts has thrown for 207 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 picks, along with 36 carries, 202 yards and 2 touchdowns. Running back  Broam Hart has 80 carries, 359 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jon Lee has 49 carries, 339 yards and 3 touchdowns. Anthony LaCoste has 37 carries, 173 yards and 3 touchdowns. Receiver Sam Gagliano has 10 catches, 144 yards and a touchdown, along with 12 carries for 124 yards. Jalen Robinette has 6 catches, 129 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ty MacArthur has 7 catches for 99 yards but is doubtful with a concussion.

San Diego State is 4-0 ATS in Mountain West games, 4-1 after a straight up win and in October, 7-3 after allowing more than 450 total yards, 3-11 after rushing for more than 200 yards, 1-5 after allowing 280 passing yards or more, and 1-6 after scoring 40 points or more. The Aztecs have covered the last 4 times against the Falcons. The under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings between the teams.

Air Force is 3-7 ATS after allowing 200 rushing yards or more, 2-5 after failing to cover, and in Mountain West games, 2-6 after a straight up loss, 7-21 on grass, 1-4 in October, 2-8 after passing for less than 170 yards, 2-9 overall, 1-5 after scoring less than 20 points, 1-6 after rushing for 200 yards or more, 0-5 at home and against teams with losing records, 0-4 against teams with losing road records and after allowing 170 passing yards or less. The over is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 games in Colorado Springs between Air Force and San Diego State.

While Air Force is down to their third string quarterback, that still doesn’t explain why the defense is among the worst in the country. San Diego St is not very good but Air Force is terrible right now. This should be a high scoring game as neither team can stop anyone, and I like the Aztecs to win on the road.

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