College Football Picks, Predictions, and Previews: The Way It Oughtta Be

Air Force vs. Utah State 12/3/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Air Force visits Utah State on 12/3/2020 at 9:30PM.

Air Force and Utah State face off in an important game for both teams as every game in this shortened season with limited or no fans in attendance means more. Air Force has a record of 2-2 this season. Utah State is 1-4 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Air Force Team Defense Preview

Air Force has had 39 total defensive drives this season and they yield 5.03 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Air Force is not a team that allows many plays per drive. This defense either gives up big plays quickly or induces a lot of three-and-outs, we shall find out more. Air Force has a generally average defense. Nothing too special about it, but they are capable of rising up when needed. Air Force opponents pass the football 51.02% of the time.Air Force tends to face teams that prefer to air it out or opponents want to air it out against them.

This is a pushover defense. There is not enough push from the Defensive Line and not enough imagination from the Defensive Coordinator to cause chaos in the backfield.Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 2.83 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average defense when it comes to how offensive lines control or fail to control them on the ground. When it comes to getting to that second level, running backs are getting stopped. This defense does not allow themselves to be gashed. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to give up big rushing plays.

This is not a disruptive Defense and they get pushed over way too easily. Perhaps they are too vanilla with playcalling. This front seven is simply unable to make an impact, something must change or else the problems will repeat. Air Force is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Air Force Team Offense Preview

Air Force has had 40 total drives this season and they generate 5.93 plays per drive. When you are among the best at plays per drive, you are certainly a team that aims to wear down the opposition with a high play count or with long, physical grinding drives that eat up a lot of clock. We need to find out more here when it comes to Air Force. Any defense is in for a challenge with Air Force, given their ability to accrue more than 5 yards on 1st Downs and their ability to convert on 3rd and 4th Downs. They put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses.Air Force passes the football 15.19% of the time.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Move the pile forward, falling forward, making progress, ensuring north-south running, smart Quarterback reads, well-adjusted alignments to ensure leverage, and an offensive line that is getting a great push forward are cornerstones of this offense. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 3.75 yards per carry. This is an elite offensive line when it comes to generating a push for the running game. They know how to create creases for running backs to break loose. Playing 7 in a box may not be enough for opposing defenses, this is a great O-Line. This is a team that is rather above-average when it comes to gashing defenses. The threat of the run should force opposing to play more honest and assignment defensive football is a must. They feature a relatively average explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play, but it is not something to count on from them.

Air Force has bullied and controlled defenses this season, defenses have not been able to dictate what this offense is able to do to them. Opponents should consider a containment strategy. Air Force is among the best in the country at keeping defensive front sevens at bay. Opposing defenses need their secondary players to step up and cause trouble in order for this Offense to be disrupted. Air Force has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

Utah State Team Defense Preview

Utah State has had 57 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 6.14 plays per drive. The struggle is real. Utah State cannot find a way to get opposing offenses off the field. Three and outs are not common and if the team needs a three-and-out late in a game to get the ball back, it is just not happening.Utah State has shown an inability to stop defenses from converting on 4th Downs and they let opponents get into manageable 3rd Down situations where an RPO may be especially deadly. Passing plays make up 53.14% of their opponents’ play calls.Utah State tends to face teams that prefer to air it out or opponents want to air it out against them.

Defenses want to stop offenses from getting into a 3rd Down where the options are plentiful. Unfortunately, this defense is too porous to limit those choices. How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? Utah State can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent to 3.08 yards per carry. This defense lets offensive lines have too much control over them on the ground, too much push from the opposing offensive line. This is a team that is getting gashed too much for the tastes of their base. Linebackers are not stopping the bleeding well enough. They are capable of giving up a long run, which is really demoralizing when the opposing team has the ball deep in their own territory.

