After getting off to a fast start with my bowl picks, yours truly has dropped back to an even .500 and is currently riding a three-game losing streak. Good thing we're not doing this for money or anything. . .after all, these picks are for entertainment purposes only.â†µ
This afternoon, we get ourselves a match-up that should be over fairly quickly, as it features two teams that spend pretty much all day running the football. The Independence Bowl, live from Shreveport, Louisiana in less than an hour (4:05 PM Central time) on ESPN, features the Air Force Falcons (8-4, 5-3 in the Mountain West Conference) against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-6, 4-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference). These two teams are the top two rushing offenses in the FBS, with Georgia Tech leading the nation with 327.0 rushing yards a game, and Air Force coming in second with 317.9 rushing yards per contest. Both of these teams run a form of the option. . .Air Force prefers the triple option, while Georgia Tech prefers a spread option attack.
These two teams have combined for 299 pass attempts on the season. Air Force has put the ball in the air 145 times this season, and Georgia Tech has gone to the air 154 times. Not surprising, then, that these are the 118th (Air Force) and 119th (Georgia Tech) ranked passing offenses in the country. So, if you like power football and the running game and so forth, this is your type of ball game. . .and, with all that running, it should be over relatively quickly.â†µ
Since both teams are pretty one-dimensional, we don't need to do a lot of analysis. Georgia Tech seems to be coming apart, as they've had a few players declared ineligible, with a couple of them missing the game and some being made to sit out the first half. The Yellow Jackets also lost four of their final five games to close the regular season. Air Force, on the other hand, seems to be peaking at the right time, having defeated their last three opponents by a combined score of 125-65.â†µ
Look for Air Force to get their first ever victory over Georgia Tech this afternoon. . .the Yellow Jackets are 3-0 all-time against Air Force, but these two teams haven't met since 1979.â†µ
SB Nation Minnesota prediction: Air Force 34, Georgia Tech 23
SB Nation Minnesota record so far: 4-4