Air Force – A First Look

Navy begins a short break from conference action this Saturday as Air Force travels to Annapolis to take on the Mids.

This is the first leg of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy series, with Army to come at the end of the year, so in many ways this is more important than the conference games to Mids players and alumni. Here is a look at how the Falcons have begun the 2015 season.

Season so far

Air Force started the season as many FBS teams do by taking on an FCS school. The Falcons victim from the lower division was Morgan State and Air Force did what you are supposed to do against teams considerably worse than you are, dominating the game in every phase on their way to a 63-7 win. Next up was a much trickier looking game against San Jose State, but the Falcons rose to the challenge with a 37-16 victory. The Falcon's one defeat so far this season came last weekend, when they travelled to East Lansing to take on the No. 4 ranked Michigan State Spartans. Air Force lost 35-21 in a game which wasn’t really that close after Michigan State raced out to a 28-7 half time lead and coasted the rest of the way.

Injuries and Suspensions

Air Force is relatively healthy three weeks into the season with only three players out or questionable for the game on Saturday. One of the injuries is a huge one, however, with starting quarterback Nate Romine having torn his ACL and MCL in his right knee in the Falcons victory over San Jose State. This means that Navy will be facing the mostly untested Karson Roberts under center when the Falcons have the ball. The other big injury is to starting tight end Garrett Griffin who has missed multiple games after a knee injury in the Falcons opener.

Challenges

The interesting take from the game against Michigan State is that the Falcons were able to stuff the Spartans running game, while moving the ball on the ground themselves. Air Force rushed for 7.1 yards per carry as Michigan State was only able to move the ball at 1.8 yards per tote. The problem with this strategy was that Air Force was very open to the Spartans passing attack, but that is something they will have to worry about much less when facing the Mids. Navy will have to be able to control the rushing battle when the two academies play on Saturday.


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