2012 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Preview and Pick Against the Spread: Air Force Vs. Rice

The Rice Owls and Air Force Falcons square off in the 2012 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. Rice started the season 2-6, but they were able to win their final four games to become bowl eligible at 6-6. Air Force went 5-3 in Mountain West conference play this season and enter the bowl game with an overall record of 6-6.

When Air Force is on Offense

The Falcons rank 70th in the nation in scoring at 28.5 points per game. Air Force is a running team and rank 2nd in college football with 328.8 yards per game on the ground. Quarterback Connor Dietz rarely throws the football and Air Force went 1-4 in games when Dietz had 10 or more pass attempts. In a 21-7 victory over Hawaii on November 16th, the Falcons did not attempt a single pass. Dietz can run the football and averaged 4.8 yards per carry this season and was second on the team with 658 yards. Cody Getz was the top rusher for Air Force with 1213 yards on 6.4 yards per carry. Three other Falcons, Jon Lee, Wes Cobb, and Ty MacArthur, all had over 400 yards rushing as well.

Rice ranks 89th in the nation in scoring defense allowing 31.3 points per game. The Rice defense struggled against the run this season and ranked 91st in the nation giving up 192.8 yards per game on the ground. Air Force is one of the top rushing teams in the country and will look to exploit the Owls’ defense on the ground.

See also  2012 BCS Championship: LSU Vs. Alabama - Preview, Prediction, and Pick Against the Spread

When Rice is on Offense

The Owls rank 40th in the country in scoring at 31.8 points per game. Quarterback Taylor McHargue completed 59% of his passes for 2178 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. McHargue was successful running the football picking up 628 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. Running back Charles Ross averaged 5.7 yards per carry this season on his way to 743 yards.

Air Force ranks 69th in scoring defense allowing 28.7 points per game. As a team, the Falcons only had 15 sacks and 8 interceptions in 12 games this season.

2012 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Pick Against the Spread

Air Force is currently a 1-point favorite over Rice in the 2012 Armed Forces Bowl. As the spread indicates, this is going to be a very tight game. Air Force will look to impose their will on the ground and should have some success against a weak run defense. I like the Falcons to win the game so I’ll take them and give the 1-point.

Prediction: Air Force 31 – Rice 28

More From This Contributor

2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl Preview and Pick Against the Spread

2012 Russell Athletic Bowl Preview and Pick Against the Spread

2012 Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl Preview and Pick Against the Spread

Source

espn.go.com/college-football/bowls