Independent Matchup of Week 9 College Football: Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Air Force Falcons

tommy rees-notre-dame-2013Notre Dame-Air Force
Time: 5 PM ET, Oct 26, 2013
Spread: ND -20
O/U: 57

Odds courtesy of Bovada

Notre Dame is 5-2 on the season, but the Fighting Irish have won two straight with victories over then-No. 22 Arizona State and USC last week. This week, the Fighting Irish will find itself big 20-point favorites against an Air Force squad that has gone just 1-6 this season.

Notre Dame has had good success with the pass, but Tommy Rees is just middling in accuracy with 53.1 percent of his throws going for completion. Impressively, Rees has 15 TDs to just 6 INTs, and his QB rating is strong at 132.1. Rees suffered a neck injury against USC last week but is expected to be able to play in this one.

Rees has a pair of very capable receivers in TJ Jones (37 receptions for 527 yards) and DaVaris Daniels (28 receptions for 429 yards). Notre Dame has got decent production from backs George Atkinson III and Cam McDaniel, but the team averages just 4.1 yards per rush and both Atkinson and McDaniel have two TDs on the year.

Air Force, like Navy and Army, relies exclusively on the rush for its offense. The team is 12th in the nation in rushing yardage with 268.6 per game, but ranks near the bottom in passing yardage with just 102 yards per game (121st in nation). The net effect is not a good one, as the team manages just 24.7 points per game (90th in the nation). And Air Force has a horrible defense flanking it, allowing 37.6 points per game this season.

The Falcons have attempted 98 passes on the season and ran the ball 379 times. Broam Hart leads the way with 386 yards, but averages just 4.3 yards per carry, while Jon Lee may be the most successful with 6.9 yards per carry, 350 yards, and three TDs. Jaleel Awini has thrown for 275 yards and rushed for 220 and is the star player of this squad, but it’s one that isn’t having much success against much more varied opponents and teams that are capable of featuring a dual-threat offense. The Air Force has thrown just 49 percent for completion and has four interceptions and four touchdowns.

Notre Dame Betting Trends:

UNDER 4-0 in last 4 following a bye week; UNDER 5-1 in last 6 in OCT; 5-1 ATS in last 6 following bye weeks.

Air Force Betting Trends:

0-5 ATS in last 5 vs INDEP; 0-4 ATS vs teams with winning records; 0-5 ATS in last 5 non-conference games.

Head-to-head: Road team 4-1 ATS in last 5 meetings; OVER 4-1 in last 5 meetings.

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