Toledo vs Air Force 2011 Military Bowl Picks
RFK Stadium in the nation’s capital will be the site for this year’s Military Bowl between the college football odds favorite (8-4) Toledo Rockets and the betting underdog (7-5) Air Force Falcons. The 2011 Military Bowl is scheduled to kickoff Wednesday afternoon at 4:30 PM ET live on ESPN. 2011 Bowl Series predictions experts believe that Toledo and Air Force will combine and score an OVER/UNDER total of 70½ points.
For the Rockets, their late season surge has encouraged 2011 Military Bowl odds makers to give them the nod and list them as 3-point favorites. With offensive coordinator Matt Campbell now leading this team as their interim head coach, the general consensus is that 58 percent of the population believes that Toledo will win this game by two safeties or more over Air Force.
Offensively, the Rockets feature a very explosive attack with the ability to rack up the yards in bunches and consistently put up crooked numbers on the board. Going into the 2011 Military Bowl, Toledo’s offense ranks in the top 10 in total yards (Ranked 8th: 494 typg) and scoring (Ranked 8th: 42 ppg), which are the two main reasons for being the favorites.
The Rockets’ passing earns them an average of 272 yards per game (ranked 29th), and their rushing is also very highly regarded at 222 rushing yards per contest (ranked 14th). So how can a team so overpowering have such a mediocre record?
The answer to that question lies in this team’s inability to play consistent defense for 60 minutes. Aside from a somewhat respectable run-defense that ranks 25th in the country (123.2 rypg), Toledo’s defense has left a lot to be desired this season: 401.1 total yards (ranked 76th), 277.9 passing yards (ranked 109th), and 30.9 points allowed (ranked 89th). The Toledo Rockets’ most recent injury report goes as follows in relation to Wednesday’s Military Bowl:
- (QB) Austin Dantin – Probable – Concussion
- (RB) Adonis Thomas – Probable – Thumb
- (QB) Justin Olack – Doubtful – Shoulder
- (DE) T.J. Fatinikun – Out for season – Elbow
- (TE) Danny Noble – Out for season – Ankle
- (S) Mark Singer – Out for season – Shoulder
For Air Force, despite not having the offensive firepower that their counterparts possess, this team did score 45 points in each of its last two regular season games. Finishing 4-1 following a three-game skid, the Falcons earned an invite into what should be a very high scoring affair, evidenced by the 70½ OVER/UNDER.
But in spite of the fact that many observers expect Toledo’s edge to come on the offensive side, I believe what sets these teams apart is the Rockets’ ability to contain the Falcon’s biggest offensive production: their running game. The Air Force rushing attack is currently second in the nation, averaging over 320 yards per game.
But as impressive as that statistic is, considering that Toledo only knows how to do one thing defensively, and that is stopping the run, this is a matchup nightmare for the air marshals. The Air Force Falcons’ most recent injury report goes as follows in relation to Wednesday’s Military Bowl:
- (OL) Michael Hester – Doubtful – Ankle
- (WR) Drew Coleman – Doubtful – Shoulder
- (LB) Ken Lamendola – Doubtful – Hamstring
- (LB) Jordan Waiwaiole – Doubtful – Arm
- (DL) Zach Payne – Out for season – Knee
- (RB) Darius Jones – Out for season – Foot
Finally, check out some interesting Against The Spread Trends for both teams this season:
- Rockets are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a S.U. win.
- Rockets are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games as a favorite.
- Rockets are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Rockets are 7-15 ATS in their last 22 games on grass.
- Rockets are 4-10-1 ATS in their last 15 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Rockets are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.
- Falcons are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games as an underdog.
- Falcons are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Falcons are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.
- Falcons are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games following a S.U. win.
- Falcons are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
- Falcons are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games on grass.