Nevada VS Air Force: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction

Nevada VS Air Force: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction

Air Force

Nevada VS Air Force: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction

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Nevada Vs Air Force: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction

The Wolf Pack return home to face Air Force in the home season finale for Nevada.

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The Wolf Pack Looking For A Bounce Back Win On Senior Night Against Air Force

WEEK 12: Nevada Wolf Pack vs Air Force Falcons

WHERE: Mackey Stadium; Reno, Nevada

TV: Fox Sports 1 at 6pm

RADIO:  Nevada Football is on ESPN 94.5 in Reno

SERIES RECORD: Air Force leads the all time series 3-2. The last meeting between the two schools was in 2018 when Nevada won 28-25.

ODDS: Nevada (-1.5)

SP+ PROJECTION: Nevada by 2.3

FEI PROJECTION: Air Force by 3.8

Here are my three keys for a Nevada victory and a prediction for Nevada- Air Force.

 

Forcing Turnovers Against Air Force’s Offense

A very interesting and important stat regarding the 2021 Nevada Wolf Pack defense: In Nevada’s seven wins this season, the Wolf Pack defense forced 18 turnovers but in their three losses the defense only forced one turnover. 

Basically, the Wolf Pack defense is at its best when it is creating turnovers and causing opposing offenses havoc. And Nevada’s defense has needed those havoc plays because it is average at stopping the run (sixth in the Mountain West in run defense at 136.2) and below average in pass defense (10th in the Mountain West at 247.8 yards per game). Last week against San Diego State, the Wolf Pack gave up 186 yards rushing to the Aztecs and 104 of those yards went to Greg Bell.

But the main stat line to take away in that game was that Nevada’s defense forced zero turnovers against San Diego State. That was one of the differences as the Wolf Pack fell on the road to the Aztecs. This week, the Wolf Pack face Air Force and their triple-option attack and for Nevada to win this week, they have to force the Falcons offense to cough up the ball for the Wolf Pack to take advantage.

 

Get Cole Turner the ball early and often

The Wolf Pack missed their big time target in tight end Cole Turner last week against the Aztecs, Turner missed the game due to a concussion he suffered against San Jose State the week before. And despite the Wolf Pack putting on a front that Turner would play, in the end Turner was sidelined and a major figure in the Nevada offense was missing against San Diego State.

Per Nevada’ Sports Net’s Chris Murray. Turner looks set to play this week against the Falcons in the final home game of the season for the Wolf Pack. With Turner’s return, the Wolf Pack offense must get the ball to their playmaker early and often. This season, Turner has caught 55 receptions for 618 yards and 11 touchdowns and established himself as one of the top tight ends in the nation. 

With Turner’s more than likely return to action, Carson Strong will have his full complement of weapons to attack the Falcons defense and it is essential to utilize Turner’s game breaking talents in order to win on Friday night.

 

Go out there and play spoiler, Nevada

While Nevada is not technically eliminated from the West division title race, barring a miracle the Wolf Pack will not be playing for a Mountain West championship in 2021. The hopes and dreams of Nevada playing for and winning its first ever Mountain West title in football perished when they lost  last week to San Diego State.

However, Nevada still has plenty to play for in this late stage of the 2021 season such as a double digit winning season. Since joining FBS back in 1992, the Wolf Pack have had only one double digit winning season and that was in 2010 when Nevada went 13-1. For Nevada to clinch its second double digit winning season in program history, they would need to win its final two games of the regular season and the bowl game. I’d say that is something for the Wolf Pack to play for to wrap up this season.

Also, the Wolf Pack can play spoiler to the Falcons hopes of representing the Mountain division in the Mountain West title game. Air Force sits one game behind Colorado State in the Mountain division standings and the Falcons would need to win their last two games and have the Rams drop their last two games for Air Force to win the Mountain division.

A chance for a ten win season and spoiling the chances of Air Force playing for a conference title should be the motivation for the Wolf Pack on Friday.

 

Prediction

The Wolf Pack chances of playing for a winning the Mountain West are next to impossible after losing to the Aztecs last week. But the Wolf Pack still has something to play for this season such as clinching a very rare double digit winning season and eliminating Air Force from the Mountain division title chase.

For Nevada to achieve these goals, they must force turnovers, get Cole Turner involved early and try to shore up their run defense. The Wolf Pack defense has been gashed against the run as they have given up over 100 yards rushing to both San Jose State and San Diego State in consecutive weeks. Stopping the run will not be easy for Nevada as Air Force is averaging 310 yards rushing per game which is best in the nation.  

Can Nevada stop the rushing attack of Air Force, no but I think they can contain it enough that it won’t be a problem. And if Nevada can slow down the Falcons ground game and score points on their own, I think the Wolf Pack can muster up enough effort to win a shootout on Senior Night in Reno.

 

Nevada 44  Air Force 41

 

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