This is it, folks. The moment we’ve been waiting for.
Not only have the Air Force Falcons finished the season ranked at No. 24 in the AP and Coaches’ Polls, but it’s finally bowl season. And the Falcons are going to Arizona, where they’ll take on the Pac-12’s Washington State Cougars in the Cheez-It Bowl.
This appearance marks the first bowl game for Air Force since 2016, when the Falcons took down South Alabama in the Arizona Bowl. That victory pushed the program to a 12-13-1 all-time bowl record and a 4-5 record under head coach Troy Calhoun.
After a 10-2 regular season with wins over Colorado, Colorado State, and Army, Air Force will look to reach 11 wins in the Cheez-It Bowl against Washington State. The game is set for Dec. 27 at 10:15 p.m. ET on ESPN.
The Falcons finished the regular season with their most wins since 1998 and tied for the third most in program history. Air Force missed out on the chance to play in the Mountain West Championship Game due to their lone conference loss to Boise State.
The Game: Cheez-It Bowl
IT’S OFFICIAL: @AF_Football and @WSUCougarFB will meet in the 2019 #CheezItBowl on Friday, Dec. 27 at @chasefield!— Cheez-It® Bowl (@CheezItBowl) December 8, 2019
Get your @cheezit bowl tickets NOW: https://t.co/LXX9MhEMQP pic.twitter.com/zQrVhjfkTm
This is the second time Air Force has received a bid to the Cheez-It Bowl, and the first time since 1995. The Falcons lost that game to Texas Tech, 55-41, when the game was known as the Copper Bowl. The Cheez-It Bowl has changed names and sponsors numerous times, recently being the Cactus Bowl and the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
There was speculation that Air Force could receive a bid to the Armed Forces Bowl, which would have been their sixth appearance. However, it’s refreshing for fans and players to appear in the Cheez-It Bowl as a change of scenery.
The Foe: Washington State Cougars
The Falcons will take on the Cougars of Washington State, holding a 6-6 record in their seventh year under Mike Leach. It has been an up-and-down season for the Cougars, with a 3-6 record in Pac-12 play, placing them as fifth in the Pac-12 north division. Washington State is 1-0 in Cheez-It Bowl appearances, beating Utah in 1992.
This is the first ever meeting between the two programs, and it should make for an awesome offensive match-up. The Cougars are ninth in the country in points-per-game and 96th in the country in points-allowed-per-game.
Be ready to bet the over on this one. It’ll be the Air Raid vs. the Air Force.