Few teams in the Mountain West Conference are running as hot as the Air Force Falcons, who carry a four-game winning streak into a Friday night encounter with the host San Diego State Aztecs. Air Force wasn’t as sharp defensively last time out as it would have liked, but got a Shayne Davern touchdown in overtime to upend Nevada 45-38. The Falcons have leaned on the run game all season, ranked eighth in the nation at 288.4 yards per game.
It may be a good time for Air Force to catch the Aztecs, who have dropped two of their last three to fall to the .500 mark in conference play. San Diego State has had one of the strongest defensive units in the country so far this season but fell flat last weekend, surrendering 399 total yards in a 38-29 defeat at the hands of Boise State. The Aztecs are a perfect 4-0 so far at Qualcomm Stadium in 2014, scoring at least 34 points in three of those contests.
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network.
LINE HISTORY: The line opened -4 but has since jumped two points. The over/under has risen a half-point to 50.5.
INJURY REPORT: Air Force: OL Sevrin Remmo (foot) is questionable. RB Jacobi Owens (foot) is doubtful. LB Joey Nichol (groin) and OL Allen Caunitz (ankle) are out. San Diego State: DL Alex Barrett (foot) is doubtful. LB Jake Fely (wrist) is out.
WEATHER REPORT: Temperatures will be in the mid-50s with partly cloudy skies and calm winds.
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “San Diego State money has been heavy this week as they are currently 6-point favorites over Air Force after opening at -3. One of the reasons for that is Aztecs’ head coach Rocky Long, who is known for shutting down the triple-option attack. In his three years at San Diego State, Long’s teams have beat Air Force by 14, 19, and 7 points. The Falcons are 8-2 on the season, but both losses came on the road when they scored just 13 and 16 points. The Aztecs have held Air Force to a total of 56 points in the last three meetings.” – Covers Expert Steve Merril
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “After opening at SDSU -3, we saw sharp play on Tuesday afternoon so we moved the line to -4.5. On Thursday afternoon, Air Force RB Jacobi Owens was downgraded to play because of a foot injury, so we moved the Aztecs from -4.5 to -5.5. 71 percent of bets and 73 percent of cash backing the Aztecs on the spread. Total has remained at 50.5 since open with 59 percent of cash and 55 percent of cash on the under.” – Mike Jerome of TopBet.eu.
ABOUT AIR FORCE (8-2 SU, 6-4 ATS, 4-6 O/U): Just how run-reliant are the Falcons? They’ve racked up a whopping 628 carries through 10 games, with 26 touchdowns and 15 different players registering at least one rush attempt. Jacobi Owens leads the way with 204 attempts for 1,054 yards and five scores, but he’s doubtful with a foot injury – leaving quarterback Kale Pearson (143 carries, 587 yards, six TDs) and Shayne Davern (80 carries, 340 yards, five TDs) to pick up the slack in his absence.
ABOUT SAN DIEGO STATE (5-5 SU, 4-5-1 ATS, 1-9 O/U): The Aztecs are led by running back sensation Donnel Pumphrey, who erupted for 147 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries against Boise State and has seven 100-yard games on his resume this season. Quarterback Quinn Kaehler was solid in a win over Idaho two weeks ago, throwing for 249 yards and three touchdowns, but had just 173 yards and a score in last week’s defeat. San Diego State has just nine receiving touchdowns on the year, with no player recording more than two.
* Air Force is 5-1 ATS in its last six games following a win.
* San Diego State is 2-5-1 ATS in its last eight games.
* Over is 7-1 in the Falcons’ last eight November games.
* Under is 9-1 in the Aztecs’ last 10 games.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Covers voters are 54.54 percent in favor of Air Force +6.