Air Force: First Look

After a week off to rest and heal up the Black Knights are back in action this Saturday with the first of three games to close out the season. First up is a trip to Colorado to take on Air Force in Army’s first leg of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy series.

The Falcons will present a stern test for the 2-6 Black Knights, but having played every weekend in October, and having just returned from a trip to Hawaii last Saturday, Army should at least be able to have a chance to steal this one in the fourth quarter.

Season so far

Air Force is 5-3 on the season, but two of the three losses have come to teams that are a combined 14-1 on the season. The first of these losses was a 35-21 reverse at the hands of Michigan State, a score that actually flattered the Falcons a touch as the Spartans were up 28-7 at half time before calling off the dogs. This was followed a week later with Air Force travelling to Annapolis and losing 33-11 to an Navy team that is probably the school’s best in a decade or so. The only other blemish on the resume is a loss at Colorado State. Air Force has won big the last two weekends, putting up a combined 100-21 score line with victories over Fresno State and Hawaii. Other wins on the year are over Wyoming, San Jose State and Morgan State in the season opener.

Injuries and Suspensions

The biggest injury Air Force has had to deal with this season was losing starting quarterback Nate Romine for the season with a torn ACL in early September. The Falcons also have issues at fullback ahead of the Army game with Shayne Davern (323 yards and four touchdowns) listed as questionable and D.J. Johnson (299 yards and five touchdowns) listed as probable for the game. If these two backs are out then the workload will be increase for the other fullbacks in an offense which is designed to spread the workload and keep all the backs fresh to take over the game in the fourth quarter.

Challenges

These two teams know each other so well that it is unlikely either will be able to win with surprise plays that are out of the ordinary system. The 2-6 record Army has put up this year is just not indicative of how the games have been played, but shows that the Black knights have not been able to close out games. In a battle of option vs option mistakes are absolute back breakers and it has been the pattern in 2015 that Army will make mistakes at the worst times and find a way to lose games. The challenge this week will be limiting those mistakes, or taking them out of the game completely, as this is likely to be a battle of time of possession and attrition as the game grinds into the fourth quarter.


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