This is not a disruptive Defense and they get pushed over way too easily. Perhaps they are too vanilla with playcalling. Getting more granual into the front seven and their ability to cause trouble, they are just average in this regard. Utah State is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Utah State Team Offense Preview

Utah State has had 54 total drives this season and they generate 4.74 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Utah State is not a team that runs many plays per drive. The offense is either prone to faltering and struggles to notch first downs or extremely explosive, we will need to find out a bit more to get answers. Struggles to get ahead of the chains and convert on third and fourth down are common, the offense can stagnate. Passing plays make up 46.88% of their play calls.Relatively speaking, this is a team that favors run/pass balance.

Utah State struggles with running the ball, getting zero or negative yard plays is disspiriting and the offensive line is not effectively making a good push. Poor playcalling, pre-snap adjustments or post-snap reads may be responsible and this could fall on the Quarterback, Offensive Coordinator, and Head Coach. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 2.69 yards per carry. So what does this mean? It means that the offensive line has been incredibly disappointing in their contribution to the ground game. When it comes to getting to that second level where linebackers have not crashed down on the line of scrimmage, they are getting stopped with ease. They are capable of busting out a long run, which is really good when the team has the ball in their own territory.

Defenses have had average success disrupting the flow of the Utah State Offense. Front sevens are causing an average amount of trouble for the Offense. Utah State has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

The Air Force Roster

The Players to Watch for Air Force

Haaziq Daniels QB 6-1 200

This season, Haaziq Daniels has put up 199 yards and 1 touchdowns. He has thrown 0 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 119.4thus far this season. Haaziq Daniels has thrown 0 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Haaziq Daniels has 189.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 87.9 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 38.0 times this season, which puts him in the 77.23 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 2.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Brad Roberts RB 5-11 200

This season, Brad Roberts has 280 rushing yards on 38 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 4 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Brad Roberts picked up 0 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 0 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Brandon Lewis WR 5-9 175

This season, Brandon Lewis picked up 68 yards. He caught the ball 8 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

George Silvanic DT 6-5 285

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Air Force, George Silvanic has 20 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 4 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 90.37 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 2 times this season, which put him in the 89.68 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Michael Purcell DE 6-4 245

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Air Force, Michael Purcell has 8 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 2 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 66.49 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 30.44 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Corvan Taylor DB 6-2 205.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Air Force, Corvan Taylor had 21 tackles which puts him in the 67.35 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 32.6 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Corvan Taylor as a ball hawker was able to pick off 2 passes last season, which puts him in the 94.96 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Elisha Palm CB 5-8 190

Considered the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Air Force, Elisha Palm had 25 tackles which puts him in the 88.68 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 2 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 92.35 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Elisha Palm as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes last season, which puts him in the 82.94 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

The Utah State Roster

The Players to Watch for Utah State

Jason Shelley QB 5-11 190

This season, Jason Shelley has put up 420 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has thrown 2 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 89.8thus far this season. Jason Shelley has thrown 2 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Jason Shelley has 68.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 69.75 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 33.0 times this season, which puts him in the 71.82 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 0.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Jaylen Warren RB 5-8 215

This season, Jaylen Warren has 252 rushing yards on 39 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 3 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Jaylen Warren picked up 33 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 5 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Devin Thompkins WR 5-7 160

This season, Devin Thompkins picked up 214 yards. He caught the ball 20 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 1 receiving touchdowns this season.

Marcus Moore DL 6-3 280

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Utah State, Marcus Moore has 20 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 2 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 66.49 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 2 times this season, which put him in the 82.47 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Shaq Bond S 5-10 190.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Utah State, Shaq Bond had 40 tackles which puts him in the 91.32 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 5 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 98.55 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Shaq Bond as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes last season, which puts him in the 84.49 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Cam Lampkin CB 5-9 170

Considered the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Utah State, Cam Lampkin had 19 tackles which puts him in the 74.85 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 2 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 92.35 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 1 times last season. Cam Lampkin as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes last season, which puts him in the 37.5 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Air Force vs. Utah State Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Air Force 32 Utah State 22

Spread Pick: No Action
Moneyline Pick: Air Force -380 5Dimes
Total Pick: Over 51 -112 Pinnacle Sports