Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
Air Force is playing a 'neutral' game against Florida in the Orange Bowl Classic on Saturday afternoon.
The No. 14 Florida Gators have struggled lately and has lost two of their last games, and there is a chance that the 8-2 Air Force Falcons could continue to add to the Gators recent struggles. The two teams take part in the Metro PCS Orange Bowl Classic.
This is technically a neutral site game, but it is being played at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla, so this will be a very much pro Florida crowd on Saturday afternoon.
Air Force is a much improved team compared to last year's team, and they have actually found an offense. Typically the Falcons have slowed the pace to a crawl and tried to win games in the 40s or 50s. They now average 77 points per game and half a top-50 offense.
Michael Lyons leads the way for Air Force by averaging 20.5 points per game, and then he is helped out by Taylor Broekhuis and Todd Fletcher who averaged 11.2 and 10.2 points per game. However, Florida is very stingy on defense and are the third best team in the nation in points allowed per game at 51.3. As for defensive shooting percentage, Florida holds opponents to 35.9, but Air Force shoots a shade under 50 percent so this will be a stat to watch.
Then there is the rebounding issue which Air Force always struggle to be even average. In the Falcons 10 games they are a minus .1 in rebounding margin, while Florida is a massive plus-10.7. Second chance shots and fast break chances could allow Florida to blow open this game.
One key stat that favors Air Force in their upset bid is that they are tied for seventh nationally in turnover differential at plus-6.1 and guard Todd Fletcher leads the country in assist-to-turnover margin at 8.4. Controlling the ball is an obvious stat to decide it a team is going to win, or be competitive. For Air Force, they must win the turnover battle if they want to have a chance.
Air Force is also 2-76 lifetime against ranked opponents.