HAWAII WARRIORS (6-4)
at AIR FORCE FALCONS (5-5)
Kickoff: Friday, 9:30 p.m. EDT
Line: Air Force -21.5, Total: 61.5
A pair of Mountain West teams eager to snap losing streaks meet on Friday night when Air Force hosts Hawaii.
The Warriors are riding a seven-game losing skid (SU and ATS), falling by a combined score of 339 to 112 (48-16 avg. score) with a total of 24 turnovers during this skid. The Falcons are on a similar slide, going 1-5 ATS in their past six contests, losing the past two games outright by a combined score of 69-30 due partly to an uncharacteristic nine turnovers. Air Force still ranks second in the nation in rushing offense though (335 YPG), and is 11-6-1 SU all-time versus Hawaii, but these schools have not met since 2001.
Can Hawaii keep this game relatively close on Friday night? For the answer, connect to The Platinum Sheet for all the StatFox Experts picks for every key college football game throughout the 2012 season.
Hawaii QB Sean Schroeder has had a subpar season (9 TD, 10 INT), but he's been especially awful in his past three games, completing just 45-of-95 passes for 462 yards (4.9 YPA), 1 TD and 5 INT. Hawaii's ground game has also been non-existent for most of the season (99.8 YPG, 116th in FBS), especially with its minus-14 yards on 33 carries versus Boise State last week. The main problem with the Warriors has been carelessness with the football. They have at least three giveaways in six straight games, committing 22 turnovers in this span. And the defense hasn't been able to make up for this by forcing miscues on their own, tallying 0-to-1 takeaways in six of the past seven games.
Army thwarted Air Force's triple-option two weeks ago (103 yards on 43 carries, 2.4 YPC), but the team bounced back with its typical 320 yards on 68 carries (4.7 YPC) in last week's 28-9 loss at San Diego State. The school has had zero trouble rushing the ball at Falcon Stadium, galloping for an eye-popping 2,058 yards (412 per game) in five home games. With Hawaii surrendering 293 rushing YPG in the past two contests, Air Force will not deviate from this heavy ground game. QB Connor Dietz has attempted just 104 passes in 10 games, but after not throwing a pick in his first eight contests, he's tossed three interceptions during the two-game losing skid. That is just a small part of the Falcons turnover problems in the past four weeks, as they have 14 giveaways in these four games.