Tuesday, December 27, 2011

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2011: Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman

Probably the only defensive thoughts that are going to happen in this game.

The Where and When:
Military Bowl Presented by Northrop-Grumman, December 28th, 2011 4:30 pm ET, RFK Stadium, Washington D.C. ESPN/ESPN3

The Who:
Toledo Rockets (8-4, 7-1 MAC) vs Air Force Falcons (7-5, 3-4 MWC)

The Why:
Toledo heads into its second straight bowl game after finishing third overall in the MAC this season. They were tough in conference play, losing, only, to eventual champ, NIU by three. In fact, outside their drubbing at the hands of Boise St, The Rockets lost three games by a combined 11 pts.

Air Force didn't fair as well in the Mountain West, this season. finishing 5th overall. But, they did capture the Comander-In-Chief Trophy for the second year in a row. This marks the fifth straight bowl game for the Falcons and their 22nd all-time.

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:
Offense. Offense. Offense. That is what the Rockets are all about. They rank 8th in total offense, racking up 493 ypg. On top of that they are balanced, ranking 14th in rushing and 29th in passing. Along with all those yards, come points. Toledo is putting up 42.3 ppg this season. Most of this offense comes in the form of JR WR Eric Page. Dude is electric.

Defensively, things are well, very MAC-y. They are 76th in total defense, mostly due to the fact that they are 108th against the pass. The Rockets need all that offense because they give up 30.9 ppg. The good news is they are 27th against the run and facing a triple option team in Air Force.

About that triple option team. It should be no surprise they are the 2nd ranked rushing attack in the nation. Led by SR RB Asher Clark, they Falcons put up 34.4 ppg. Being that they run, run, run, Air Force doesn't pass as is evident by their 113th national ranked passing offense. All that is good for 19th in total offense.

Defensively the Falcons are very good against the pass at 6th. Now I'm not sure if it's that they are great pass defenders or that they are 113th against the run.They do have 11 picks and 17 sacks on the year though. They are led by SR LB Brady Amack, who averages 10.4 tackles per game. Giving up 27.3 ppg, this game is going to be a test for this Falcon defense.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:
I had to change a flat tire in Toledo once. ONCE. Plus my brother is in the Air Force. And Falcons are waaaaayyyy cooler than Rockets.

Vegas Edge:
Toledo started this game as a 1 pt favorite. Since then the line has moved in their favor to 3. ATS this year they are 7-5. They are 8-3 against non ranked teams, 2-2 vs winners and 7-2 verse non AQ schools. Air Force is just 5-7 ATS this season and went 0-5 against winning teams this year. The O/U is 70. That could be the total in the first half.

Sweatpants Verdict:
This game is going to be fun if you love offense. According to Sagarin, Toledo played the tougher schedule and they were better against winning teams. But the thing that jumps out at me the most is looking at the strengths and weaknesses of both teams. Toledo is vulnerable against the pass. But Air Force just doesn't pass. Toledo can and will run the ball against that horrible rush defense of the Falcons. I can't see them losing this one. Toledo 45 - 38.

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