Thursday Football

Thursday Football

Hokies Won't Name QB
Washington Post

BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 22 -- More than anything, Sean Glennon missed the competition. After the initial malaise swept over him upon learning Tyrod Taylor would replace him as Virginia Tech's starting quarterback, he adjusted to being a backup. Glennon could handle huddling with the second team in practice. He didn't mind losing the stature that comes with being starting quarterback.

Game days always stung, though. He had been reduced to standing on the sidelines and signaling in plays to his former understudy. He watched his teammates win and felt detached from their success, happy his team had won but bitter that he had not contributed. He missed helping to determine the outcome, but more so the feeling that it brought.

"Sometimes, you forget it's a lot of fun to be out there, too," Glennon said.

Glennon appreciated that sentiment during Virginia Tech's last game, when he relieved the injured Taylor against Duke. The junior played one of his best games as a Hokie, performing with both skill and joy. He threw precise passes, punctuating touchdowns by leaping into the arms of his offensive linemen and smiling.

On Thursday night, when No. 8 Virginia Tech hosts No. 2 Boston College, Glennon may or may not regain that feeling. Coach Frank Beamer said Monday the Hokies would not decide on a quarterback until close to game time, wanting to gauge how much Taylor's high-ankle sprain has healed and how effective he may be compared with Glennon.

The wait may also be a piece of gamesmanship, forcing Boston College to prepare for two quarterbacks with differing styles. Beamer, though, discarded that notion.

"That's a veteran defensive staff up there," Beamer said. "We're not going to cause them too many troubles with that."

Whoever starts, Glennon has certainly proved the merits of having a backup quarterback who has won 11 games as a starter. Against Duke, he completed 16 of 21 passes for 258 yards, playing with a confidence and relaxation he may have lacked before his benching.

"You have to have fun playing this game," Virginia Tech quarterbacks coach Mike O'Cain said. "You can't go out there all uptight, worrying about making a mistake, worrying about if I make a mistake, what's going to be done? I just think he went out there and played football."

At first, Glennon had a rough transition from starter to backup. O'Cain informed Glennon of the move the Monday morning following Virginia Tech's 48-7 loss to Louisiana State on Sept. 8. That evening, Glennon spoke with reporters and criticized the decision, saying he might transfer. He now considers it a mistake, both agreeing to speak and coaches allowing him to. If he had waited a few days, he feels, he would have answered questions with a clear head, not raw emotion.

"I know some people said it wasn't a good attitude to have," Glennon said. "And I agree. It wasn't. But if you got demoted at work, and then immediately people were asking you how you felt about it, I don't think you would have good things to say about it. It's just natural."

He moped through the first few practices that week, viewing his spot with the second team as a blow to his pride. He rarely spoke. O'Cain didn't say anything to him, aside from coaching advice.

As the week went on, Glennon talked with close friends and his parents, and his phone buzzed with text messages offering encouragement. The message was always the same: You can sit there and feel sorry for yourself, or you can get over it. "Eventually, I stopped letting it go in one ear and out the other," Glennon said.

By that Thursday's practice, Glennon began to resemble his old self, pumping his fists or clapping after good plays. He conversed with teammates at practice. O'Cain finally sat down with him the next day, confident the shock of the move had subsided.

"You're going to have to help us win a game, and maybe more than a game," O'Cain told him.

After the first week, Glennon settled into his backup role. When Taylor scored his first touchdown against Ohio, Glennon was the first player to meet him on the sideline. He said he never even looked into transferring. "Right now, that's honestly not in my mind," Glennon said. "Any decision will come after the season."

He is focused solely on Boston College, he said, as much in the dark about his playing status as everyone else. But he will be ready, his time away from the field helping him to savor his time on it.

"It's not just a business," Glennon said. "I'd missed it. It was fun to be able to compete."

Hokies Note: Outside linebacker Cam Martin (mononucleosis) practiced without contact Sunday and likely will play Thursday night against Boston College, Beamer said. Cody Grimm would be Martin's replacement.

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Re: Thursday Football

Thursday's College Football TV Capsule
October 23, 2007

Boston College at Virginia Tech

Opening Line: Virginia Tech by 3 1/2.

Series Record: Virginia Tech leads 9-4.

