Air Force vs. San Jose State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday night’s matchup between the Falcons and Spartans.
When: Saturday, Nov. 19 – 10:30 p.m. ET
Where: CEFCU Stadium – San Jose, California
TV Broadcast: CBSSN
Sitting in fourth place of the Mountain West Conference’s Mountain division is Air Force (7-3). Troy Calhoun’s Falcons started off their season with four straight victories, but things turned around in a hurry when they dropped three in a row to Wyoming, New Mexico and Hawaii in October. Since that last loss on Oct. 22 to the Rainbow Warriors Air Force has knocked off the likes of Fresno State, Army and Colorado State in the past three weeks.
Somewhat ironically, San Jose State (3-7) is also in fourth place but in the West division. The Spartans’ only three wins have come against Portland State (Sept. 10), Nevada (Oct. 15) and UNLV (Oct. 29). The last time out, Ron Caragher’s team fell on the road to Boise State, 45-31. The Spartans fell behind early to the Broncos and never gained enough steam to finish a late comeback attempt.
The matchups between Air Force and San Jose State have come few and far between, but the Falcons do hold the edge in the all-time series, 2-1. Last year’s meeting at the Air Force Academy went to the Falcons, 37-16.
What To Know About Air Force
Nate Romine is suffering from an ankle injury, and we don’t know if he’ll be able to go against the Spartans. It was Arion Worthman who led the way in the win over Colorado State, completing only 3-of-8 passes for 49 yards and an interception. All three completions went to three separate receivers (Jalen Robinette, Tyler Williams and Ryan Reffitt).
The running game is where Air Force made its money. As a team, it finished with 485 yards and seven touchdowns on 68 carries. Timothy McVey led the attack with 184 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 15 carries. Worthman had a much better day on the ground. He ran for 143 yards and a score on 16 carries. D.J. Johnson and Jacobi Owens combined for 93 yards on 24 carries, and Williams added 29 yards and a touchdown on five attempts.
What to Know About San Jose State
Kenny Potter supplied the Spartans with a solid passing performance in their loss to Boise State. He threw for 278 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on 23-of-36 passing. One of those touchdowns was caught by Justin Holmes, who finished with six catches for 106 yards. The other was hauled in by Rahshead Johnson, which went for 12 yards and was his only reception.
Malik Roberson shouldered the load on the ground. He took off for 109 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Potter added 67 rushing yards off of 14 carries, and Zamore Zigler was given four touches for 21 yards.
Offense: Air Force – Romine being hobbled hurts, but luckily the Falcons sure know how to run the ball.
Defense: Air Force – The Falcons allow 26.2 points per game, whereas the Spartans allow 36.1 points per game.
Special Teams: Air Force – Luke Strebel has hit all 39 extra points, and he’s drilled home 15-of-18 field goals.
Coaching: Air Force – The Falcons are 7-3, and the Spartans are 3-7. This one’s pretty easy.
Matchup To Watch
Kenny Potter vs. Air Force defense
The Falcons aren’t going to hurl the ball down the field. That’s not what they do. They’re going to take time off the clock and pound the rock. So, when San Jose State gets its hands on the football, Potter needs to sling it all over the field. The Spartans are going to lose the time of possession battle, but that can be negated if Potter tosses dimes and puts points on the board in a hurry.
Spread: Air Force -10
Air Force vs. San Jose State Prediction
The Falcons are going to bleed the San Jose State defense dry every time they touch the ball. Whether it’s Worthman or Romine under center, Air Force will run the ball for days. McVey is going to go off once again for at least 100 rushing yards, and he’ll account for a couple of touchdowns for the Falcons. Owens will find the end zone, too, and Air Force will win the game as Potter watches idly on the sideline.
Air Force vs. San Jose State Score Prediction: Air Force 35, San Jose State 24