Let's analyze Ms. Meisler's (Denver Post Sports) opinion story of
the Air Force win over Colorado State "Strange strategy hinders
Rams, By Natalie Meisler, Denver Post, 13 Oct 06."
AFAFalcons.com Opinion Story
Meisler: "Conservative calls
raise questions after the Rams squander a big halftime advantage in
a MWC loss."
AirScript: The only question this raises is why Air Force didn't come with that defense in the first half as well. This game should have been over earlier with a big lead by the Falcons in the first half. The Air Force offense coughed up the ball twice in the 1st half, negating likely scores, and the missed field goal (plenty of distance), the Falcons should have been up by at least two scores going into halftime. The defense played well under their ability (and this has been a mystery) in the 1st half, looking like they shouldn't be on the same field as CSU. AFA came to life in the 2nd half bringing it to the Rams, holding them to 72 yards offense and had Ram QB Caleb Hanie second guessing his own abilities.
|Ms. Meisler: "There were ample decisions to second-guess in Colorado State's second-half collapse Thursday night."|
uncharacteristically punted with 7:47 left in the game on
fourth-and-2 from their 44, knowing there was no guarantee of seeing
the ball again. There was the conservative second half after the
Rams produced some of the biggest passing plays of the year in the
first half. Even when the Rams took over for one final drive, CSU
took its final timeout with 2:08 left for no apparent reason."
AirScript: Once again, I don't believe the Falcons left Hanie and company much choice in the second half. The Rams punted because the Falcons were stopping them, dead in their tracks. Sonny Lubick tried to warn his team in the halftime locker room that this game was far from over. The Rams never saw it coming, once the AFA defense woke up and their offense quit putting the ball on the ground, it was all over for the Rams.
Ms. Meisler: "But the biggest game-changer was out of CSU's control. The rules dictated they go into the locker room for halftime after stunning the Falcons with a two-play, 86-yard scoring drive for a 21-3 lead. "It was one of those things; you didn't want to go in at halftime. You just wanted to start the third quarter," said defensive end Jesse Nading, one of three defensive starters injured in the game."
"CSU didn't score again. The Falcons methodically moved for three touchdowns and finished off the 24-21 win with a Chris Sutton interception with 1:59 left. And CSU coach Sonny Lubick also had an uneasy feeling: "I knew at halftime this game was far from over." These AFA-CSU matchups rarely are decided in the first 30 minutes."
AirScript: Hmmm, this sounds familiar, yes Ms. Meisler… this is right on!
Ms. Meisler: "It was a huge emotional roller coaster," said Hanie, who passed for only 30 yards after halftime after a 252-yard first half. "They played with more intensity, and we shot ourselves in the foot."
AirScript: Hanie knows for sure because his roller coaster flew right off the tracks when the Air Force defense finally decided to join the game.
Ms. Meisler: "Dane Stratton, starting for the first time at offensive tackle, was called for two holding and two illegal-procedure penalties." "We can't have those penalties and turnovers and win a ballgame," Hanie said."
AirScript: CSU's Dane Stratton (#75) did have a tough night but you really need to give some of that credit to the Air Force defensive line, especially DE Gilberto Perez, who came in after AFA's defensive lineman Kevin Quinn went down with an arm/should type injury. Perez had not played in several games and was likely slated to see only limited time in this game but to the chagrin of CSU players, Perez stayed and played a pretty stout game.
Ms. Meisler: "The defense took its share of the blame." "From the fans' point of view, you could call it momentum but we didn't stop the dive and that's how you stop their offense," linebacker Luke Adkins said."
AirScript: Excuse me; I believe the only team that stopped the Air Force Offense was Air Force. The outcome of this game could easily have been 38-14 instead of 25-21 if the (Air Force) offense did what it is capable of in the first half. Shaun Carney, Chad Hall and company were not to be stopped, at least not by CSU.
Ms. Meisler: "Although safety Klint Kubiak had a career-best 19 tackles, he also was called for pass interference. "They just lull you to sleep and then throw the ball," Kubiak said."
AirScript: I have absolutely nothing negative to say about Kubiak's play; this kid was all over the place making key tackles. He is an awesome athlete and is going to be a pain in Air Force's tail feathers for some time.
Ms. Meisler: "Hammerschmidt said he never considered going for it on fourth down as the clock ran to less than eight minutes. In fact, Hammerschmidt blamed himself for not being conservative enough in the CSU game plan. But in the end, CSU went against every trend it established this season.
AirScript: And the Falcons had nothing to do with that?
Ms. Meisler: "Although CSU stopped the Falcons early, the Rams did not maintain the pressure."
AirScript: Sorry, didn't happen, just not true. See above discussion on this subject.
AirScript: Go Falcons; get some sun in San Diego and beat those Aztecs! Oops… that slipped, I am not supposed to show any bias here. Go Air Force and SDSU… have a great game!
This opinion piece is meant only to provide another (somewhat parody) view of the game as presented by Ms. Natalie Meisler. She is a fine sports journalist and of course has her own opinion. AirScript is a Falcon sports follower and enjoys sharing his thoughts now and then. AirScript is a guest writer for AFAFalcons.com and you will see his words on occasion.
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