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Western Michigan vs. Air Force Capsule

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 19, 2014 at 11:21 am •  Published: December 19, 2014
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Western Michigan (8-4, 6-2 Mid-American) vs. Air Force (9-3, 5-3 Mountain West), 5:45 p.m. ET (ESPN).

Line: Air Force by 1.

Series Record: First meeting.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Western Michigan tries to finish off a remarkable turnaround season with its first bowl victory in school history. The Broncos went 1-11 in 2013, but were on the verge of playing in the MAC title game this season. P.J. Fleck, the youngest FBS coach in the country at 34, led the Broncos turnaround. Air Force also had a bounce-back season with the Falcons knocking off both Boise State and Colorado State during Mountain West play and claiming the Commander-in-Chief Trophy.

KEY MATCHUP

Air Force run game vs. Western Michigan run defense. Air Force focused on being more efficient passing this season, but ultimately the Falcons' offensive success relies on their run game. Air Force was seventh in the country averaging 272.2 yards per game on the ground. Western Michigan had one of the better run defenses in the MAC, giving up 142.7 yards per game on average. Only one of the Broncos' last seven opponents rushed for more than 150 yards.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Western Michigan: RB Jarvion Franklin. Franklin set a load of records in his first season for Western Michigan. He set the MAC record for yards rushing by a freshman with 1,525 yards. He set Western Michigan records for single-season touchdowns (25) and total points scored (150). And Franklin became the first player in MAC history to be named freshman of the year and offensive player of the year.

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