clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Military Bowl Preview: Toledo, Air Force Unleash a Barrage of Points

Adonis Thomas goes in for a score. Toledo did quite a bit of that this year.
Adonis Thomas goes in for a score. Toledo did quite a bit of that this year.

Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman, December 28, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

What it is: Lobbying via naming rights

The Sponsor: They don't make a lot of the products you buy. They make a lot of the products you buy blow up

The Teams: Toledo and Air Force

How Toledo got here: By beating almost all of the non-BCS programs on the schedule. After waxing FCS opponent New Hampshire, the Rockets went 0-3 against teams from the big-money conferences and one of the midmajors that really should count as a BCS team for such purposes -- including losses to Ohio State, Boise State and Syracuse -- and then rolled to a 7-1 record in the MAC. Had they avoided a three-point loss to Northern Illinois (in one of two consecutive games that each featured more than 120 combined points), Toledo would have headed to the MAC Championship Game. They score by the bucket, averaging 42.3 points a game on 493.2 yards of total offense, both tops in the conference in an offense-happy year. But even for the MAC, the defense is pretty bad. The Rockets allow 30.9 points a game on 401.1 yards of total offense, and whether you look at efficiency or yardage, the passing defense is particularly awful.

How Air Force got here: With the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy in hand. A one-point win against Navy in overtime and the victory over Army are the only things separating Air Force from remaining in Colorado for the holidays. Because the 7-5 Falcons have two wins against FCS teams, losing either of the service-academy games would have meant either getting a waiver from the NCAA or staying put. Air Force actually has just a 3-4 record in the Mountain West and lost to their only BCS competition in Notre Dame. With the exception of the Navy game, Air Force didn't even win an FBS game until Oct. 29. But the option-based attack of the Falcons helped them pile up 320.3 yards a game on the ground, second-best in the country, on the way to 34.4 points a contest.

College football fans care because: It could be the highest-scoring bowl game so far, and maybe even in the postseason as a whole.

SEC fans care because: It's nice to watch a game without defense every once in a while, just to see what it's like.

Watch this game if...: You respect our men and women in uniform.

The result: Toledo 50, Air Force 45