Last Meeting: 2006, Boston College 22-3

Last Meeting: 2006, Boston College 22-3

Boston College QB Matt Ryan is 21-4 (.840) as a starter. ... Boston College leads the nation in rushing defense (46.4 yards per game) and interceptions (18). ... Boston College has not been held scoreless since a 17-0 loss to Virginia Tech in 1998 (122 games). ... The Eagles have their highest ranking since 1942, when they started 8-0. ... Virginia Tech is 13-2, all-time in Thursday night ESPN games (.867) with both losses coming to Boston College. ... Virginia Tech has won eight of its last 10 games against Boston College. ... Virginia Tech has won 34 straight games when scoring first. The last time Tech scored first and lost was against West Virginia in 2002.

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What bettors need to know: Boston College at Virginia Tech
Covers.com

Glennon or Taylor?

Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor suffered a high ankle sprain in the Hokies’ last game against the Blue Devils. The severity of Taylor's injury is unclear, though he left the field on crutches and was wearing a protective boot. Former starter Sean Glennon replaced Taylor in the Hokies’ 43-14 win. Glennon went 16 of 21 for 258 yards and two touchdowns against Duke.

Now the question is: which quarterback will start against the Eagles?

“We'll see,” Hokies coach Frank Beamer told the Virginian-Pilot.

Taylor replaced Glennon in a 48-7 loss to the LSU Tigers on Sept. 9. He has thrown for over 600 yards with three touchdowns and an interception in six games as Virginia Tech’s starter.

Glennon, conversely, has thrown for over 580 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions this season. In 2006, Glennon passed for more than 2,000 yards with 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions for the Hokies.

“I've been taking practices seriously and preparing myself as if I'm going to play,” Glennon told reporters.

Boston ‘D’ party

It hasn’t been easy moving the ball against Boston College this season, especially on the ground.

Boston College is the top-ranked team in the country defending against the run. The Eagles are limiting opponents to fewer than 50 rushing yards per game this season. Most impressively, Boston College has not allowed more than 100 rushing yards in a contest this season.

“I feel like the way the team has bonded has been the key,” Eagles defensive end Alex Albright told reporters. “There are a lot of older guys so there's a lot of leadership. ... Everyone is coming together as one unit and I feel like that's our strength.”

The Eagles face a Hokies ground attack that averages a meager 119 rushing yards this season. Hokies starting running back Brandon Ore has not rushed for over 100 yards in a game this season.

Heisman hopeful

Boston College senior quarterback Matt Ryan continues to improve his chances of winning the Heisman Trophy with every game the Eagles win. Boston College is 7-0 (4-2 ATS) this season.

The senior QB has completed 63 percent of his passes for more than 2,000 yards with 17 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also has the Eagles ranked eighth in the nation with more than 300 passing yards per game this season.

Even Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer is in awe of Ryan’s abilities.

“To start off with, he’s (6-foot-5),” Beamer told reporters. “I don’t think there’s anyone better sitting in the pocket, and he’s very accurate. He’s very smart. He knows how to get rid of the ball so that the pressure doesn’t get to him, and his team has wins. A guy who can operate like that and his team wins is usually a guy who wins the Heisman.”

The Heisman hopeful faces a Virginia Tech defense Thursday night that is allowing more than 200 passing yards per game this season.

Head to head

The second-ranked Eagles are looking to stay undefeated Thursday night against the ninth-ranked Hokies at Virginia Tech.

“Last time we played on Thursday night it was against Boston College and we got beat pretty good,” Hokies coach Beamer told reporters. “That's the Thursday I remember. The only two losses are both to Boston College. ... “It probably helped us in some way to get our team straight. I'd like to get us straight this time without being beat on national television.”

Boston College toppled Virginia Tech 22-3 last season and has won two of its last three meetings with the Hokies. Virginia Tech, though, leads the all-time series 9-4 dating back to 1993. The Eagles are also 5-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last six contests at Lane Stadium.

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Top-10 foes collide in Blacksburg on Thursday
October 24th, 2007

Blacksburg, VA (Sports Network) - A top-10 ACC showdown with possible national title implications takes place this Thursday night in Blacksburg, as the second-ranked and undefeated Boston College Eagles take on the eighth-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies.

The Eagles are enjoying their highest ranking since 1942 and have really been impressive under first-year coach Jeff Jagodzinski, rolling off seven straight wins, their best start since that 1942 season when they started 8-0.

The Hokies have been impressive in their own right in 2007. With the exception of a disappointing performance in Baton Rouge against LSU early on, Frank Beamer's squad has been flawless and currently brings a five-game win streak into this game. Both teams have been idle for 12 days. The Eagles topped Notre Dame 24-17 last time they were on the field, while the Hokies routed Duke, 43-14. This is the 14th all-time meeting between these two programs, with Virginia Tech holding a 9-4 advantage. However, BC has won two of the last three meetings, including a 34-27 decision in Lane Stadium in 2003.

