The Air Force Falcons (4-4, 3-2) travel up I-25 to Hughes Stadium to take on the Colorado State Rams (3-5, 0-4). The Falcons are coming off an overtime loss against the Utah Utes 23-16. The Rams have lost 5 straight, blowing another 14 point 2nd half lead this time against San Diego State. The weather looks to be in the low 30's and sunny after snow has hit the area earlier in the week. Both teams look to get a step closer to a bowl game.
Air Force comes in ranked 4th in rushing in the nation at 276.1 yards per game. On the flip side they are ranked 119th in passing yards, but 119th in attempts only ahead of Navy in both catagories. These stats are a product of the option offense.
Tim Jefferson is listed as the starting quarterback after missing the Utah game last week. QB Connor Dietz is out with a broken hand so Jefferson will need to stay healthy. The Falcons will go with their stable of backs in Jered Tew, Savier Stephens, and Asher Clark.
On defense Air Force has relied on forcing turnovers getting 23 and only coughing it up 5 times. That is also tops in the nation at +2.25 turnover margin per game. As a group they get to the quarterback well with 22 sacks on the year as a unit.
For CSU they are looking to stop a 5 game losing skid that has been marked by 4 lost leads. On offense they have been inconsistant behind Grant Stucker and injured running backs. Leonard Mason is looking to return after missing last week due to bruised ribs. The Rams will need to be explosive on offense as the Falcons control the clock with their option offense.
The Rams lost LB Michael Kawulok for the year. There are conflicting reports on who will replace him this week as a few players are getting a chance to compete for the starting spot. It is another tough loss but people feeling bad wont stop Air Force from running. The Rams will need to play solid contain defense and tackle well.
It is tough to see the Rams straightening things out after a 5 game skid and more injuries. Air Force has looked good as their only two conference losses were close ones to TCU and Utah. The weather shouldn't be a huge factor and I expect another competitive MWC battle.