Air Force vs. Notre Dame: Spread Info, Line, BCS Impact and Predictions

Andrew Kulha@@AKonSportsSenior Analyst IIIOctober 6, 2011

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 03:  Tommy Rees #11 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish looks for a receiver as Trevor Robinson #78 and Braxston Cave #52 move to block against the University of South Florida Bulls at Notre Dame Stadium on September 3, 2011 in South Bend, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are playing host to a very powerful and dangerous Air Force Falcons team in what is bound to be a very exciting matchup.

The Irish have bounced back from a 0-2 start to their season to win three in a row, including an impressive home win against then ranked Michigan State, and two in a row on the road.

At 3-2 on the season, they must match up against an explosive 3-1 team and their tricky triple-option offense.

This is a huge game for both teams, and I expect that it will come down to the wire.

Where: Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, Ind.

When: Saturday, Oct. 8, 3:30 p.m. EST

Watch: NBC

Spread (Bodog.com): Notre Dame -14

I think this is going to be a bad game to call a cover on. Notre Dame is the better team and they're at home, but Air Force's offense is going to keep them in this game and keep them close.

Over/Under (ESPN.com): 56

This is a huge over, but I expect that these two combined will be able to cover it. It's going to be close, but they'll squeak by.

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 17:  Head Coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish looks on while playing the Michigan State Spartans during the second half September 17, 2011at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Michigan
John Gress/Getty Images

Key Injuries:

Air Force: Offensive lineman Michael Hester questionable (ankle), fullback Mike DeWitt questionable (undisclosed), linebacker Ken Lamendola questionable (hamstring), defensive back Brian Lindsay questionable (groin).

Notre Dame: Defensive end Ethan Johnson questionable (ankle), wide receiver Daniel Smith questionable (leg), linebacker Danny Spond questionable (hamstring).

BCS/Top 25 Implication:

Notre Dame dropped out of the Top 25 early in the season, but now that they're on the comeback trail, every win they can pick up is going to count towards that.

Keys to Air Force Win:

LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 18:  Quarterback Tim Jefferson Jr. #7 of the Air Force Falcons hands the ball off to Ryan Southworth #40 during a game against the UNLV Rebels at Sam Boyd Stadium November 18, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Air Force won 35-20.  (Photo by
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

If quarterback Tim Jefferson can run the offense and keep Notre Dame's defense off-guard, then the Falcons have a chance. The triple-option can be extremely confusing at times, and if they get the Irish on their heels, they may be able to get ahead and stay ahead.

Keys to Notre Dame Win:

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 21: Darius Fleming #45 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish moves to sacke quarterback Zach Frazer #10 of the Univeristy of Connecticut Huskies at Notre Dame Stadium on November 21, 2009 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Dan
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It's simple. If Notre Dame can shoot down Jefferson and the triple-option, then the Falcons have no shot at winning this game. The Irish's defense has been improving, but this is going to be a huge test for them.

Prediction:

The Falcons are going to have a good game, but Notre Dame is the better team and has home field advantage.

Notre Dame: 31 Air Force: 27  

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