The Boston College offense has been somewhat overshadowed by the defense this year, but that does not mean that this is not a potent unit. In fact, led by Heisman hopeful Matt Ryan, the Eagles are rolling up over 450 yards of offense per game. Ryan of course, has been phenomenal, leading a passing attack that is netting just over 310 yards per outing. The senior signal-caller has completed a solid 63.2 percent of his passes thus far, for 2,148 yards with 17 TDs and six interceptions. He has certainly enjoyed spreading the ball around, with seven different receivers hauling in touchdown grabs. Brandon Robinson (30 receptions, for 402 yards and four TDs), Rich Gunnell (30 receptions, for 333 yards, three TDs), Kevin Challenger (27 receptions, for 313 yards and three TDs) and Andre Callender (26 receptions, for 266 yards and three TDs) provide more than enough targets downfield. Callender has also been outstanding in his efforts on the ground, with the veteran tailback averaging 5.0 yards per carry and scoring eight of the team's 12 rushing TDs to date.

The offense has been superb for BC this year, but still takes a backseat to the defensive unit. The Eagles have been downright scary on this side of the football, leading the nation in rush defense (46.4 ypg) as well as interceptions (18). The unit has been generous in terms of passing yards allowed (272.9), but that is due in large part to foes abandoning the ground game early on. The secondary is truly the strength of this defense, led by All-American candidates in seniors Jamie Silvia (team-high 55 tackles) and DeJuan Tribble (24 tackles). The pair have combined for nine picks this season. Fellow senior Jolonn Dunbar headlines the play in the linebacking corps (53 tackles, one INT) and sophomore Alex Albright (17 tackles, 7.0 TFLs, 6.0 sacks) has been a force along the defensive front.

If forced to play in a shootout, Virginia Tech will certainly be out-manned in this game. The Hokies have relied on great special teams and timely defense to produce points more often than not this season and a stagnant offense has been left off the hook at times. The team is averaging a solid 28.1 ppg in 2007, but the offense is only responsible for a mediocre 298.8 yards per game. Inconsistent play under center has been the primary culprit, as Beamer has used both freshman Tyrod Taylor (640 yards passing and three TDs) and junior Sean Glennon (583 yards and three TDs). The lack of a bona fide threat downfield is evident, in the fact that WR Josh Morgan is the leading receiver, with just 22 catches, 275 yards and two TDs on the year. Another area of disappointment has been the play of tailback Branden Ore, who has seemed to take a step or two back in his progress this year. A talented runner for sure, Ore has struggled in 2007, averaging just 3.0 yards per carry and 52.9 yards per game.

Virginia Tech has relied on strong defensive play under Frank Beamer and this season is no different. The team is yielding just 16.0 ppg, on 302.1 yards of total offense, showing the ability to stop both the run and the pass at times. This is a defense with star power, led by a trio of All-American candidates in linebackers Vince Hall and Xavier Adibi and shutdown cover corner Brandon Flowers. Hall currently leads the team in tackles with 61, adding 5.0 TFLs and two sacks to his statline. Adibi is right behind (59 tackles), with 8.5 TFLs and 3.0 sacks. Flowers has good size (5-11, 200) and is not afraid to come up and deliver a hit. He is third on the team in tackles (46), with 7.0 TFLs. The defense as a whole has gotten upfield all season long, amassing 60 TFLs and 26 sacks, led by rush end Chris Ellis, who has five sacks on the year.

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Game Preview for Boston College vs Virginia Tech

GAME NOTES: A top-10 ACC showdown with possible national title implications takes place this Thursday night in Blacksburg, as the second-ranked and undefeated Boston College Eagles take on the eighth-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies. The Eagles are enjoying their highest ranking since 1942 and have really been impressive under first-year coach Jeff Jagodzinski, rolling off seven straight wins, their best start since that 1942 season when they started 8-0. The Hokies have been impressive in their own right in 2007. With the exception of a disappointing performance in Baton Rouge against LSU early on, Frank Beamer's squad has been flawless and currently brings a five-game win streak into this game. Both teams have been idle for 12 days. The Eagles topped Notre Dame 24-17 last time they were on the field, while the Hokies routed Duke, 43-14. This is the 14th all-time meeting between these two programs, with Virginia Tech holding a 9-4 advantage. However, BC has won two of the last three meetings, including a 34-27 decision in Lane Stadium in 2003.

