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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, Nov. 3, 12 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Michie Stadium (38,000) -- West Point, New York. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: Air Force 4-1, Army 1-4. Away Record: Air Force 1-2, Army 0-3. Neutral Record: Air Force 0-0, Army 0-0. Conference Record: Air Force 4-1, Army 0-0. Series Record: Air Force leads, 32-13-1.
GAME NOTES: The Air Force Falcons have a chance to become bowl eligible as they take on the Army Black Knights in the second game of the Commander-in- Chief's Trophy competition.
The Commander-in-Chief's Trophy goes to the team with the most wins in the annual round-robin competition between the NCAA's three service academies. Air Force suffered an overtime loss to Navy in this season's first installment of the competition.
The Black Knights have a 13-game losing streak in the event, including a six- game losing streak to Air Force. The Falcons hold a 32-13-1 edge in their all- time series with Army.
Air Force is riding a three-game winning streak after taking down Stefphon Jefferson and the Nevada Wolf Pack, 48-31, in a crucial Mountain West Conference bout last week. The three-game streak is the longest for the program since 2010. Coach Troy Calhoun has a 46-27 record during his tenure and has gone to a bowl game in each of his first five seasons. Just one game out, Air Force is in second place in its conference and would really benefit from a momentum building win with three league games left to play.
Army had its hopes of returning to the bowl season shattered last week as it lost 30-22 to Ball State. It was the third loss in a row which dropped coach Rich Ellerson's record to 16-29 with the program. A win by Army would raise the stakes in its season-ending rivalry game versus Navy.
Air Force has the second best rushing offense in the FBS, trailing only Army, with an average of 366.3 yards per game. The Falcons are coming off of their second best offensive performance of the season as they racked up 600 total yards (461 rushing) and outscored Nevada's high-powered offense by 17 points.
Although the Falcons clearly favor the run, senior quarterback Connor Dietz's recent performance has to be tempting the coaching staff to air it out. Dietz went 6-of-7 for 139 yards and two TDs last week, while also rushing for 68 yards and a score. In his past four games, Dietz has completed 25-of-32 attempts for 431 yards and give TDs with no interceptions.
Dietz would be leading the FBS in passing efficiency (187.2) if he had enough attempts to qualify. He is also second on the team with 527 rushing yards and tied for second with four TDs on 93 attempts.
The star of the offense has been the 5-foot-7, 175 pound Chris Getz. The senior tailback entered the season with just 286 rushing yards. He has since added 928 yards and eight TDs on 122 attempts in six games before sustaining an ankle injury against Wyoming that has kept him sidelined for two straight games. His return for this week is doubtful.
Fellow senior Wes Cobb made up for Getz's absence by tallying a career-high 152 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries versus Nevada. Cobb was also productive in the prior week against New Mexico, producing 82 yards and three TDs on 17 attempts. Ty MacArthur is leading the team with 346 receiving yards and 18 receptions. The junior wideout also has 375 rushing yards on the year.
Air Force has a below average defense with surrendered averages of 421.5 yards and 27.5 points per game. Last week, Nevada, which ranked sixth in the FBS in total offense with an average of 541.1 yards per contest going into the contest, was held to 380 yards by the Falcons in one of their best performances of the season.
Air Force gets senior leadership from linebacker Austin Niklas, who is leading the team with 75 total stops. Alex Means is a versatile defender as has registered a team-high 7.5 tackles for loss and two interceptions, which ties for first on the squad.
Army's FBS leading rushing attack has not led to enough points to warrant wins this season. The Black Knights are ranked 35th in the nation in total offense (446.4 ypg), but just 85th in scoring offense (24.8 ppg).
With such a prolific rushing attack the Black Knights have had a stable of backs carrying the ball, led by Raymond Maples, who has 834 yards on 148 carries for a solid 5.6 yards per carry and 104.3 yards per game. Quarterback Trent Steelman (709 yards, 10 TDs) leads the team in touchdown runs and is first on the team in attempts with 149.
As a passer, Steelman has completed only 25 passes all season for 394 yards and one touchdown. The senior signal caller has only attempted more than nine passes in game on one occasion this season.
The Black Knights are generous on the defensive side. They give up an average of 36.9 points and 459.5 yards per contest. Army has a number of prolific tacklers led by Geoffery Bacon, who has piled up 87 tackles, which is the seventh most among FBS players. Brandon Fusilier- Jeffires has 59 total tackles, while Nate Combs has been a force on the line with six sacks and nine total tackles for loss.
Both teams employ a triple-option wishbone rushing attack. Although Army is slightly better at rushing the ball, it is nowhere near as efficient as its opponent on the other side of the ball. With or without Getz, Air Force should be able to escape West Point with its winning streak intact.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Air Force 27, Army 17
10/31 10:44:36 ET
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