Three Game Keys In Review: Boise State

Air Force fell to 0-2 in Mountain West play after a road loss to Boise State. We'll take a look back at the keys laid out before kickoff and assess how effective the Falcons were in delivering on those keys.


1) The first key for Air Force was to be effective on third down, given how mediocre Boise State had been the first two weeks at getting off the field. Air Force started well in this regard, opening the game with drives of nine plays, 17 plays, and nine plays, with all drives resulting in points. However, the wheels came off in the second half. Air Force finished the game with three of its final five drives resulting in a three-and-out or a quick turnover. You can't beat Boise State with one half of efficiency.

2) The second key for Air Force was to clamp down on the run game and force Joe Southwick to beat the Falcons. This was something of a tease, as the Falcons didn't stop the Broncos' run game but couldn't stop Southwick either. Air Force gave up four touchdowns and 125 yards to Bronco running back Jay Ajayi. As a whole Boise State ran for 229 yards, and it was this inability to put Boise State in consistent third and longs which allowed Southwick to be comfortable all night. He delivered with a 27-of-29 performance as a passer, the best in Broncos history in terms of completion percentage.

3) The last key was to not turn the ball over repeatedly. As a whole, Air Force didn't do too badly here, turning the ball over only once. However, as is the case when things go poorly for a team, that one turnover came at an awful time, right when Air Force was trying to create a one-score game and apply scoreboard pressure to Boise State. The turnover effectively ended any hope of a comeback for the Falcons and essentially put a nail in the coffin of any hope of competing for a division crown. Air Force displayed a reasonable degree of ball security, but timing – as is often the case – can be a nasty mistress.

Air Force returns to action Saturday at home against Wyoming and will be looking to get its first league win of the 2013 season.

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