The Boston College offense has been somewhat overshadowed by the defense this year, but that does not mean that this is not a potent unit. In fact, led by Heisman hopeful Matt Ryan, the Eagles are rolling up over 450 yards of offense per game. Ryan of course, has been phenomenal, leading a passing attack that is netting just over 310 yards per outing. The senior signal-caller has completed a solid 63.2 percent of his passes thus far, for 2,148 yards with 17 TDs and six interceptions. He has certainly enjoyed spreading the ball around, with seven different receivers hauling in touchdown grabs. Brandon Robinson (30 receptions, for 402 yards and four TDs), Rich Gunnell (30 receptions, for 333 yards, three TDs), Kevin Challenger (27 receptions, for 313 yards and three TDs) and Andre Callender (26 receptions, for 266 yards and three TDs) provide more than enough targets downfield. Callender has also been outstanding in his efforts on the ground, with the veteran tailback averaging 5.0 yards per carry and scoring eight of the team's 12 rushing TDs to date.

The offense has been superb for BC this year, but still takes a backseat to the defensive unit. The Eagles have been downright scary on this side of the football, leading the nation in rush defense (46.4 ypg) as well as interceptions (18). The unit has been generous in terms of passing yards allowed (272.9), but that is due in large part to foes abandoning the ground game early on. The secondary is truly the strength of this defense, led by All-American candidates in seniors Jamie Silvia (team-high 55 tackles) and DeJuan Tribble (24 tackles). The pair have combined for nine picks this season. Fellow senior Jolonn Dunbar headlines the play in the linebacking corps (53 tackles, one INT) and sophomore Alex Albright (17 tackles, 7.0 TFLs, 6.0 sacks) has been a force along the defensive front.

If forced to play in a shootout, Virginia Tech will certainly be out-manned in this game. The Hokies have relied on great special teams and timely defense to produce points more often than not this season and a stagnant offense has been left off the hook at times. The team is averaging a solid 28.1 ppg in 2007, but the offense is only responsible for a mediocre 298.8 yards per game. Inconsistent play under center has been the primary culprit, as Beamer has used both freshman Tyrod Taylor (640 yards passing and three TDs) and junior Sean Glennon (583 yards and three TDs). The lack of a bona fide threat downfield is evident, in the fact that WR Josh Morgan is the leading receiver, with just 22 catches, 275 yards and two TDs on the year. Another area of disappointment has been the play of tailback Branden Ore, who has seemed to take a step or two back in his progress this year. A talented runner for sure, Ore has struggled in 2007, averaging just 3.0 yards per carry and 52.9 yards per game.

Virginia Tech has relied on strong defensive play under Frank Beamer and this season is no different. The team is yielding just 16.0 ppg, on 302.1 yards of total offense, showing the ability to stop both the run and the pass at times. This is a defense with star power, led by a trio of All-American candidates in linebackers Vince Hall and Xavier Adibi and shutdown cover corner Brandon Flowers. Hall currently leads the team in tackles with 61, adding 5.0 TFLs and two sacks to his statline. Adibi is right behind (59 tackles), with 8.5 TFLs and 3.0 sacks. Flowers has good size (5-11, 200) and is not afraid to come up and deliver a hit. He is third on the team in tackles (46), with 7.0 TFLs. The defense as a whole has gotten upfield all season long, amassing 60 TFLs and 26 sacks, led by rush end Chris Ellis, who has five sacks on the year.

This should be one of the better games of the year. Virginia Tech certainly has the homefield advantage in this one, as Lane Stadium is a tough place for any team to come in and leave with a victory. However, Matt Ryan is as poised a QB as there is on the nation and he will find a way to move the chains enough to put a couple of scores on the board. With a shutdown defense of their own, the Eagles should be able to prevail in this one.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boston College 20, Virginia Tech 13

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Game Preview for Air Force vs New Mexico

STATS: Site: University Stadium (40,094) -- Albuquerque, New Mexico. Television: Versus. Home Record: Air Force 4-0, UNM 2-1. Away Record: Air Force 2-2, UNM 3-1. Neutral Record: Air Force 0-0, UNM 0-0. Conference Record: Air Force 5-1, UNM 2-1. Series Record: Air Force leads, 15-9.

