College Football News Preview 2020: Air Force Falcons Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Air Force Falcons Offense
Everything revolves around the same formula that it’s been for years. Control the clock, keep the chains moving, dominate on third downs.
That last past is especially important.
The 2016 team converted 51% of its third down tries – and it went 10-3. Over the last four seasons, the team is 22-3 when converting half of its third down chances or more, and last season it finished second in the nation in conversions averaging 53.5% per outing.
The two games it lost, it was under 50% in two of the four worst games of the year conversions-wise.
Biggest Key To The Air Force Falcons Defense
Interceptions tend to matter for this defense. The bulk numbers aren’t always there considering the defense isn’t on the field enough to generate a ton of sacks and tackles for loss, but as long as the pass rush is effective on key downs, it’s fine.
But interceptions tend to be a key part of the overall formula. Last year’s team was great at coming up with fumble recoveries, and the secondary picked off seven passes, but it didn’t come up with an interception in the two losses.
To be fair, one of those games was against Navy, but out of the 16 losses over the last three seasons, the defense came up with a grand total of two picks.
It’s about holding serve. Every time the defense can get the ball back to the offense, just assume another five plus minutes is about to be taken off the clock.
Key Air Force Falcons Player To A Successful Season
DT Kolby Barker, Sr.
It’s hard to overemphasize what Mosese Fifita meant to the Falcon defensive front. It’s not often the program gets a 330-pound Coke machine sitting in the middle of the line.
Fifita could move, though, with six sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss to go along with his 48 stops. Now he’s gone, and the team needs the 275-pound Barker to be a major playmaker after coming up with just four tackles as a reserve. He’s not going to be Fifita, but he has to be able to hold his own in the rotation or else forget about having the nation’s seventh-best run defense again.
Key Game To The Air Force Falcons Season
Boise State, Sept. 12
You might as well know where you stand from the start.
It’s the Mountain West opener in the second overall game of the season, and the Falcons get the defending conference champs at home.
Three of the next four conference games are on the road, and five of the next seven are away from Fort Collins – with Purdue coming up right after. Coming up with the home win would mean everything to the division race – it would be the first win over the Broncos since 2016.
– Air Force Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 Air Force Fun Stats
– Sacks: Air Force 27 for 168 yards – Opponents 4 for 22 yards
– 4th Down Conversions: Air Force 16-for 21 (76%) – Opponents 13-for-28 (46%)
– Rushing Yards: Air Force: 3,881 – Opponents 1,307