Air Force vs. New Mexico prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday afternoon’s matchup between the Falcons and Lobos.
When: Saturday, Oct. 15 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas
TV Broadcast: ESPNEWS, Watch ESPN
Troy Calhoun’s Falcons (4-1) started their 2016 campaign with four straight wins over Abilene Christian, Georgia State, Utah State and Navy. Last Saturday, they took their first loss. Air Force went on the road to Wyoming and was sent home with a 35-26 loss. The Falcons trailed the Cowboys the entire way and cut the deficit to two points with 3;31 remaining in the game. But Wyoming punched in a touchdown almost two minutes later to seal the win.
Life has been a little rougher this season for the Lobos (2-3). They started out 1-2 and picked up a 48-41 win over San Jose State in Week 5 to pull even. However, this past weekend ended with a 49-21 loss at home to Boise State. New Mexico allowed 42 points in the first half against the Broncos and scored 14 unanswered in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late.
Last season’s rendition of this matchup went to the Lobos with a 47-35 win in Albuquerque. However, the Falcons control the all-time series, 21-12.
What To Know About Air Force
Quarterback Nate Romine is coming off one of his worst games this season for Air Force. In the loss to Wyoming, he completed 6-of-19 passes for 188 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. Timothy McVey and Jalen Robinette each caught one of Romine’s scoring strikes, but McVey ended up with only two catches for 77 yards. Robinette, on the other hand, finished with three grabs for 101 yards.
The running game definitely could have been better for the Falcons, too. Romine rushed for a touchdown but had only nine yards on 12 carries. D.J. Johnson never broke into the end zone, but he supplied 73 rushing yards on seven carries. Surprisingly, Jacobi Owens was held in check with 17 yards on five carries.
What to Know About New Mexico
As average as Romine was, New Mexico’s Lamar Jordan was not better. He completed 4-of-14 passes for 39 yards with a touchdown and a pick. His lone touchdown pass went to Anu Somoye, who finished with the one catch for 12 yards and six points. Jordan did rush for 139 yards on 21 carries, though. However, it was Tyrone Owens who broke the plane first for the Lobos on the ground. He finished with 82 yards on seven carries after that 62-yard run for six points. Lajuan Lawson also added 62 rushing yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Running back Teriyon Gipson is expected to return this week after injuring his hamstring.
Offense: Air Force – Considering the fact Jordan can’t be trusted to throw the ball, the Falcons and Romine get this one.
Defense: Air Force – The Falcons are No. 2 in rushing defense, allowing 80.2 rushing yards per game.
Special Teams: Air Force – Luke Strebel is 17-of-18 on extra point attempts, but he’s 9-for-9 on field goals.
Coaching: Air Force – Calhoun had his team rolling, and he’ll get them up to bounce back from a loss.
Matchup To Watch
Lamar Jordan vs. Air Force defense
Let’s be real. Jordan can’t throw the ball that well. He can make plays with his feet, but how long will it take the Falcons to stack the box, and assign someone to follow Jordan wherever he goes. You don’t even have to call it a spy, really, because there isn’t a threat of Jordan throwing the ball. Air Force just needs to stick to its assignments and get penetration in the backfield.
Spread: Air Force -14
Air Force vs. New Mexico Prediction
The Lobos aren’t favored in this one, but having Gipson back will be huge for them. Having said that, this game is going to the Falcons. They’ll find a way to slow down Jordan when he takes off with the ball. Air Force will crowd the line of scrimmage and slow New Mexico’s running game. On the other side, Romine will protect the ball better this time around and will get the Falcons rolling on offense. Owens will have a much bigger role this weekend and will flirt with 100 rushing yards. Air Force takes a close one.
Air Force vs. New Mexico Score Prediction: Air Force 28, New Mexico 24