South Alabama vs. Air Force
Arizona Bowl - Tucson
Friday, 2:30 pm PT
CRIS Opener: Air Force -12.5 O/U 57.5
CRIS Current: Air Force -13.5 O/U 58
Air Force’s the triple option offense closed the regular season hitting on all cylinders as it averaged 366.6 ypg on the ground during a five-game winning streak. South Alabama’s offense enjoyed similar late season success. Over the Jaguars’ last four games, the offense averaged 224.8 ypg on the ground and 259.8 ypg through the air. In looking at this matchup, both offenses should maintain their current form in what has the potential to be a high-scoring affair.
One interesting dynamic to this handicap is the health and status of Air Force quarterback Nate Romine who remains listed as questionable. I mentioned earlier how potent the Falcons’ offense had been during their five-game win streak. Well, much of the damage was courtesy of backup Arion Worthman who as a sophomore appears to the be the future of the AFA offense. Regardless of who starts, both quarterbacks are capable of making the offense hum, especially against a South Alabama defense that ranked in the bottom half of the Sun Belt. And that's concerning considering the Sun Belt was significantly down across the board offensively. Last season, seven teams averaged over 415 ypg of total offense. This season, only two teams topped that mark. One of those squads was Troy who rolled up 585 yards (7.31 ypp) against USA.
South Alabama's offensive surge was predicated on balance. The Jags failed to top 100 yards on the ground in their first five games against FBS competition. But the steady development of dual threat quarterback Dallas Davis helped open holes in the run game. USA has averaged over 6 yards per play in four straight games and has a shot to keep that streak going against an Air Force defense that faded down the stretch. The Falcons' season long numbers look good (369 ypg allowed, 2nd MWC). But in conference play, the stop unit allowed 6.2 ypp and 7.3 ypp its last three games. Look for both offenses to move the football in this one as we look over the total.