Air Force and Navy will face off in Colorado Springs in the first service academy game of the year. Navy is 2-1 with a close loss to Maryland in their opener. So far they have not impressed like last year but are always tough as Ken Niumatalolo is a good recruiter and coach. Troy Calhoun has the Falcons at 3-1 and a near upset at #8 Oklahoma. Navy has won the last seven meetings, though this looks like the year Air Force could win with a good team at home.
Last year this game went into overtime. Air Force kicker Erik Soderberg missed a 31 yarder as the Navy Midshipmen took the edge in the Commander-in-Chiefs Trophy race. You can bet that every Falcon remembers the one that got away last year in Annapolis, MD. This should be another great game.
This is my favorite game of the year. BCS ruined the bowl games, the Rams usually get smoked by anyone worth beating, and its hard to beat all the story lines of an Air Force verse Navy game. Army isn't very good so we can assume the winner of this game gets to have a luncheon with President Obama and show off their fancy trophy. This is a rivalry that can't be beaten in my eyes on any level of competition. Plus these games are quick and action packed as both teams run the triple option.
Catch more after The Jump...
Navy is led by quarterback Ricky Dobbs. So far this early in the year Dobbs is passing a bit more, for a bit more yards, and a bit more accurate as you would expect out of a senior play caller. Of course this offense isn't based on passing, Dobbs has run for just 2.3 yards an attempt but three touchdowns. The top three carriers average over 5 yards a run. Gee Gee Greene has a crazy 10 yards per carry on 17 carries. Navy is averaging 272 yards per game on the ground so far. The Midshipmen will need to pick that up with Air Force's stout passing defense.
Air Force has been going on all cylinders till last week in Wyoming. The Falcons are leading FBS with 394 rushing yards per game behind Tim Jefferson, Jared Tew, and Asher Clark. That is at a clip of a scary 6 yards per carry for the team. Jefferson's accuracy is down this year but with such a small sample a 8-10 game could turn his numbers around.
Neither defense should have many issues with the triple option since they both run it. It will come down to execution in this game. Which team makes their blocks, plays their assignment, and who wants it more. Usually there is the wild card of how a defense will deal with the triple option, that is out the window in this match up.
Let me hop on my military soapbox for a minute. If you have any chance at all to watch this game do it. The game is always great, great storyline, great programs, great young men, and chance to appreciate these military academies. Within a year some of these young men will be overseas in a war. Take a couple hours to watch them play the most pure and enjoyable football game all year.
Ok, off the soapbox. I got the Flyboys at home over the Squids.