Army vs. Air Force 2013 game preview: Falcons looking for first FBS win

Scott Cunningham

Air Force is hosting Army for an early 10 a.m. local kickoff.


Next Game

Army Black Knights
@ Air Force Falcons

Saturday, Nov 2, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT
Falcon Stadium

TV: ESPNU/WatchESPN

Complete Coverage >


Air Force is having one of their worst seasons since Troy Calhoun took over for the legendary Fisher DeBerry back in 2007, and each year has made a bowl game. The 2013 team is 1-7, so no bowl game, and their only win came against FCS Colgate back on opening day.

The Falcons have a shot at some redemption when they host rival Army this Saturday. Army is just 3-5 so this gives the Falcons a chance to get a win.

For this game the players have a very early start as it is a Noon ET, 10 a.m. MT, kickoff in Colorado Springs, Colo., since this game is on ESPNU. This early start might not have an effect as most would think on the players since the Cadets are early risers pretty much every day of the week, but hitting and playing football that early is certainly a change.

While the postseason is a loss for the Falcons, there is still a lot to play for and that comes at the quarterback spot. Air Force has had bad luck at that position this year from injuries to disciplinary reasons, forcing the Falcons to play four quarterbacks.

While freshman Nate Romine earned the start against Notre Dame, he has not been named the starter. The depth chart for this game lists Romine and Karson Roberts as a possible starter. This past week in practice the two have been splitting reps, but Romine has spent more time with the first team offense.

Both quarterbacks are looking toward this game against Army and not really at next season, even though it must be in the back of their head that who every starts the rest of the way has a leg up on being the starter going forward:

"You've got to state a case," freshman Nate Romine said. "Not only state a case for myself though, we've got to win. Right now I'm trying to do things for the 17 seniors on the team, the coaches and everyone else who's working hard and trying to get a W."

[...]

"I haven't thought about that," he said. "Our main focus right now is just to beat Army. That's what's been on our minds, not next season."

With no post season in sight having a quarterback competition is a way to keep everyone engaged, and it doesn't hurt that Army is in town this week for some extra motivation.

Playing Army is like playing a clone of Air Force with the triple-option run attack that each team uses, so this could be one of those games that are just over two hours. Army is tops in the nation in running the ball and Air Force's defense is 108th in the nation, so the Falcons need to shore up that rush defense to avoid extending their losing streak to eight games.

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