One question that has been floating around Salt Lake this week leading up to the TCU game is if Air Force showed TCU how to possibly beat Utah, since the game was close. Most of the radio that I have heard from former players have said that is not the case. The main reason is because when Utah had the ball the Utes used a power running game to take advantage of the smaller Air Force defensive line, and that the Air Force secondary was playing ten yards of the line of scrimmage so that they would not get beat deep.
So, the theory was that why not have TCU play off the ball like Air Force and force Utah to throw underneath routes. However, that is not how TCU plays defense, they will play press coverage at the line of scrimmage. Plus, with TCU's defense that puts a fifth safety on the field to combat the passing game because their running defense is still very good with six lineman/linebackers on the field.
A reason that Air Force was able to have success against Utah's passing game is that the Falcons safeties, Anthony Wright, Jr. and Reggie Rembert, are possibly the best duo in the league. With those two athletes in the defensive backfield, it allows Air Force to do a few more things defensively in the passing game. The Falcon game plan was to not allow Utah to beat them deep. A few reasons why the Utah passing game struggled was that for one DeVonte Christopher did not make the trip due to a minor knee injury, and as mentioned above the game plan was to just run the ball at the undersized Falcon front seven.
It is possible that Jordan Wynn may not have been into the game as much since his main job was to handoff to the running backs and make the occasional throw. Yes, Wynn was not his accurate self and the game looked more like the Wyoming game then anything else this season.
Wynn may have just been bored and did not study Air Force as much, who really knows? He may have been looking ahead to TCU this week, since his performance was well below what Wynn has shown he is capable of doing.
Utah was blowing out Air Force 28-10 before they scored two touchdowns in 72 seconds to put the Falcons within striking distance. Air Force was able to pass on the Utes, but part of that was due to freshman Brian Blechen leaving the game with an ankle injury. Air Force beat Utah deep in the fourth quarter, but who really knows had Blechen been in if that would have made a difference. That Air Force player was WIDE open.
Defensively this is a one off game that any team prepares for. The defense practices nearly the same game plan each week, but when Air Force week comes along that game plan is drastically different. That is also why teams spend extra time in spring camp, fall camp and during the bye week to prepare for the the Air Force triple option attack. I am no football expert but I assume the TCU coaching staff can take away some of what Air Force did against Utah and use it this weekend, however Utah fans should not be overly worried about last weeks performance against Air Force. Back in 2008, Utah squeaked by a bad New Mexico team en route to an undefeated season.
Plus, TCU has their own type of philosophy and game plan for Saturday, so I doubt they will mimic what Air Force did defensively against Utah. A friendly reminder is that TCU is the third ranked team in the country, and will do what they do come Saturday.