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2013 Air Force
Schedule and Odds
The Falcons are coming off another bowl season, but they still ended with a losing record and an ugly loss to Rice in their bowl game. With only seven returning starters, Air Force faces big challenges in the improved Mountain West. Head coach Troy Calhoun will try to use a different style than we've seen from them lately with their power-rushing attack, but it's doubtful the new strategy will have much impact in the first season.
That new style (from spring practice at least) will incorporate much more passing in 2013. They ran the ball 804 times compared to 151 pass attempts last season. With a couple of new quarterbacks fighting for the starting job, it looks like that passing number may double this year. The current competition is between Kale Pearson (who saw limited time last year) and Jaleel Awini. A couple of their top rushers are gone in Cody Getz and Wes Cobb. In fact, their top three rushers that carried the ball a total of 473 times will be missing. Jon Lee and Anthony LaCoste are expected to take the majority of those touches. Ty MacArthur returns as the team's leading WR, but again he only had 24 catches last year.
The defense faces a lot of the same problems with only three guys returning. That includes no one in the front seven which could be major problems. Inside linebackers Connor Healy and Joey Nichol are set to be leaders in the middle of the field, but don't have a ton of experience at this level. The secondary has three upperclassmen which should help, although they were torn apart by Rice in the bowl game.
2013 Air Force Football Schedule
Aug. 31 vs. Colgate
Sept. 7 vs. Utah State
Sept. 13 at Boise State
Sept. 21 vs. Wyoming
Sept. 28 at Nevada
Oct. 5 at Navy
Oct. 10 vs. San Diego State
Oct. 26 vs. Notre Dame
Nov. 2 vs. Army
Nov. 8 at New Mexico
Nov. 21 vs. UNLV
Nov. 30 at Colorado State
The Falcons don't have to play Fresno State or San Jose State out of the West which should come as a relief. The problem for Air Force may actually be that they start conference play a little too soon. They'll only have one non-conference game under their belt before having four straight Mountain West games which includes road games at Boise State and Nevada.
Air Force lost to both Army and Navy last year and now they get Notre Dame thrown in at the end of October. That game comes after a home meeting with San Diego State. The good news for the Falcons is that they have the chance to end the season on a positive note against New Mexico, UNLV and Colorado State; possibly the three worst teams in the conference.
Reaching six wins won't be easy especially in a transition year. It may come down to their two final road games against New Mexico and Colorado State. If they can't win those, they don't deserve a bowl game anyway.
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