The Air Force Falcons eased into the 2013 season with a game against Colgate of the FCS ranks, and these types of games are to be a warm up, get a lot of backups playing time and rest some starters for about a half.
Well, Air Force had a big blow when starting quarterback Kale Pearson left the game with two minutes prior to half with an apparent knee injury when his knee buckled, and the assumption is that Pearson tore his ACL.
There is no official word from the school, but Pearson went to his Instagram account with a message about his injury:
MRI came back today and its not lookin too good. I was extremely motivated to get this season goin [sic] but God has a bigger plan for me. I wanna thank everyone for the prayers and support! Ill be back! And stronger than ever!
Pearson also did not mention the specifics of his injury, but the Falcons are moving on with sophomore Jaleel Awini. Head coach Troy Calhoun will not make any changes to the offense with Awini under center:
"We have guys who have played. They've had a ton of reps on the practice part of it. It's just that that's not always exactly the same thing."
Awini finished the Colgate game by completed 2 of 3 passes for 26 yards and he was held to minus three yards rushing. Running the ball from the quarterback position is extremely key for Air Force, and Awini will need to grow up in a hurry against Utah State next week and get some yards on the ground.
Nerves played into Awini not playing as well as he could:
"I think the biggest thing is to just let the game come to me a little bit," Awini said. "Just have it slowed down a little bit more. I'm not where I want to be right now, but I've got to let the game come to me a little bit."
Going up against a much tougher Utah State defense will require Awini to be ready from the start.
Here is a sample of what Awini did in his senior year at high school: he converted 78 of 136 passes for 1,266 yards, 23 touchdowns and just one interception, plus he ran 116 times for 1,078 yards and 16 touchdowns.
More from Mountain West Connection:
- Week 1 Mountain West football: What we learned
- Revisiting the Mountain West TV deal, plus payouts
- Colorado State falls to Colorado in Rocky Mountain Showdown, WR Joe Hansley looking for a big year
- Donnell Alexander injury update: Colorado State injures hand
- San Diego State sports writer blasts Boise State for losing to Washington, not sure why