Editor’s Note: This is a preview that ran earlier on our site for this afternoon’s Military Bowl.
Today’s Military Bowl should be a fun one to watch. These teams can put points on the board so if you like offenses, you can check out two very different but very effective styles.
Bowl Breakdown: Air Force is (somewhat ironically) a ground-based offense that is led by Senior QB Tim Jefferson. They run the triple option extremely effectively and are 2nd in the FBS averaging 320 yards a game. Jefferson has shown the ability to throw the ball when necessary (had a nice game against Colorado State in the finale), but the Falcons want to run it with he, Asher Clark, and Mike DeWitt. Their defense is susceptible to the rush as well (113th in the nation) and gave up a slightly below average 27.3 points per game. The defense will definitely be tested by a Toledo team that will be playing its first game for newly promoted Head Coach Matt Campbell who has been the offensive coordinator at the program for the last 3 years. Campbell has shown himself to be a master of the spread offense this year as he led the Rockets to 42.3 points a game for the season (8th in the country) and an even more impressive 53.8 ppg since November. It’s unclear who exactly will play QB for the Rockets as the starter for 10 of their 12 games Austin Dantin was sidelined with a concussion for the last 2 games and Terrance Owens stepped in and played well in his absense. Both QB’s could play and step right in to this balanced offense and put points on the board. The reason why Toledo still missed out on the MAC championship is it’s defense give up a ton of points as well (averaging 30.9). That bodes well for the triple-option of the Air Force Falcons as they try to keep up with the spread of Toledo. The star on the offensive side of the ball for the Rockets is WR Eric Page who ranked #3 in the nation with 112 receptions for 1,123 yards and 10 TDs. They use a 2-headed rush attack featuring Sr’s Adonis Thomas and Morgan Williams. My pick for the game is Toledo since their defense has done a good job stopping the run and their offense has more balance to it. Either way this is a game worth watching since the offenses can really put on a show.
Pro Prospect: Eric Page-WR-Toledo: He’s a little small for the NFL level but has the speed, quickness and hands to make him an interesting pick to play in the slot or even move outside in certain situations. He’s a Wes Welker type receiver but hasn’t played the hardest competition so its hard to know how much of this sill and speed will translate to the next level. The pre-draft workouts and combine will determine if he can move up or if he’ll stay where he is, about a 4th or 5th round pick. He is just a Jr. and may decide to return for another year.
Editor’s Note: This article is part of our ongoing series for our Bowl Mania. You can find the same type of analysis for the Liberty, Kraft Fight Hunger, Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, Music City, Pinstripe, Armed Forces, Alamo, Champs Sports, Holiday, Military, and the Sun Bowls. Or check out the Independence, Poinsettia, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, Little Caesars, Belk, New Orleans, MAACO Las Vegas, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Idaho Potato Bowls to see how accurate our breakdown was.