The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl has two different style of teams matching up against one another. We have the Mountain West conference going up against the ACC. The two teams in this matchup are Air Force (9-3) and Louisville (6-6). Air Force is a team that played their opponents tough, but can they compete with a power five school. Louisville is a middle of the pack power five school, however they do have dynamic playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. I think both teams could win this matchup, but at the end of the day only one team can win. With that being said here is my preview for the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl.
This Air Force team is the best rushing team in the nation. They average 341.4 rushing yards per game and 31 points per game as well. Air Force’s rushing attack is led by full back Brad Roberts. Roberts has 1,279 rushing yards (14th in the nation) and added 13 rushing touchdowns as well. This passing game is really non-existent, because they are that good at running the football. Air Force’s offense scores a lot of points, but against a power five school defense how many points can they score?
Defensively, this team is very good against the run. They allow the 18th fewest rushing yards per game (94.8). Also they are ranked 52nd in passing yards allowed per game, and 28th in total yards per game as well. This team has three losses and they are all by seven points or fewer. Air Force is a good team and needs to have some respect put on their name.
Louisville is a very run first team. They average 211.3 rushing yards per game. Also they rank 34th in the nation in total yards per game. The Cardinals are led by dual threat quarterback Malik Cunningham. Cunningham threw for 2,733 passing yards with a touchdown/interception ratio of 18/6. However, Cunningham is also Louisville’s leading rusher as well. He has 968 rushing yards to go along with 19 rushing touchdowns which is tied for 6th in the nation. The Cardinals offense runs through Cunningham and he is a focal point for this Air Force defense to focus on. The downfall of this Louisville team is their defense. They give up 156.7 rushing yards per game. Air Force is very good at running the football, which will cause problems for the Cardinals.
Louisville is a 1.5 point favorite with the over/under set at 55. I lean Air Force here, but I am a little worried that Cunningham will go off in this one. My official play is under 55. Both teams are run heavy offenses that will try and control the time of possession battle. This bowl matchup could be a very slow pace game. In Louisville’s last six bowl games, the under is 5-1. This makes me feel a lot better with taking the under in this one.
-Chris Jones (@cjoneswho1212)
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