Hawaii Warriors vs. Air Force Falcons
College Football Betting Pick: Hawaii +17 (October 22nd 2016)
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Hawaii’s D is a problem but unlike LW when Hawaii was a TD favorite, the Rainbow Warriors are getting more than two TDs…
The set-up: Air Force (4-2 / 1-2 in MWC) started with four wins out of the gate in the 2016 season, including one against rival Navy. However, the Falcons fell 35-26 at Wyoming back on Oct. 8 and then last Saturday, lost a back-and-forth game in Dallas to New Mexico, 45-40. Hawaii travels to Colorado Springs to take on the Falcons, off a disappointing 41-38 loss to UNLV in Honolulu, dropping the team below .500 on the season and more damaging, to 2-1 and tied with UNLV, with both schools behind 2-0 San Diego State in the West Division of the MWC.
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Hawaii: Dru Brown, a sophomore transfer from College of San Mateo, took over as starting QB in Hawaii’s MWC opener against Nevada, leading the Rainbow Warriors to back-to-back wins conference wins, 38-17 at home against Nevada and then 34-17 at San Jose State 34-17. (see above). He completing 76.5 percent of his passes for 509 yards with 4 TDs and zero INTs in those two contests. Brown played well again last Saturday vs. UNLV, completing 17 of 32 for 217 yards with two TDs and again, zero INTs. The running game had 229 yards (6.9) but in the end, the Hawaii defense let the team down, allowing 41 points on 535 yards. Hawaii comes into this contest allowing 38.9 PPG (122nd) on 487.6 YPG (120th).
Air Force: In stark contrast, the Falcons are allowing 24.8 PPG (49th) on 34.2 YPG (27th), while surpassing Hawaii (30.4 PPG) on offense as well. Air Force is averaging 34.3 PPG (38th) and owns the nation’s 6th-best running game, averaging 275.2 YPG on 4.8 YPC. The Falcons have controlled the all-time series, going 13-6-1 and have taken the last two meetings, including last year’s 58-7 win in Honolulu. It’s Troy Calhoun’s experience that gives the edge to the Falcons.
The pick: Troy Calhoun is in his 10th season at Air Force and has led the Falcons to eight bowls in his first nine. Meanwhile, Hawaii’s Nick Rolovich is in his first-ever season as a head coach. However, there can be little doubt that the former Hawaii QB has brought some real positive energy to a program which had gone just 11-40 over the previous four seasons. That said, the lack of depth on the defensive side of the ball reared its ugly head again last Saturday against UNLV. Hawaii twice had a chance to protect a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter but in each case, UNLV was able to put together long TD drives. Will the Hawaii “D” be able to contain Air Force’s triple-option in this one? Likely not but an offense led by a “coming of age” QB in Dru Brown, along with a solid running game, one can expect Hawaii to ‘hang around.’ Hawaii was more than a TD favorite last week but here, the Rainbow Warriors are getting more than two TDs. Take the points.