Air Force vs. Boise State: Game Preview, How to Watch, Livestream, Prediction
Big Mountain division game
Can Boise State keep its winning streak alive vs. AFA?
Air Force is always one of the most demanding games on Boise State’s schedule. No matter how good of a team the Broncos have, the Falcons generally keep the game close. In the nine meetings, the Broncos are 6-3 with an average score of 35-27 in their favor.
Air Force comes in at 5-1 and 2-1 in the conference on the season, with a 45-49 loss to Utah State, their only blemish. Last week the Falcons were able to hold the ball for almost 40-minutes and forced two fumbles in a 24-14 win against Wyoming. Boise State returns to Albertsons Stadium looking to avoid their third straight loss on The Blue. Last week the Broncos pulled off a 26-17 upset of #10 BYU in Provo, UT, by limiting their mistakes on both sides of the ball. The defense played one of their best games, forcing four turnovers and two turnovers on downs while missing three starting defensive backs for most of the game.
WEEK 7: Air Force (5-1, 2-1) at Boise State (3-3, 1-1)
WHEN: Saturday, October 23 – 9 p.m. ET
WHERE: Boise, Idaho; Alberston’s Statdium
STREAMING: FuboTV – Get a 7-day free trial
ODDS (Via Vegas Insider): Boise State -3.5
3 Keys to Victory
Continued Improvement Along the Line
The offensive line has been a struggle all season for Boise State but will be the third week with the same starting five, in the same spots, after having four different combinations over the first four games. This lineup has allowed Boise State to win the time of possession in each game while producing victories against Utah State and BYU.
ʙʟᴜᴇ ᴏɴ ʙʟᴜᴇ pic.twitter.com/apMScIjT8U
— Boise State Football (@BroncoSportsFB) October 14, 2021
The Broncos are finally showing some life in the running game, improving from a horrid 70-ypg over the first three games to 110-ypg over the last three, and have even had glimpses of being able to protect Hank Bachmeier. They hopefully have made more improvements as they will have their hands full with Air Force’s linebackers Vince Sawford (31-Tkls, 6.5-Sks, 3-FFum) and Demonte Meeks (25-Tkls, 3.5-Sks). Both players play downhill exceptionally well and are going to make life difficult for the Broncos up front.
Contain the Run (The Best They Can)
Air Force is going to run the ball a lot, then they are going to throw a pass, and then they are going to run the ball a lot more. There is no secret to their offense, but it is still complicated to stop. In the ’90s, the best game plan anyone could come up with to try to beat the Chicago Bulls was to let Michael Jordan score his 40 points, just try to keep Scottie Pippen or Toni Kukoc from scoring 30 as well. The same applies to The Falcons running game. Running back Brad Roberts is going to get 110-plus rushing yards and score a touchdown, and the only thing you can hope to do is hold him to that.
Where the focus goes after that is to make sure quarterback Haaziq Daniels and wide receiver Micah Davis are kept in check. The Broncos’ 4-2-5 defense isn’t fundamentally set up to pull that off without bringing additional players towards the line of scrimmage. Safeties JL Skinner and Tyreque Jones have both proven to be able to play downhill, and Skinner has shown the ability to tackle well, including showcasing some of the biggest hits by anyone on the Bronco defense this season.
Get Points While You Can
Air Force’s run attack eats up a lot of clock and limits the opportunities for their opponents to score. The Broncos will have to be efficient with their chances with the ball because their chances could be few and far between. Boise State averages 31.5 points per game, which is just behind the Falcons 32.7, to this point of the season and has had much better competition than Air Force. Boise State has been able to put together long drives that have taken up a lot of clock and resulted in points. Combine that with Boise State’s ability to hit big plays and score quickly, and the Broncos have the ability to close out the halves with points as well. The defense has also played a role in this by forcing sixteen turnovers that the offense has routinely been able to turn into points.
Boise State is coming off a big win over BYU and definitely does not want to drop their third game in a row at home. They have finally had some consistency along the offensive line and have shown improvements in the running game to become more of a balanced team, hopefully. As long as the defense can adjust and crowd the line of scrimmage, can go a game without losing someone for targeting, and continue to force turnovers, they should be able to limit the points Air Force can put on the board. I think the Broncos will slow the Air Force offense enough to get back to winning at home.
Boise State 46, Air Force 33