Louisville vs Air Force: SERVPRO First Responder Bowl prediction, game preview, how to watch
Louisville vs Air Force: SERVPRO First Responder Bowl How To Watch
Date: Tuesday, December 28
Game Time: 3:15 pm ET
Venue: Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX
How To Watch: ESPN, Live stream on ESPN+
Records: Air Force (9-3), Louisville (6-6)
CFN Predictions | Bowl Schedule
Louisville vs Air Force SERVPRO First Responder Bowl Preview
– Get ready for what might be the fastest bowl game of the season.
It’s not like Louisville can’t or doesn’t throw – it averages 239 yards per game through the air – but it’s at its best when QB Malik Cunningham and the rushing attack get rolling.
– Head coach Scott Satterfield isn’t necessarily coaching for his job, but the 6-6 season was a bit of a disappointment, and the fan base would love to somehow get former Cardinal quarterback Jeff Brohm away from the Purdue job.
A strong bowl win would calm everything down, and it would be even better if the offense that put up 450 yards per game could make an emphatic statement. That’s going to be hard to do against Air Force.
– The Falcons aren’t above having rough days defensively, but they allowed 21 points or fewer to everyone but Utah State and Nevada mainly because they don’t let the other side have the ball.
– Air Force leads the nation in rushing and is second in time of possession, grinding down the clock in drive after drive with efficiency and without a whole lot of mistakes. The defense, though has to prove it can hold up if Louisville and Cunningham get hot through the air.
NEXT: Why Louisville Will Win, Why Air Force Will Win, SERVPRO First Responder Bowl Prediction
Why Air Force Will Win The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl
Louisville isn’t awful against the run, but it’s not a brick wall.
Kentucky went off for 362 yards, but it was more about the yards per carry allowed throughout the season than the bulk yards. The teams that didn’t run – or couldn’t – were usually able to win through the air.
There’s no mistaking what Air Force is going to do.
It’s going to run, and run again, and it doesn’t matter how much preparation time is involved, it’s impossible to simulate the precision and quickness of what it does.
The Falcons led the nation in rushing offense, and that leads to the biggest key for them in this – time of possession. They’re No. 1 in the country holding the ball for close to 37 minutes per game.
Louisville is able to control the clock and take over games doing what it does, but it’s not strong enough on third downs – it’s not great at keeping the chains moving.
Why Louisville Will Win The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl
Yeah, Air Force is amazing with its running game, but it’s about to deal with the firepower of a Louisville offense that doesn’t have a turnover problem, is efficient enough with the passing game to be effective, and runs for 211 yards per game.
The offensive line should be able to take over.
It helps to have a mobile quarterback like Malik Cunningham, but offense should be able to hold up against an Air Force front that’s active and can generate sacks, but doesn’t come up with enough tackles for loss.
The Falcon defense has been outstanding all year long, but it didn’t face a whole slew of high-powered offenses. Nevada’s O could throw, and it did. Utah State went off for over 600 yards, Army – yes, Army – threw well to pull off an upset win, and that’s about it for the dangerous attacks.
Air Force didn’t play a Power Five team, and it certainly didn’t see an offense with the high-end weapons Louisville will bring.
NEXT: What’s Going To Happen, Louisville vs Air Force Prediction, SERVPRO First Responder Bowl History
Louisville vs Air Force: SERVPRO First Responder Bowl, What’s Going To Happen
Air Force isn’t quite Army-like in the way it dominates games with it ground attack – even though it does average more yards per game – but it should control this throughout in more of a grind than the Cardinals would like.
However, Louisville has a way of making teams play at its level.
Again, the Air Force defense didn’t face a who’s who of offenses, and now it has to face a Cardinal attack that should bring a good combination of balance and explosion to overcome the consistency on the other side.
Expect a fast-paced game with lots of energy and just enough big plays to make this interesting until the end.
SERVPRO First Responder Bowl: Louisville vs Air Force Prediction, Lines
Must See Rating: 4
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SERVPRO First Responder Bowl History
Dec. 26, 2020 Louisiana 31, UTSA 24
Dec. 30, 2019 WKU 23, Western Michigan 20
Dec. 26, 2018 Boise State vs. BC canceled
Dec. 26, 2017 Utah 30, West Virginia 14
Dec. 27, 2016 Army 38, North Texas 31 OT
Dec. 26, 2015 Washington 44 Southern Miss 31
Dec. 26, 2014 Louisiana Tech 35 Illinois 18
Jan. 1, 2014 North Texas 36 UNLV 14
Jan. 1, 2013 Oklahoma State 58 Purdue 14
Jan. 2, 2012 Houston 30 Penn State 14
Jan. 1, 2011 Texas Tech 45 Northwestern 38