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2021 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl Preview

2021 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl

The 2021 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl features the 6-6 Louisville Cardinals against the 9-3 Air Force Falcons. Here is the 2021 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl Preview.

Louisville Cardinals (6-6)

The Cardinals won two of their last three games to qualify for a bowl game. They were able to defeat two bowl-eligible teams on the season in Boston College and UCF. All six losses came to bowl-eligible teams.

Their offense has scored 31.9 points per game, tying them for 39th in the country. They rush for 211.3 yards (ranked 20th) and pass for 238.8 yards per game (ranked 62nd).

Malik Cunningham has been a solid quarterback for the Cardinals over the last few seasons. He has passed for 2,734 yards, 18 touchdowns and six interceptions on 62 percent completion. The Cardinals have five receivers with at least 500 receiving yards. Tight end Marshon Ford leads the team in receiving with 47 catches for 530 yards and two touchdowns. Jordan Watkins also has over 500 yards and has four touchdown catches. Tyler Harrell leads the team with five touchdown receptions and also has 443 receiving yards.

Cunningham leads the team in rushing from the quarterback position with 968 yards and 19 touchdowns. The leading running back is Jalen Mitchell, who has 722 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Trevion Cooley and Hassan Hall have also received work out of the backfield and each have over 350 rushing yards.

The defense allows 27 points per game, ranks them 76th in the country. They give up 156.7 yards per game (ranking 76th) and 245.1 passing yards per game (ranked 94th). Linebacker C.J. Avery leads the team in tackles with 87. Edge rusher Yasir Abdullah has pressured opposing quarterbacks well with nine sacks.

Air Force Falcons (9-3)

Air Force won nine games to make their fourth bowl game since 2015. They defeated three bowl-eligible teams this season: Wyoming, Boise State and Nevada. All three losses on the year came to bowl teams.

The Falcons score 31.0 points per game, tying them for 46th in the country. They run the ball well at 340.8 yards (ranked 1st) and pass for 82.5 yards per game (ranked 129th).

Haaziq Daniels has led the Falcons at quarterback. He doesn’t get the opportunity to throw much in the triple-option attack, but has thrown for 932 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions on 45.7 percent completion. Two receivers have over 200 receiving yards on the season. Brandon Lewis has 16 receptions for 447 yards and one touchdown. Micah Davis has helped out with 10 receptions for 221 yards and two touchdowns.

Brad Roberts leads the team in rushing with 1,279 yards and 13 touchdowns. Behind him, Daniels has produced 705 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. DeAndre Hughes and Emmanuel Michel each have over 400 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

The defense has played well, allowing 19.1 points per game, ranking 13th in the country. They concede 94.7 rushing yards (ranked seventh) and 193.3 passing yards per game (ranked 20th). Vince Sanford has led the team with 56 total tackles and 9.5 sacks. Milton Buggs III has been a leader in the secondary with 11 passes defended and two interceptions.

Prediction

There have been a lot of distractions around the Louisville programs concerning the possible firing of head coach Scott Satterfield. Air Force will come into the game focused and ready to play. Their option attack will be able to take advantage of an average Louisville defense.

Air Force Falcons 27 Louisville Cardinals 24

 

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