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2018

Air Force

College Football

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Air Force fell to mediocrity last season with a 5-7 record, partly due to schedule and partly due to inconsistency. Quarterback Arion Worthman was electric at times, but leading the offense to 14 total points in back-to-back games was inexcusable late in the season (vs. Army and Wyoming). The bookmakers don’t believe the Falcons can change that and if the defense continues to struggle, it’ll be another bowl-less season with their over/under at 5Dimes Sportsbook set at 4.5 wins with +5000 odds to win the MWC.

Worthman slightly disappointed last year even with 821 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, as he still completed less than 50 percent of his passes. Backup Isaiah Sanders proved capable in the final game, but his arm is even more of a question. The skill players should be fine from tail backs Joseph Saucier and Nolan Eriksen to slot receiver Ronald Cleveland (418 rushing yards, 261 receiving yards). Marcus Bennett leads the receiving corps, but the bigger freshman David Cormier could turn into the top wide out. None of this matters if the line doesn't improve and Worthman averages less than four yards per carry again. With only one returning starter on the line, there’s no guarantee the offense will be better.

The same goes for the defense, which allowed a terrible 5.9 yards per carry last year, the worst rate in the country. Air Force added coordinator Brian Knorr, who was previously coordinator at Indiana and Wake Forest before stints with Arizona and Ohio State in various roles. There are at least pieces to work with as six starters return, but two new starters are expected at linebacker, which could come with some problems. Guys like sophomore end Jordan Jackson and corner Jeremy Fejedelem provide talent, but they can only do so much. After getting gashed by every rushing offense, it won’t be easier with some inexperienced linebackers in the middle. 

The unfortunate thing for the Falcons is that they don’t have an easy road game, from the early trip to Florida Atlantic to facing teams like SDSU and Wyoming in the MWC. If they want to reach a bowl, it’ll come through home games, which means upsetting Navy is at the top of the list at the beginning of October. If not, the Falcons will need to steal a road game or beat Boise State, which they lost to by 25 points last year. Air Force isn’t projected to make a bowl and unless something changes on both sides of the ball, probably won’t reach one. Worthman leads a dynamic rushing attack per usual, but without a threat through the air and behind a new line, it’s hard to see him improving much. And while the defense could get better, it’ll still be in the bottom half of the Mountain West, which won’t be enough to reach six wins.

 

2018 Air Force Falcons Football Schedule

Sept. 1 vs. Stony Brook 

Sept. 8 at Florida Atlantic

Sept. 22 at Utah State

Sept. 29 vs. Nevada

Oct. 6 vs. Navy

Oct. 12 at San Diego State

Oct. 19 at UNLV 

Oct. 27 vs. Boise State

Nov. 3 at Army

Nov. 10 vs. New Mexico

Nov. 17 at Wyoming

Nov. 22 vs. Colorado State

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