Daniel Hansen, @thegranddanny: Utah State’s chances rely mainly on their ability to stop the option. In the last two games versus Air Force, they haven’t. The Falcons garnered 500 yards combined between the two contests, winning both. USU’s defensive performance versus New Mexico, however, bodes well for the Aggies’ ability to turn that tide. In Albuquerque, USU held the Lobos to only 4.1 yards per carry after removing a garbage time TD for New Mexico. Meanwhile, Air Force’s offense has sputtered, averaging only 288 yards over their last three games. Utah State is clicking right now. Lajuan Hunt has topped 100 yards in three of the past four games, Love is piecing it together as a freshman, and the defense is playing with tenacity and pride. Man, I really didn’t think 7-5 was a possibility.
Utah State 40, Air Force 22
Lauren Lomeli, @lomeli_lauren: My brain says Air Force, but my heart says Utah State. The Falcons have been on a losing streak for the past three weeks, while the Aggies have been showing no mercy in their last two games. Utah State blew Hawaii out of the water last week, when Air Force got stomped on by Boise. I will go with USU winning this week’s game against AFA.
Utah State 24, Air Force 14
Jaden Johnson, @jadenjohns0n: I’m going to take a similar route as Daniel. Scheme-wise, New Mexico is essentially a poor man’s Air Force. If you read my prediction for the USU-New Mexico game a few weeks ago, I thought the Aggies would really struggle against the option, but to my surprise they handled it with ease. The Falcon defense is pretty bad. They allowed 48 points to Navy, 56 points to New Mexico, 42 points to Nevada (yes, Nevada), and 44 to Boise State. A few weeks ago I wouldn’t believe I’m saying this, but Utah State actually has a good offense! I fully expect Utah State to put up a lot of points, and they’re going to move to 7-5 with a lot of momentum heading into a bowl game.
Utah State 51, Air Force 27
Matt Harris, @snowmatt1417: Utah State has regained something they’ve been missing for over a year now: swagger. Sure, it’s definitely been the easy portion of the conference schedule, but holy cow, the Aggies are FEASTING on these lesser opponents. Air Force is a lesser opponent with a little bit more upset ability than the average Lobo. Unlike the Falcons, USU is a complete team now, able to score and defend with real competency. Expect a great regular season finish for a program that has righted the ship. Sorry for all the doubt, Coach Wells.
Utah State 44, Air Force 21
Logan Jones, @Logantj: In the past two years, Utah State has managed to lose to Air Force on a potential game-winning touchdown bouncing off Wyatt Houston’s hands and a definite Ron’quavion Tarver TD being called off because Mountain West officiating is trash. Not this game. Falcons’ starting QB Nate Romine is out after suffering a collarbone injury last week, dulling Air Force’s chances in this game a bit despite playing at home on senior day. Their option attack will still move the ball some, but a disciplined Aggie front seven and some help from a secondary that ought to be able to creep up toward the line of scrimmage (Dallin Leavitt) won’t allow more than 30 points — and Utah State is definitely scoring more than 30 points. Look for LaJuan Hunt to have another strong day, for Jordan Love to end the regular season on fire with three touchdowns and for Tarver draw a well-earned excessive celebration flag after scoring to put the game away.
Utah State 42, Air Force 24
Thomas Sorenson, @tomcat340: Air Force has been nearly impossible to defeat in Colorado Springs in recent years. Coupled with the emotional boost of a senior day celebration, that home field advantage will be formidable. But the Aggies have already reached bowl eligibility primarily because of their ability to pull out good wins on the road. Some turnover luck and a key injury helped USU knock off two other run-heavy MW opponents this season (UNLV and New Mexico), but the team as a whole has steadily improved since September. The way Jordan Love has the offense humming, Utah State should be able to put up points on Air Force. If the defense can have even an OK performance, the Aggies should be coming home with their seventh win of the season — a feat many people outside the locker room didn’t think was possible this season. Regardless of how Saturday’s game plays out, Utah State should be proud of this team.
Utah State DOESN’T MATTER, GOING BOWLING!!!!!!! 38 Air Force 28