Defense Dominated this Game

This was a game made for lovers of defensive football. The Falcons and Cowboys pounded each other for most of the game. Both defenses keeping the opposing offense in check. Air Force was able to finish more often when it counted and the AFA defense caused a number of game altering turnovers. Take a look at Stalag's perspective of the game.

The Stalagian Report: 81Stalagian, another avid AFAFalcons fan.
A look at Stalag's post  game thoughts on the Falcons 23-3 win at Wyoming

First, kudos to BOTH defenses for one of the hardest hitting, toughest games I've seen in a LONG time.  This was a slugfest from the beginning, the difference being a superb effort by the Air Force coaching staff to make adjustments that changed the tone of the game in the second half.  As many predicted on, the Falcons made the changes at half and that made all the difference.Falcon "D" causing trunovers

AFA Defense:   Ryan Kemp, Jake Paulson, Reggie Rembert, and Chris Thomas (along with a rapidly improving LB corps) were stunning on every level.  All three caused big-time turnovers and really made some hits.  Our D line dominated the game and adjusted effectively to counter Wyoming's trapping game that showed some success in the second quarter.  They were moving the Wyo line back and certainly showed in the second half that they are in OUTSTANDING physical condition, showing no signs of tiring (Did you check out how lean and quick the Falcon line is?).

AFA Offense: Very, very workmanlike.  Offense keeps churningThe Falcons showed excellent patience and (in retrospect, at least) played the right style of conservative game, depending on the D to cause the mistakes that would change the game.  Sure, Air Force didn't show many special plays or misdirection, could've thrown a few more times, etc, but the key here was that they really only made one mistake that cost them 3 points. 

The O line showed the same kind of conditioning that our D line did.  The final drive--and only sustained drive with more than TWO first downs by either team--was a thing of beauty as our offense just sucked the life out of Wyoming.  You could see the personal foul coming as an excellent Wyoming D got more and more frustrated..

Kudos to Kyle Lumpkin and Kyle Halderman for running very hard.  Halderman's long run was great, and changed the complexion of the game, but it was in many ways bound to happen given the number of times AFA tried the play.  On this one, the inside out pursuit by Wyoming got tangled with each other and the rest is history.  What I really enjoyed was watching Lumpkin lower his head and power forward on that last drive, punishing the Wyoming linebackers into submission.

Great props go to AFA kicker Ryan Harrison and the special teams for great coverage, too.  Ryan's money in the bank.

Raspberries, though, go to the offense for FAR too many penalties.  They looked confused at times and had more more procedure penalties than I've EVER seen in an AF game.  Exception goes to Mike Hampton for his illegal procedure call on the last FG.  Mike evidently could tell that Ryan wasn't lined up properly and was set to miss his kick, so he wisely jumped, causing the ball to be moved back 5 yards so Ryan could re-align himself and pump it down the middle of the cross-bars.  Nice one, Mike! 

Ultimately, though, this was a coaching victory--much like last year's game against the 'Pokes.  Joe Glenn's a nice guy, but he gets out-coached so often, it's really kind of sad.  Troy and the staff stayed solid and made the adjustments needed.  DeRuyter, in particular, called a truly MAGICAL game on defense.  Dax (named after a Star Trek character?) was pressured throughout the game and the Falcon secondary stalked the receivers constantly.  This was a great tactical victory orchestrated by a field general and his staff.

So, it's on to Houston now and what could easily be a "trap" game for us with Utah on the horizon.  Troy Calhoun and the staff will need to keep everyone focused on going 1-0 each week so a let-down doesn't cause the Birds to stumble.

Stalag Out!
'81 Second to None!

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