The Air Force Falcons (7-4, 5-2) will try and break into the top tier of the Mountain West with a win against BYU (8-2, 5-1). Air Force has won three straight and are looking to end the regular season with a win heading into their bowl game. BYU will try and keep rise in the standings after staying at #22 this week. This should be the best game in the MWC this weekend, make sure to catch it if you can.
The Falcons have put up big numbers on the scoreboard the last three weeks and are peaking at the right time. Tim Jefferson is finally looked in control of the option offense as the Falcons had 557 yards of offense last week. The stable of Jared Tew, Asher Clark, and Savier Stephens has been hitting on all cylinders. Jefferson will go to the air to keep BYU guessing a little. Lately his passing has been on point and the coaching staff may be getting some confidence in him to go to the air more then 7-10 times.
Where the Falcons will need success is in their passing defense. It seems that Bronco Mendenhall doesn't know Harvey Unga is an absolute beast so he continues to pass more then he probably should. The Falcon secondary will need to get their share of interceptions off Max Hall which is possible. If Hall throws two or more picks it would be Air Force's game to lose.
For BYU they need to establish the run and dominate with it. Long scoring drives against Air Force are huge because Air Force lacks the quick strike offense. BYU should use Unga to suck in the secondary and then have Hall stretch them deep. Dennis Pitta will be a nice big target against the smaller Air Force secondary and could be a very useful tool against them.
On defense the Cougars need to play that contain assignment football to stop the option. That is the part everyone focuses on and for good reason. However as I said for UNLV, who got killed last week, don't let the pass become a weapon for Air Force. Jefferson had a long of 43 and average of almost 16 yards per completion. BYU will need to try to keep the balance of stopping the run and pass even though Air Force only goes to the air 10.6 times a game.
It should be another MWC classic when Air Force heads to Provo. Air Force almost upset Utah on the road and had a tight contest against TCU, they are knocking on that upper tier of teams. BYU is looking at improving their bowl stock as they have two very good opponents the last two weeks in Air Force and Utah.