Three Keys Revisited: Air Force vs. Hawaii
Air Force was finally able to get that elusive sixth win by running all over Hawaii on Friday night. In a game where the Falcons literally didn't have to throw to make a statement, the team was extended an invite to the Armed Forces Bowl immediately at the conclusion of the game. This will be the fourth time in six years that the Air Force Academy will play in the Armed Forces Bowl, and it was all wrapped up on a cold, cold, Colorado Springs night. Here is a look back the three keys. 1) Feast on the home cooking There is no real way to quantify this with stats other than to say that the Falcons outperformed the Warriors in every way they needed to en route to victory. Air Force was so dominant that the Falcons didn't need to throw a pass (only the fifth time in school history that had happened) and yet there was really little doubt after the first quarter who was going to win the game. Even the weather seemed to be in the favor of the 23 seniors playing their last game at Falcon Stadium as the frigid temperatures were a long, long way from Waikiki Beach. 2) Don't turn the ball over In a game that Air Force controlled without making too much of a statement it was important that the turnover battle wasn't a factor. Even though the Falcons lost two fumbles to only one from Hawaii, the timing of the fumble the Falcons forced was absolutely crucial. There are times when fumbles can really hurt you and this proved to be the case for the Warriors as the Falcons were able to turn the momentum back their way right after Hawaii thought they were about to tie the game. 3) Make a statement on defense Even though the Falcons only forced one turnover they were still able to make a huge statement defensively with the way that the Warriors attack was totally shut down. On the game the Hawaii team totaled only 162 total yards and they were held to only 5-of-16 on third down. The rushing game was particularly ineffective with the Hawaii backs combining on 31 attempts for just 37 yards, that is a measly 1.2 yards per carry. The Air Force defense did everything it needed to and more to make Hawaii completely one dimensional and as a result the Warriors never really looked like they were going to get back into the contest.