Friday Night Lights: Hawaii at Air Force
Published on Nov. 16, 2012, at 12:52 a.m. Eastern.
By Brian Edwards
Norm Chow finally got his first head-coaching job when he was hired at Hawaii in January. Things haven’t gone according to his wishes, however.
When the Warriors take the field tonight at Air Force, they will be looking to snap a seven-game losing streak both straight up and against the spread. Their only win came over an FCS foe, Lamar, in a 54-2 home win in a non-lined affair.
Most books have installed Air Force (5-5 SU, 3-7 ATS) as a 22-point favorite with a total of 60. 5Dimes has the Warriors available on the money line for an 11/1 payout.
Troy Calhoun’s team has lost back-to-back games, including a 28-9 loss last week at San Diego St. as a seven-point underdog. The Falcons enjoyed a 393-268 advantage in total offense, but they couldn’t overcome four turnovers and a pair of fourth-down failures inside the Aztecs’ 30-yard line.
The 37 combined points stayed way ‘under’ the 57 ½-point total.
Air Force has won four of its five home games, going 2-3 versus the number. During Calhoun’s six-year tenure, the Falcons are 11-16 ATS as home favorites. Even worse, they are 3-13 ATS in such spots since 2010.
Air Force is led by senior quarterback Connor Dietz, who has completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 1,095 yards with a 7/3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Dietz has rushed for 606 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 5.2 yards per carry.
Senior RB Cody Getz paces Air Force in rushing, producing 1,006 yards and eight TDs. Getz averages 7.3 YPC.
The Falcons are scoring 30.6 points per game and giving up 28.9 PPG.
Hawaii (1-8 SU, 1-7 ATS) is coming off a 49-14 loss to Boise St. as a 28-point home underdog. Mike Edwards had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 early in the first quarter, but that was the highlight of the game for the Warriors. They didn’t score again until John Lister’s one-yard TD plunge with 5:35 remaining.
Hawaii committed five turnovers against the Broncos, who played turnover-free football.
UH has lost by 15 or more points in each of its five road assignments, going 1-4 ATS. The Warriors have lost by scores of 49-10, 47-0, 52-14, 42-27 and 45-10. They are ranked No. 112 in the nation in scoring, averaging a pedestrian 19.6 points per game.
Things aren’t any better on defense, either. UH is No. 123 in scoring defense, giving up 43.9 PPG.
One of the few bright spots for UH has been redshirt freshman running back Will Gregory, who has rushed for 561 yards and two TDs, averaging 5.0 yards per carry. Starting QB Sean Schroeder has struggled with a 9/10 TD-INT ratio.
Hawaii’s third-leading receiver, sophomore Trevor Davis, is listed as ‘questionable’ with a neck injury. Davis has 17 receptions for 235 yards and two touchdowns.
Air Force senior linebacker Alex Means, who had 77 tackles and six sacks last year, is listed as ‘questionable’ with a thigh injury. Also, the Falcons have three other starting defensive players (safety Anthony Wooding, safety Jay Fullam and LB Jamil Cooks) who are ‘out’ with season-ending injuries.
The ‘under’ is 6-3 overall for the Falcons, 2-2 in their four home games with a total. The ‘over’ is 5-3 overall for Hawaii, but the ‘under’ is 3-2 its road assignments.
These teams haven’t met since 2001 when Hawaii spanked the Falcons by a 52-30 count as a 12-point home favorite.
Kickoff is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
–North Carolina captured a 37-13 win last night at Virginia as a 3 ½-point road favorite. The Cavaliers fell to a pathetic 1-9-1 ATS.
–There is a second college football game tonight in South Florida as Florida Atlantic hosts Fla. International as a 1 ½-point home favorite. The Owls and Panthers have combined for a 5-15 SU record this year. ESPNU will have the telecast at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
–FAU has covered the spread in eight consecutive games, including last week’s stunning win at Western Ky. as a double-digit ‘dog.
–Nevada has failed to cover the number in six straight games and eight of its last nine. The Wolf Pack is favored by 10 Saturday at New Mexico.
–Southern Cal running back Silas Redd is ‘questionable’ at UCLA due to an ankle injury. Redd, who missed last week’s win over Arizona St., has rushed for 732 yards and nine TDs, averaging 5.4 YPC.
–Northwestern will be without two defensive starters at Michigan St. LB Collin Ellis is ‘out’ with an undisclosed injury and Nick VanHoose will sit due to a back ailment. The Wildcats are 9-1 ATS, while the Spartans have limped to a 3-7 ATS mark. Michigan St. is an atrocious 0-6 ATS at home this year.
–The nation’s top-five ATS teams are Utah St. (9-0-1), Fresno St. (10-1), Northwestern (9-1), Kansas St. (8-1-1) and Ball St. (8-2).
–Auburn has lost nine straight SEC games by an average of 23 points. Ouch!
–I had a nice Thursday with winners on the Bills in NFL, in addition to Alabama and Murray St. in college hoops. I split my NBA games, losing on the Spurs when they let a double-digit lead get away in the fourth quarter. However, I had the Heat as an underdog in the late game it won outright at Denver. Check out my Air-Force-Hawaii pick if you wish and I also have plays tonight in college hoops and the NBA.