No. 20 Boise State hosts Air Force in Mountain West opener
Air Force (2-0) at No. 20 Boise State (3-0), Friday at 9 p.m. EDT (ESPN2).
Line: Boise State by 8.
Series record: Boise State leads 4-3.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Boise State welcomes Air Force in a significant Mountain West Conference opener. The Broncos are unbeaten after wins over Florida State, Marshall and Portland State, while the Falcons are riding high following last week’s 30-23 overtime win at Colorado. Air Force won three straight in the series from 2014-16 and the last two times the teams have met on a Friday night, the Falcons have come away with the win.
The Air Force run game vs. Boise State’s run defense. The Falcons’ option attack has given teams headaches for years. Just ask Colorado, which last week gave up 289 yards on the ground to Air Force. The Falcons are averaging 6.1 yards per carry. Boise State’s run defense has been solid. The Broncos are allowing only 3.5 yards per carry and have not allowed any of their opponents to rush for more than 116 yards. The last two times the Falcons beat the Broncos they rushed for more than 300 yards.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Air Force: QB Donald Hammond II. The Falcons do most of their damage on the ground, but Hammond was excellent through the air in the upset of Colorado. Hammond was 7 of 12 for 155 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including an 81-yarder to Ben Waters.
Boise State: QB Hank Bachmeier. While the freshman has played well overall, he’s been especially good on third downs. Bachmeier is 21 of 29 for 356 yards, 17 first downs and three touchdowns when facing third-down situations thus far. He’s also added 33 yards rushing, three first downs and a TD on third downs as well.
FACTS & FIGURES
Boise State has won 19 straight conference openers with its last loss in 1999 to North Texas as a member of the Big West Conference. ... Air Force is 13-7 in MWC openers dating to 1999. ... The Broncos only home game between Friday’s game and Nov. 9 is Oct. 12 against Hawaii. ... Boise State has won 115 straight home games when leading after three quarters. ... Air Force’s last win over a ranked team was a 27-20 victory over Boise State in 2016. The Falcons haven’t beaten a ranked team on the road since winning at Cal in 2002.
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