Boise State vs. Air Force prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Friday afternoon’s matchup between the Nickname and Nickname.
When: Friday, Nov. 25 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Falcon Stadium, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado
TV Broadcast: CBSSN
Bryan Harsin’s Broncos (10-1) have rediscovered their winning ways, having picked up three consecutive victories in the last three weeks. Boise State started out 7-0 before falling to Wyoming a month ago. Last time out, it took down UNLV, 42-25.
As for Air Force (8-3), it too has been riding a winning streak. The Falcons have taken their last four games over Fresno State, Army, Colorado State and San Jose State. The most recent of which came on Saturday in San Jose when Air Force beat the Spartans, 41-38.
Boise State and Air Force have gone toe-to-toe 13 times, and the Broncos have won all 13 matchups. Last season’s meeting in Boise ended with a 45-31 win for the Broncos.
What To Know About Boise State
In the win over UNLV, sophomore quarterback Brett Rypien was anything but miraculous. He completed 10-of-20 passes for 109 yards. Thomas Sperbeck led the team with five catches for 47 yards, and Cedrick Wilson caught only two passes for 21 yards.
On the ground, the Broncos got their money’s worth, though. As he has all season, Jeremy McNichols went off. The Boise State tailback broke out for 206 rushing yards on 31 carries, navigating his way into the end zone four times. Rypien picked up a touchdown with his legs, and Alexander Mattison also ran for a score and 24 yards on seven touches.
What to Know About Air Force
The air attack for Air Force, ironically, was non-existent against San Jose State, but it has been for some time now. With Nate Romine out with an injury, Arion Worthman completed only 3-of-6 passes for 33 yards, a touchdown and an interception. That lone touchdown was caught by Jalen Robinette, who reeled in two balls for 30 yards.
Worthman may not have gotten it done with his arm, but he certainly came up big with his legs. He picked up 215 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries for the Falcons. D.J. Johnson and Tyler Williams both ran for scores also, as they combined for 29 yards on nine carries.
Offense: Boise State – Even if Romine were in, Rypien would help give the Broncos the advantage. Plus, McNichols has been unstoppable.
Defense: Boise State – The Broncos are allowing 22.3 points per game, which ranks them No. 31 in the nation.
Special Teams: Air Force – Luke Strebel has hit on 17-of-20 field goal attempts this season.
Coaching: Boise State – Harsin has done a great job this season, and he gives the Broncos the edge.
Matchup To Watch
Brett Rypien vs. Air Force defense
The Falcons have absolutely no hope at stopping McNichols. He’s gashed just about every team he’s faced this season. Air Force would be smart to let him feast and then concentrate on stopping Rypien. If the Falcons can create some pressure in the pocket and get Rypien moving laterally, they’ll slow down those Boise State drives and maybe force the young quarterback into some interceptions.
Spread: Boise State -10
Over/Under: No line as of publication
Boise State vs. Air Force Prediction
McNichols is going to destroy — repeat, destroy — the Air Force defense, and there is nothing Troy Calhoun’s guys can do about it. He’ll catch a few passes from Rypien, who will have a solid game in his own right, while also going for over 150 rushing yards and picking up a couple of rushing touchdowns. The Broncos will wrap this one up by the end of the third quarter.
Boise State vs. Air Force Score Prediction: Boise State 38, Air Force, 28