Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Air Force season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Air Force Falcons
We’ve been through this before with Air Force.
Just when it seemed like the system and the style had run their course in a brutally ugly 2-10 2013 season, everything snapped back into place in a wonderful 10-3 follow up and a run of three straight bowl seasons.
And then the team stopped blocking and tackling.
It’s not that the 2017 Falcons were awful – when the running game was on, it was really on – but they dug themselves too big of an early hole, the defense was mediocre, and the offense went bye-bye late in the 5-7 season.
And that’s the concern – consistency.
Air Force has to do everything right, the same way, every time with military precision. If any of it breaks down, the system breaks down.
The pass rush has to be okay – it was the worst in college football.
Without a steady passing attack in the option offense, the running game has to dominate – it had problems against some fantastic defenses on last year’s slate.
And it didn’t help that both the Army and Navy games have become tougher, and San Diego State, Michigan and Boise State were on the schedule. There wasn’t any margin for error.
This year’s team has its typical great, quick runners in the backfield, and there’s enough good experience on defense – especially in the secondary – to expect a little bit of an improvement.
But the O line has to block better – that’ll be rough with four starters gone – and the defense has to be more physical, more disruptive, and make more big things happen.
This is the test. Every once in a while, Air Force is going to have a mediocre run. It has to stop with one losing season – this can’t be a trend.