South Alabama vs. Air Force, 12/30/16 – Preview & Prediction
Written by: Jeffrey Stevens
South Alabama Jaguars (6-6 SU, 3-8-1 ATS) vs. Air Force Falcons (9-3 SU, 5-7 ATS)
NCAAF: Friday December 30, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. ET
Line: Air Force -13.5
The South Alabama Jaguars will line up against the Air Force Falcons in this year’s Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl on Friday, December 30th. The Jaguars will be looking to finish the year with back-to-back wins after coming out on top 35-28 in the regular season finale against New Mexico State. The Falcons have been rolling and will look to extend their winning streak after pulling off a 27-20 upset against Boise State their last time on the field.
Xavier Johnson Scores Three Touchdowns To Push Jaguars Over Aggies
It came down to their last game of the season, but the South Alabama Jaguars were able to become Bowl eligible with a 35-28 win over the New Mexico State Aggies. The Jags were able to rack up 282 yards on the ground with 154 from Xavier Johnson. The kid was also able to cross the goal line three times, setting career highs in both yards and touchdowns. South Alabama out gained the Aggies 521 total yards to 463 and won the first down battle 22-21.
Sophomore quarterback Dallas Davis was able to throw the ball for 2,461 yards and 10 touchdowns this season, but made some poor decisions with the ball which led to 11 interceptions. Johnson finished the year with 787 yards on the ground to go along with 10 touchdowns. The Jaguars were able to put up an average of 25.8 points per contest with and average of 246.1 passing yards and 149.7 on the ground. Their defense was able to hold opponents to an average of 25.5 points a game, giving up 171.9 passing yards. They struggled against the run, allowing other teams to run the ball for an average of 212.6 yards per contest.
Air Force Flying High
The Falcons were able to end the regular season with five consecutive wins after coming out on top against Boise State 27-20. Air Force was able to go into the locker room at halftime up 17-13 and did enough to hold on for the win. They won the first down battle 25-12, but were out gained 400 total yards to 359. It’s no secret that the Falcons are a run first team, which led to 314 of their yards coming on the ground.
The passing game was pretty non-existent with quarterback Nate Romine completing 41.7 percent of his attempts for 1,206 yards and 10 touchdowns. Jacobi Owens was the Academy’s leading rusher with 785 yards and three scores on 125 touches. When the ball was put in the air, Jalen Robinette was the man of choice with 835 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 33 receptions. The Falcons were able to score an average of 34.3 points per game this season with 322.8 yards per game on the ground. Their defense was strong enough to hold opponents to just 26.7 points per contest, giving up an average of 252.4 yards through the air and 118 rushing yards.
South Alabama is:
- 0-4-1 ATS in their previous 5 games.
Air Force is:
- 2-6 ATS in their previous 8 games.
- The total has gone over in 6 of their previous 8 games.
Their isn’t a whole lot to ponder here. The Jaguars have struggled against the run all season long and running just happens to be the Falcons cup of tea. Air Force should be able to run all over the field in this one and I don’t see South Alabama doing enough with the ball to cover the spread. Eat the points in this one.
Pick: Air Force -13.5
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