GAME NOTES: Riding a three-game win streak, the Air Force Falcons try to improve their chances for a quality postseason bid as they challenge the New Mexico Lobos in Mountain West Conference action Thursday night in Albuquerque. Last weekend, the Falcons, who are currently second in the MWC standings with a mark of 5-1 in conference, defeated Wyoming at home by a score of 20-12. With the victory the academy became bowl eligible for the first time since 2002, with dates against Army, Notre Dame and San Diego State still left on the board. As for the Lobos, they picked up their second straight win and the fifth in the last six games last Saturday with a narrow 20-17 triumph versus San Diego State on the road. With a record of 2-1 in league play, the Lobos enter the week third in the standings. The Falcons, who are 7-6 in games played against UNM on the road, lead the all-time series against the Lobos by a count of 15-9, thanks in part to a 24-7 triumph in last year's meeting.

Against one of the toughest defenses in the nation, the Air Force rushing attack cruised to 256 yards on 57 attempts, with Chad Hall pounding away for 167 of those yards on his 28 carries in the win last weekend. While the academy failed to get into the end zone on the ground, quarterback Shaun Carney took care of business with his arm instead, converting 6-of-10 passes for 52 yards and two touchdowns for an Air Force squad that converted just 4-of-14 on third down. Hall, who reeled in one of the TD passes from Carney last week, not only leads the team with his 750 yards and nine touchdowns on 105 carries, he's also the top pass catcher for the unit with 32 grabs for 341 yards. While the passing offense for the Falcons still trails the rest of the MWC and is ranked 118th out of 119 FBS programs, Carney has actually forced defenses to take notice of his abilities to get the ball down the field, something that is relatively new under the direction of new head coach Troy Calhoun.

Needing a bit of a defensive push of their own, the Falcons found some luck in the form of Bobby Giannini who, at the beginning of the fourth quarter, scooped up a fumble and raced 85 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. More than just the one thrilling play, Giannini also forced two fumbles and recorded a game-high 15 tackles, of which three came behind the line of scrimmage. Needless to say, Giannini was rewarded for his efforts by being named the MWC Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. Thanks to the efforts of players like Giannini, fifth on the team in total tackles with 49 stops, the Falcons have been absolute thieves when it comes to taking advantage of opponents. The academy is not only ranked first in the Mountain West, it is now seventh in the nation in turnover margin with a plus-1.25 per game falling in their favor. Carson Bird has two recovered fumbles and is among the country's best with six interceptions, with the team coming up with 13 picks overall through eight games.

The New Mexico defense did the dirty work by forcing a Kevin O'Connell fumble in the fourth quarter and then Rodney Ferguson and the offense capitalized when the running back broke into the end zone on a six-yard run with only 15 seconds to play in regulation. The Lobos were quite lucky to pull out the win considering they converted only 4-of-16 on third down and quarterback Donovan Porterie threw a pair of interceptions to go along with his 239 yards on 18- of-35 passing. Porterie's name might not be one the comes to mind right away when thinking about quality quarterbacks in the MWC, but the fact is he's directing the second-best passing attack in the league with just over 260 ypg. More importantly, he's hitting 63 percent of his attempts and has almost twice as many touchdowns (nine) as he does interceptions (five). But as well as Porterie has played in 2007, the focus of the offense continues to be Ferguson who is second in the MWC with 103.9 ypg rushing and has accounted for all but two of the unit's 11 touchdowns on the ground thus far.

One of the unsung defenses in the nation yet again this season, the Lobos managed to hold SDSU to just 299 yards of total offense and forced four fumbles, two of which were recovered by the visitors to Qualcomm. Although New Mexico failed to bring down SDSU's quarterback for a loss, the pressure on the signal-caller seemed to be constant, with the squad getting credit for numerous quarterback hurries. George Carter and Zach Arnett paced the unit with seven tackles apiece in the win. Carter and Arnett are far from the poster boys for the UNM defense this season, the one that is firs tin the conference and 16th in the country in points allowed with a mark of 17.4 ppg given up. Instead, the spotlight falls on teammates named Tyler Donaldson and Michael Tuohy who are tied for the team lead with seven TFLs and 2.5 sacks apiece and have already combined to register 27 quarterback hurries to offset offenses around the league.

With the league's top rushing offense, ranked sixth in the nation entering this week, the Falcons are certainly a team to be reckoned with once again this season. However, having Carney comfortable in the pocket and ready to actually make a throw from time to time is an added bonus that should get Air Force over the top versus the Lobos this week.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Air Force 17, New Mexico 14

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(2) Boston College (7-0, 4-2 ATS) at (8) Virginia Tech (6-1, 2-4 ATS)


The college football weekend kicks off with a marquee matchup of Top 10 teams, as undefeated and second-ranked Boston College heads south to Blacksburg, Va., to battle the one-loss Hokies.

