Game time: 8 p.m. ET, September 25, 2021
Venue: Falcon Stadium, USAF Academy in Colorado Springs, CO
Where to watch: FS2
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Air Force -4.5; O/U 54.5; Moneyline -- Air Force -195, FAU +165
BetMGM: Air Force -4.5; O/U 54.5; Air Force -200, FAU +165
Caesars: Air Force -4.5; O/U 54.5; Air Force -200, FAU +170
Florida Atlantic: 2-1
Air Force: 2-1
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Florida Atlantic - Air Force preview and analysis
Florida Atlantic: won 45-14 vs. Fordham on Sept. 18
Air Force: lost 49-45 vs. Utah State on Sept. 18
Well, we thought last week the Air Force Falcons would take advantage of the altitude. That didn’t happen.
And this week, against a much tougher opponent in the Florida Atlantic Owls, much will not be the same with the Falcons as one-score favorites in this matchup at the Academy.
If you’re a fan of offense, touchdowns should be aplenty in this one both through the air and on the ground. The underdog Owls come in off a 31-point win over FCS Fordham last week, a week after shutting down the option offense that was Georgia Southern to the tune of 38-6.
This Air Force offense is a bit different and slightly better; and by better we mean averaging 327 yards per game on the ground. Quarterback Haaziq Daniels leads Air Force with a team-high five rushing touchdowns. Air Force put up 437 rushing yards on the Utah State Aggies last Saturday, including 133 yards on 11 carries and a pair of touchdowns for Emmanuel Michel. Brad Roberts added 113 yards on 21 carries.
But perhaps we wouldn't be so invested in FAU coming to town if it weren’t for the fact Utah State’s passing game certainly made the trip. Logan Bonner and Andrew Peasley combined for 448 yards and five touchdowns through the air to push the Aggies to a come-from-behind win. Add in Calvin Tyler Jr.’s 132 yards and two touchdowns, and Utah State put up over 600 yards of offense on the Air Force defense.
If I’m FAU quarterback N’Kosi Perry, that’s what I like to hear. The former Miami quarterback has thrown seven touchdowns and zero interceptions through three games and is coming off a 278-yard, two-touchdown effort against Fordham. Leading receiver LaJohntay Wester had 10 receptions for 101 yards and one of those touchdowns.
The Falcons defense has normally been stout against these kinds of offenses, but this may be a completely different animal. I get the premise of the altitude and that it may not have affected Utah State as much because of close proximity, but FAU’s big-play ability should make things a bit easier on that end.
The only way Air Force can win is if the pressure on Perry is consistent. The Falcons have 10 sacks through three games, but the offensive line of FAU’s might be one of the strongest in the state of Florida. This is probably the only game you can look to and say the Florida Atlantic stats actually line up for the Florida Atlantic players to come to Colorado Springs and pull of an upset. One of these teams is leaving with a winning record, and FAU just seems like the right choice. FAU by 5
Air Force is 33-62 against the spread in game following a loss to conference squads in its last 95 meetings.
Florida Atlantic is 3-0 ATS as a road underdog in its last three occurrences, but 0-3 straight up.
Players to watch
Florida Atlantic: Look for Perry to find some more targets for receiver Brandon Robinson. He’s coming off a 60-yard performance on five receptions against Fordham.
Air Force: When the Falcons air it out, there’s only one target on Daniels’ mind; receiver Micah Davis. He’s coming of a 110-yard, one-touchdown game against Utah State.
Passing: N’Kosi Perry -- 871 yards, 7 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Malcolm Davidson -- 165 yards
Receiving: LaJohntay Wester -- 254 yards, 2 TD
Defense: Teja Young -- 2 INT
Passing: Haaziq Daniels -- 281 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Brad Roberts -- 321 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Micah Davis -- 164 yards, 1 TD
Defense: Demonte Meeks -- 2.5 sacks
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