The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Air Force Falcons.
No. 87: Air Force Falcons
Spring Practice Starts: February 20
Spring Game: March 17
Air Force Falcons Spring Status
Coming off a 5-7 season – with half the wins of 2016 – everything was open this spring. The coaching staff wanted to come up with a more physical team, and it wanted to come up with a defense that was far stronger after melting down throughout the year.
The Falcons allowed 30 points or more in six of the final nine games, and the offense couldn’t do its part to overcome the problems.
Five starters are gone on defense including the top three tacklers, but R.J. Jackson had a big spring, and the linebacking corps appears to have decent fill-ins ready to go.
The offensive side needs a far stronger season from the line, and it has to do it with four new starters. The receivers are in place, and the backfield should be solid, but everyone needs time to work.
Air Force Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Cornerback. There are several key spots being worked on throughout the spring, but the cornerback situation produced one of the biggest fights, even though there’s experience returning.
Jeremy Fejedelem is back at one spot after making 34 tackles, and Robert Bullard appears to be another good option, but Elisha Palm grew into a possible playmaker who needs to find a spot somewhere in the secondary. At the very least, this should be one of the team’s deepest areas.
Air Force Biggest Issue
Pass rush. There wasn’t any. Air Force was dead last in in the nation in sacks, going from 30 in 2016 to just ten last year with five coming in losses to Michigan and Wyoming. The defense, as a whole, has to be more disruptive and make far more big plays.
Air Force Biggest Positive
The offensive backfield. Starting quarterback Arion Worthman is back after leading the way with 821 yards and 13 scores, but there are options to push for the job.
Two of the top running backs are gone – Tim McVey and Jacob Stafford – but it’s a great situation with Joseph Saucier taking over one of the spots this spring, and with a whole slew of good-looking young backs ready to rise up. Josh Stoner, Christian Mallard and Kade Remsberg will all be factors.
Really, Why Are The Air Force Falcons Ranked Here?
You never quite know with Air Force. The system is set up in a Next Man Up sort of way that makes the loss of personnel and starters not that big a deal. However, the defense needs to be night-and-day more productive, the offense has to be more explosive, and the lines on both sides have to be nastier.
Remember, when the program clunked and went 2-10 in 2013, it followed it up with a 10-3 season.