The Air Force Falcons (10-2) were 7-1 in Mountain West play. Air Force ended the season second in the Mountain Division. They were one game behind the division winners, the #19 Boise State Broncos. The Washington State Cougars (6-6) finished fifth in the Pac-12 North with a 3-6 conference record. That division was won by the #6 Oregon Ducks who went 8-1 in the conference.
2019 Cheez-It Bowl Pick – Regular Season
The Washington State Cougars notched three wins to start the season, and then suffered three loses. With a 3-3 mark, they went on to replicate that record in the second half of the season. Three of the Cougar losses were to top 25 teams. #19 Utah, #18 Arizona State, and #11 Oregon all beat WSU. The other teams that took them down were the UCLA Bruins, California, and rivals Washington.
Air Force Falcons vs. Washington State Cougars – Stats
On offense, Air force loves to run. They’re averaging 292.5 YPG on the ground. Meanwhile, in the air AF is good for just 131.0 YPG. On the other end of the spectrum, the Cougars are passing for 444.3 YPG. Their rush attack is generating just 72.5 YPG. On defense, the Falcons are allowing just 315.8 total YPG. That includes 208.1 YPG passing and 107.7 YPG rushing. Defensively, the Cougars are allowing more yards per game, 456.8, than the they or the Falcons are generating on offense. They are giving up 286.8 YPG in passing and 170.8 in rushing.
Air Force at Washington State – Players
Air Force comes into this contest with a clear advantage on defense and a very strong offense that should match up well against the Cougars offense. Although the Air Force attack is focused primarily on the run, they still pass enough to keep teams guessing.
Air Force Falcons
On defense. Air Force has only seven interceptions, but three have been run back for TDs. They’ve also made 25 sacks, defended 41 passes, and forced 11 fumbles recovering seven. DB Milton Bugg III has three picks and three PD, while DB Zane Lewis has 14 PD. LB DeMonte Meeks leads the team in total tackles with 97 and sacks with four.
Washington State Cougars
The Cougar defense has just 29 PD. That says something about their lack of coverage. Other stats include 23 sacks, nine picks, and 11 FF with seven recovered. LB Jahad Woods is the team’s top tackler with 63 solo and 121 in total. He’s also posted three sacks and one INT. Safety Skylar Thomas has three picks and two PD. DL Will Rodgers II leads the club with four sacks.
Five Keys to the Game
This 2019 Cheez-It Bowl pick acknowledges the following keys to the game:
- Air Force ground attack must be established early.
- Falcons need to use the pass effectively
- Cougars pass attack must be on the money
- WSU ground game needs about 100 yards to be effective
- If Cougar D cannot step up, Air Force will soar
Our 2019 Cheez-It Bowl Pick
We do think there will be plenty of points scored in this one. Maybe over 75. Go with the over at 68.5. Our 2019 Cheez-It Bowl pick can certainly see this contest going either way. But we do find that the AF defense gives the Falcons an upper hand. It’s Air Force ground game versus Washington State air attack. With defense, determination, and deadly ground game, Falcons win.