The Golden Eagles have opened the season with seven double-digit victories, most recently toppling Notre Dame 27-14 on Oct. 13, but coming up short as a 13½-point road favorite. Boston College has scored at least 24 points in all seven wins while allowing more than 17 points just twice.

Virginia Tech carries a five-game winning streak into this showdown, with four of those victories coming by 18 points or more. That includes a 43-14 rout of Duke as a 14-point road chalk on Oct. 13.

Boston College topped Virginia Tech 22-3 last year as a 2½-point home underdog. The Hokies are 8-2 SU in the last 10 meetings, with seven of the eight wins coming by double digits. However, B.C. has cashed in six of the last seven clashes, with all six spread-covers coming as an underdog.

The Eagles sit atop the ACC Atlantic division standings at 3-0 SU and ATS, while Virginia Tech is 3-0 (2-1 ATS) in league play, a half-game behind Virginia in the ACC Coastal division.

Heisman Trophy candidate Matt Ryan of Boston College is completing 63 percent of his passes for an average of 307 yards per game with 17 TDs and six INTs. He leads an Eagles offense that’s putting up 34.6 points and 455 yards per game. Defensively, B.C. is yielding just 17.7 points and 323.6 total yards per game, including a paltry 46.4 rushing ypg.

Virginia Tech is putting up 28 points, but just 299 total yards per game. As usual, though, Frank Beamer’s squad is getting it done on defense, surrendering only 16 points and 302 yards per contest.

The Hokies have won eight consecutive home games, but they’re just 3-4 ATS in lined games during this stretch, including 0-3 ATS this year. On the bright side, Virginia Tech is 8-1 SU and ATS in Thursday night home games, winning by an average of 23 points per game.

Going back to 2005, Boston College is just 3-5 SU and ATS in ACC road games, with the straight-up winner covering the spread in all eight contests. The Eagles have been a profitable underdog, though, going 9-2 ATS in that role since 2004, including 4-0 ATS in the last four.

The Eagles are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games against teams with a winning record, while Va-Tech is 18-8 ATS in its last 26 against winning teams.

The last two series meetings have stayed under the total after the previous four soared over the posted price. Also, the under is 6-2 in the Hokies’ last eight conference games.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


Air Force (6-2, 5-2 ATS) at New Mexico (5-2, 3-3 ATS)

Air Force shoots for its fourth straight Mountain West Conference win when it travels to Albuquerque, N.M., for a showdown against the Lobos.

The Falcons improved to 5-1 SU and ATS in league play with Saturday’s 20-12 victory over Wyoming as a 2½-point home favorite. The Falcons have outscored their last three opponents – UNLV, Colorado State and Wyoming – by the combined tally of 96-47.

New Mexico needed a minor miracle to top San Diego State 20-17 on Saturday, forcing a fumble in the final two minutes, then driving down the field and scoring the winning touchdown with 15 seconds to play. However, the Lobos failed to cover as an 8½-point road chalk.

Air Force is currently in second place in the conference standings, one game behind BYU. Meanwhile, New Mexico, which has won five of its last six overall, is in third place with a 2-1 league record (1-2 ATS).

The Falcons are 3-0 SU and ATS in the last three meetings, including a 24-7 victory as a 14-point home chalk in 2006. Going back to 1998, the home team is 7-2 ATS in this rivalry, and the straight-up winner has covered the spread in each of the last 10 clashes.

The straight-up winner is 14-0 ATS in Air Force’s last 14 lined games and 14-1-1 ATS in New Mexico’s last 16 contests on the board.

The Lobos are averaging 28.7 points and 407 yards per game, while the Falcons are putting up 24.5 points and 386 total yards per contest. However, both have different offensive philosophies, with New Mexico doing more damage through the air (260.3 passing ypg) and Air Force having more success on the ground (260 rushing ypg, 5.0 yards per carry).

Both have solid defenses, with Air Force giving up just 17.6 points and 371.2 yards per outing and the Lobos yielding 17.4 points and 323.4 yards per game.

New Mexico is just 5-11 ATS in its last 16 home games (1-2 ATS this year). Also, the Lobos are 2-7 ATS in their last nine as a home chalk.

The under is 9-4 in Air Force’s last 13 Mountain West games, but the over is 11-5-2 in New Mexico’s last 18 league games.

ATS ADVANTAGE: AIR FORCE

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